How to Prepare for a Tech Mock Interview: Tips for Success

Exponent TeamExponent TeamLast updated

Mock interviews help you hone your interviewing skills, refine your responses, and familiarize yourself with likely interview questions.

By practicing different interview scenarios, you can deliver a great answer on the day of your interview.

Make your answers sound more conversational and less rehearsed by getting feedback from your peers on your communication skills, technical skills, and overall performance.

Below, we'll share how to make the most of a peer mock interview.

What is a mock interview?

A mock interview is a practice interview that lets you work on communication skills, technical skills, and become familiar with common interview questions, formats and settings.

For tech interviews, most candidates practice

Anyone can be your mock interviewer, as long as they can ask the right questions and provide helpful feedback.

If you’re a student, a career counselor or mentor could help you practice. You can also ask family members or friends if they work in a similar field.

What’s the purpose of a mock interview?

Mock interviews simulate the actual interview environment, helping you adapt to the pressure and dynamics of real interviews.

  1. Identifying Weaknesses: Mock interviews help identify self-improvement areas in a risk-free environment.
  2. Confidence Building: Repeated practice in simulated interview scenarios builds self-assurance, improving actual job interview performance.
  3. Feedback: Mock interviews provide immediate constructive feedback on technical and communication skills.


  • Arrive Early and Prepared: Treat the mock interview seriously by arriving early, bringing a notebook for taking notes, and practicing beforehand on your own.
  • Technology Checks: For virtual interviews, ensure your computer, webcam, and microphone are all working well.

Preparing for Mock Interviews

STAR Method

After you build a story bank, try to structure your answers using the STAR method, which stands for:

  1. Situation: Set the context of your story, relevant to the question.
  2. Task: Define your role and goal in that situation.
  3. Action: Describe your actions, techniques, and tools used.
  4. Result: Summarize the outcome, using data to back up your success.

Common Mock Interview Questions

In most behavioral interviews, you’ll get asked these common questions about your qualifications and personality. You may hear them in mock interviews too:

  • Tell me about yourself: Focus on your educational background, relevant experiences, and skills that are pertinent to the job you're applying for. Keep it concise and professional in just a few sentences.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?: Identify strengths that align with the job requirements and discuss weaknesses honestly, along with the steps you are taking to improve them.
  • Describe a challenging situation and how you handled it: Use the STAR method to describe a real-life scenario that showcases your problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Tips for Answering

  • Practice but don't memorize: While it's good to prepare answers to common questions, your responses should come off as natural and conversational rather than rehearsed.
  • Know your resume: Be prepared to discuss anything you've listed on your resume in depth, providing examples that demonstrate your achievements and learning experiences.
  • Ask for clarification if needed: If a question is unclear during your mock interview, don't hesitate to ask the interviewer for more information.
  • Take your time: If you're faced with a difficult question, it's acceptable to take a moment to organize your thoughts before responding.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

After your mock interview, you and your peer should exchange feedback that can help you both improve.

You can use a rubric to guide some of your feedback.

Here’s how to put that feedback into action:

  1. Compile and Categorize Feedback: Organize the feedback into categories like communication skills, technical knowledge, and body language. This will help identify areas needing attention.
  2. Identify Patterns and Prioritize: Look for recurring themes in the feedback. Prioritize these issues in your action plan. Set goals for improvement, such as practicing maintaining eye contact or repeating the question after you hear it.
  3. Develop an Action Plan: Include specific, measurable objectives like reducing the use of filler words or improving response structure. Schedule regular reviews of your progress and adjust your plan as needed for continuous improvement.

Implementing Feedback

To improve your future interview performance:

  1. Practice: Focus on feedback areas. For example, if 'answer structure' was criticized, practice the STAR method. Do more mock interviews for further feedback.
  2. Grow from Feedback: See feedback as a tool for growth. Embrace it with an open mind, reflecting on your skills and areas needing improvement.
  3. Professional Relationships: After applying feedback, update the mock interviewer on your progress. This shows your dedication and helps maintain a positive relationship.

Practice for interviews with Exponent.

Every day at pre-scheduled times, Exponent facilitates peer-to-peer mock interview sessions for tech roles.

Interviews are live one-on-one video calls hosted on our website, with an optional shared code editor for technical interviews.

Exponent automatically matches you with product managers, software engineers, engineering managers, technical program managers, data scientists, machine learning engineers, and tech leaders based on your availability, practice needs, and interview objectives.

For technical interviews, you can choose your programming language.

We manage the interview scheduling and supply potential questions from our question database. For technical questions, we’ll also share the solution.

Each practice session is reciprocal: everyone takes turns as both the interviewee and interviewer.

Interviewing others is as beneficial as being interviewed. Being the interviewer too provides insights into best

What kind of interviews can I practice?

We support these roles and interview types:

  • Product Management: Product sense, estimation, product design, and analytical PM questions.
  • Behavioral: Work experience and culture-fit questions.
  • Data Structures & Algorithms: Storage, retrieval, and data manipulation questions.
  • System Design: Scalable systems and trade-offs for engineers and TPMs.

Mock interviews can play a big role in helping you prepare for the real thing.

They not only help you practice your responses to common interview questions but also allow you to receive helpful feedback from your peers.

The key to success is preparation and practice.

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