Everything You’ve Every Wanted to Know—and More—About the Mock Interview

The mock interview is one of the most important parts of the college interview preparation process. Before ESC students interview with an admissions officer or alumnus at their dream school, they will have likely practiced their answers multiple times with every single member of their counseling team. ESC senior scholars counselors do all they can to ensure that their students are ready to shine—talk in-depth about their skills, passions, and experiences with confidence—when their big day arrives. 

So, what exactly is a mock interview? In essence, the mock interview is a “pretend” college interview in which a counselor asks the student questions that they are likely to encounter in a real college interview. Sample questions include “What are three words that you would use to describe yourself?,” “Tell me about a book that you read recently and what you thought of it,” “Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership in your school or community,” and “If you could add one course to your high school curriculum, what would it be and why?” While these questions may seem arbitrary to the untrained ear, they are often enormously helpful to the admissions officer as he or she endeavors to determine the applicant’s “fit,” meaning whether their interests and values align with those of the school. 

The mock interview is a major part of interview preparation because it allows counselors to identify strengths and weaknesses, make suggestions for improvement, and assess overall English-speaking ability level. But it also allows counselors an opportunity to educate their students about basic interview etiquette. Prior to working with ESC, many students have never formally interviewed with an individual, organization, or institution and, as a result, are unaware of the importance of making consistent eye contact, not pausing for more than a few seconds, and not using filler words and sounds like “um” and “like” on a frequent basis. By conducting a mock interview, counselors can take note of any nervous tics or fidgeting habits and work with students to ensure that these do not distract from the content of their responses. 

In keeping with ESC’s mission of providing high school students and their families with extensive, high-quality, and personalized support throughout their college application journeys, ESC senior scholars counselors often conduct several mock interviews before a college or university interview.