Mock Interview Mentor Guide
Thank you for volunteering your time for this program, lovely mentor! We know getting an opportunity to practice interview skills will greatly benefit the students you work with -- on behalf of the SagePost47 leadership team and students alike, thank you!
Format Guidelines: the mock interview session should last 30-45 minutes total, with 20-30 minutes for the interview itself and 10-15 minutes afterward for you to give the student feedback.
Below are some tips and tricks to ensure your mock interview experience is successful. For additional background, you can review our mock interview student guide to see how we are asking students to prepare for these sessions.
Before The Interview
Get The Context -- students request mock interviews with a wide array of intentions, from general interview prep (i.e behavioral questions // resume review) to preparing for a specific interview that’s already scheduled. Students reaching out to you should give their class year // major, explain their interests and professional aspirations, give you an idea of what they hope to get out of the mock interview sessions, and should include their resume. If you feel you don’t have enough information to properly conduct a mock interview, don’t hesitate to follow-up with the student to learn more -- it is the student’s responsibility to give you the context you need to conduct the interview.
Prepare... -- review the background the student gives in their outreach to you as well as their resume. Draft some questions that a real-life interviewer in the student’s field of interest might ask, as well as some general get-to-know-you questions. If the student has indicated that they are interested in improving specific aspects of their interview, draft questions that will allow you to give feedback in those particular areas.
… But Don’t Overthink It -- we hope it will take no more than 5-10 minutes to prepare for each interview. All your questions don’t need to be extremely nuanced -- many students will not have a lot of live interview experience, and practice answering even basic questions like “what interests you about ___ industry?”, “explain a project you’re proud of what what you learned while doing it”, or “what is your greatest strength?” can go a long way.
During The Interview
Treat It Like A Real Interview -- once the interview begins, try not to allow the student to “break” or start over midway through. They won’t get to do this in a real-life job interview, and conducting a mock interview start-to-finish is a great way to prepare for that real-life interview experience.
Take Notes -- it’s easy to forget the details of an interview, even immediately afterward. We suggest taking notes during the interview in order to give the richest feedback possible to the student afterward, both on areas in which they performed well, and on opportunities for improvement.
Give Feedback -- immediately following the interview, give the student your opinion on what they did well, and what they need to work on. The more specific you can be in your feedback, the better chances the student has at improving their interview skills, and ultimately, successfully interviewing for the job they’re after. Also, feedback on content as well as general interview demeanor is very helpful to students -- in an interview setting, success is not just dependent on what the interviewee says, but how they say it. So don’t hesitate to give the student notes on tone, brevity, and confidence too.