Mock interviews

The Mock Interview program allows undergraduate students and alumni to practice interview skills and receive constructive feedback in a safe, supportive environment. These may be in preparation to interview for internships, jobs, and admissions to professional programs or graduate schools. Mock interviews are a dress rehearsal for an actual interview. The first 20–30 minutes will be a simulated interview experience, and the remaining 20–30 minutes will be dedicated to feedback and coaching.

Mock interviews can be conducted in person, or virtually, to suit your needs.

Mock interview questions

A. General Questions – often asked in 20-30 minute phone screening

  • - Tell me about yourself.
  • - Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • - What in particular are you most interested in working on?
  • - Where do you see yourself professionally in 3-5 years?
  • - What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • - Tell me about a project when you used ___ (a technical skill).
  • - Any questions for me?

B. Behavioral interview Questions

Teamwork - How will this individual work on our team?

  • - Do you prefer teamwork or working independently? Why?
  • - Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you resolve it?
  • - Describe a time when you had to step up and demonstrate leadership skills.

Customer service/ Communication - Does this individual have the skills we need in this role?

  • - What’s one time you worked with a difficult customer and how did you resolve the situation?
  • - Tell me about a time when you improved a dissatisfied customer's experience.
  • - Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service.

Adaptability – How will this individual handle stress/ challenging times?

  • - Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure at work or at school. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
  • - Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?

Time management – How will this individual prioritize tasks?

  • - Give me an example of a time you managed numerous responsibilities or competing deadlines.
  • - Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?

Motivation and values - Does this individual have the work personality that we want on our team?

  • - Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.
  • - Describe your favorite manager or supervisor in a work, volunteer, or internship setting.
  • - What job or class project have you enjoyed the most? Least? Why?
  • - Describe your understanding of diversity/inclusion and why it is important to this position.

Unvoiced Questions (What the interviewer might be thinking)

  • - Did the student seem prepared? (Professional dress, copies of resume, note-taking materials)
  • - Did the student seem engaging and interesting? (Attentive listening, responding to comments)
  • - Did the student seem interested in the role? (Tailored answers, future-focused)

Learn about the organization/ culture:

  • - What do you love about working at this company? What do you think could be improved?
  • - What are some of the ways the company focuses on professional development?
  • - What makes the difference between a good employee in this company and a fantastic one?
  • - What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?

Learn about the position:

  • - What does a typical day and a difficult day look like?
  • - Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?
  • - What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?

Learn about the team:

  • - Who will I report to directly?
  • - What are my direct reports’ strengths and the team’s biggest challenges?
  • - What are the common career paths in this department?

Learn about the hiring process/ next steps:

  • - What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • - When will I hear from you regarding the next steps?
  • - Is there anything that concerns you about my background being a fit for this role?

Questions to Assess An Organization's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Source: 2020 NACE article

  • - How does your organization define diversity? What lenses of diversity has your organization made a direct commitment toward?
  • - Does your organization have a chief diversity officer (CDO) or a designated leader to drive DEI and engage internal and external stakeholders?
  • - What social causes does your organization support?
  • - Does your organization actively support diverse suppliers, contractors, and small businesses?
  • - Has your organization made any formal commitments in support of racial equity?
  • - How does your organization center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?
  • - Does your organization offer any formal employee training around biases, anti-racism, or general DEI?
  • - How has your organization prioritized executive accountability toward DEI advancement?
  • - Does your organization have any affinity groups or committees to support diverse populations? If so, how do these groups contribute to the culture of the organization??
  • - Does your organization complete annual compensation equity analysis?
  • - What resources has your organization provided to its employees in support of COVID-19 and racial injustices?

Preparing for the Appointment

  • Call, email, or chat with the front desk at the CCC to gain an overview of the interview process.
  • Prepare your résumé on your own or through a walk-in appointment at the CCC.
  • Make an appointment for a mock interview using Handshake or call/visit the CCC.
  • Obtain a copy of the job description you will be interviewing for.
  • Research the company/program/organization you will be interviewing for.
  • Rehearse your answers to common interview questions.
  • Prepare questions to ask the interviewer (as you would in real interview).

After the Appointment

  • Rehearse with friends, family, or classmates using what you’ve learned. 
  • Prepare for your real interview, including a portfolio.
  • Visit the CCC again if you have more questions.