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Mock Interviews with Tile Hill

by Helen Alwell


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Mock interviews are an essential part of the preparation process for candidates eyeing their next career move. These simulated interviews serve as a rehearsal ground, allowing individuals to refine their interviewing skills, receive constructive feedback, and enhance their confidence before facing the actual interview. At Tile Hill, we recognise the consequential role that mock interviews can play, therefore we often offer this invaluable service to candidates, especially during the initial stages of the interview process. The following is your introductory guide to these mock interviews.

What are mock interviews and when do they occur?
Mock interviews are simulated conversations that mimic the structure and content of a preliminary (first stage) interview. They are particularly beneficial during the first few stages of the interview process, prior to a potential panel interview stage. Tile Hill's mock interviews typically span 45 minutes to an hour, featuring c7 questions consisting of sector-specific questions and leadership / relationship questions delivered by experienced consultants. 

While these sessions are mainly geared towards permanent candidates, interim professionals may also find them beneficial. Often, candidates are unaware of this service, however this service is commonplace at Tile Hill. It is frequently offered before the interview to help prepare candidates and enable success; however it can also be offered following an unsuccessful interview as part of ongoing support. This approach not only aids in refining and improving the interview skills of the individual and understanding where the approach may have fallen short in a process, it also serves as a critical review mechanism for future opportunities.

The purpose behind mock interviews
Tile Hill's mock interviews are not just a preparatory step; they embody a holistic approach to candidate empowerment and alignment with prospective roles. The underlying philosophy is rooted in the belief that a well-prepared candidate is not only a more confident candidate, but also a more capable one, able to demonstrate their true, best value to potential employers. 

Moreover, the impact of mock interviewing is particularly effective when utilised to support those who are neuro divergent. Providing this level of support and preparation not only means candidates are more likely to shine at the interview, but it also means employers are more likely to realise their EDI ambitions.

The purpose behind these interviews are as follows:

Technical proficiency: By focusing on themes such as leadership, financial and political acumen or safeguarding, and inspection (for example), mock interviews encourage candidates to delve into their professional understanding. This introspection is aimed at uncovering their comprehension and approach towards complex, role-specific scenarios, ensuring they are not just technically proficient but also insightful about the sector.

Confidence through clarity: The mock interviews serve as a confidence-building exercise. By being challenged through the scrutiny of a simulated interview, candidates gain clarity about their strengths and areas for improvement. This clarity translates into confidence, which is crucial for a successful real interview.

Refining your experience and examples: The mock interview approach helps candidates sift through their professional experiences to identify those that best showcase their skills and achievements. This process ensures that candidates present examples that are not only impactful but also highly relevant to the role they are being interviewed for.

Showcasing competency: These tailored mock interviews enable candidates to showcase their essential competencies such as managing budgets, strategic leadership, and stakeholder management. By demonstrating their experiences, mapped against these competencies, candidates can prove their capability to deliver the responsibilities of the role effectively.

Alignment with organisational values: Understanding and aligning with the organisation's culture and values is key. Mock interviews can prompt candidates to reflect on how their professional ethos and achievements match up with the prospective employer's vision and values, ensuring a good cultural fit.

Key considerations for excelling in interviews
To excel in a mock interview (and in real world ones too), understanding the format and preparing thoroughly are just the starting points. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

In-depth research: Beyond just skimming through the organisation's website, delve into their detailed reports, strategic plans, and social media narratives. This deep dive will arm you with insights into the organisation's specific challenges, allowing you to match their challenges with your skill set, providing you with the opportunity to position your experiences as solutions.

Select purposeful examples: When preparing examples, choose those that demonstrate your growth journey, leadership credentials, and problem-solving abilities. Your examples should not only reflect your direct contributions but also your ability to inspire and lead others towards a common goal.

Environmental and technical preparedness: The physical or digital interview environment can significantly impact your performance. Ensure the space is professionally set up, with proper lighting and a neutral background. Technical readiness, including a stable internet connection and no interruptions, is equally crucial to avoid distractions and maintain a professional demeanour throughout the interview.

Utilise the STAR technique: The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) technique is a powerful tool, but its effectiveness lies in how well you can execute it in your interview responses. Focus on articulating the Action and Result aspects compellingly, demonstrating your direct impact and the value that you bring. This concise storytelling will keep the interviewers engaged, whilst highlighting your achievements.

Authenticity and rapport: Authenticity is magnetic and can significantly influence the interviewers’ perception. Be genuine in your responses, show enthusiasm for the role, and express your personality. Building rapport starts with small gestures, such as a warm greeting, and can extend to simple basics, such as showing a genuine interest in the conversation. This connection can set you apart in a sea of candidates.

By embracing considerations such as these, candidates can significantly enhance their interview performance, paving the way for success.

Mock interviews are invaluable for candidates aiming to make a strong impression during the job application process. By understanding the interview format, doing thorough research, preparing impactful examples, and following the other additional tips provided, you can significantly improve your interview performance. 

Remember, the ultimate goal is to present the best version of yourself, demonstrating your relevance and how you will bring value to the role, organisation and importantly the people they serve. Good luck and ask the team at Tile Hill to assist you in guiding you towards your next career milestone!

Stay in touch!
If you would like to know more about mock interviews and the other services that Tile Hill offer, please contact

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