Interview Self-Prep vs. Mentor-Led Interview Preparation

Sometimes you need a little extra help to make your interview prep fail-proof. This is where interview preparation with a mentor comes in. Learn what makes preparing with a mentor worth it.✨



Picture this: You are called for an interview with an organisation you have always wanted to work with.

You know you’re a great fit for the job, but there’s not much time to prepare for the interview.

You ought to showcase your best qualities, talent, and skills in front of the employer in the most effective way to get their attention

In order to do so, you start preparing a few weeks in advance before applying for the job—most candidates take this approach.

Of course, you can do some self-study by reading online articles and watching mock interviews.

But self-study only goes so far.

👉Interview preparation done all by yourself might limit your research only to studying through the platforms, and not getting any regular evaluation on your performance or your current preparation level.

There is a better, surefire way to prepare yourself for an interview: mentor-led interview preparation.

Through this method, you will not only get to learn from a mentor but you will practise interviews, clear doubts, gain insights, get your regular dose of morale boost and much more.

✔️In this article you will get to know what is mentor-led interview preparation, why is interview preparation with a mentor better than self-prep, and how you can work with a career mentor to bag your dream job.

What is the Difference Between Self-Preparation For an Interview Vs. Preparing With a Mentor?

Think of it as comparing going solo on a hiking trip versus having an experienced guide.

📌Self-Preparation for an Interview

Self-preparation involves getting ready for an interview entirely on your own. 

You rely on your resources, such as online articles, videos, books, and practice questions, to prepare yourself for the interview. 

Here's how it works:

1. Independence: Self-preparation allows you to work at your own pace and schedule. You have full control over what you study and when you study.

2. Flexibility: You can choose the resources that align with your learning style and preferences. This freedom can be empowering.

3. Cost-effective: It's usually more budget-friendly since you're not paying for a mentor's services.

📌Preparing with a Mentor

Preparing for an interview with a mentor involves seeking guidance and support from an experienced professional who has been through similar interview processes. 

Here's why this approach can be advantageous:

1. Expert insight:  Mentors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. 

They can provide invaluable insights into the specific company, industry trends, and what interviewers are looking for.

2. Structured learning: A mentor can create a structured study plan tailored to your needs, ensuring you cover all necessary topics efficiently.

3. Immediate feedback: Mentors can assess your skills and provide immediate feedback. 

They can help you identify your weaknesses and work on them effectively.

4. Mock interviews: Mock interviews with a mentor simulate real interview scenarios. 

This practice is incredibly beneficial for boosting confidence and refining interview techniques.

5. Networking: Mentors often have an extensive network in their field. 

They can introduce you to professionals who may help you in your job search.

6. Motivation: Having a mentor can keep you accountable and motivated throughout your preparation journey. 

Their guidance can prevent procrastination and boost your confidence.

Why is Mentor-Led Interview Preparation Better?

Preparing with a mentor is often considered better for several reasons:

1. Personalised guidance: A mentor tailors your preparation to your unique strengths and weaknesses, ensuring you address areas where you need improvement.

2. Faster progress: With a mentor's guidance, you can progress faster and more efficiently, as they can steer you away from common pitfalls and mistakes.

3. Real-world insights: Mentors can provide insights beyond what you can find online. They offer a real-world perspective that is invaluable during interviews.

4. Boosted confidence: A mentor's encouragement and constructive criticism can significantly boost your confidence, making you better equipped to handle interview stress.

5. Higher success rate: Ultimately, preparing with a mentor can increase your chances of interview success, securing that dream job.✨

📍 Try mentor-led interivew prep for free.

Choose from the best mentors in the country.

The Challenging Nature of Interviews In Top Tech Companies

Interviews at top tech companies are the ultimate test of your skills and abilities. 

Having a seasoned guide who can point you to the right path and help you avoid pitfalls is even more important.

Here are some challenges of interviews in top tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, etc.

1. Technical depth

These interviews often dig deep into your technical knowledge. 

🎯You can expect complex coding challenges, algorithm questions, and system design problems. 

They want to know if you truly understand the technology you claim to know.

2. Problem-solving

Tech giants love to throw real-world problems at you. 

🎯They want to see how you approach complex issues, break them down, and develop innovative solutions. 

It's not just about getting the right answer; it's about demonstrating your problem-solving skills.

3. Time pressure

Interviews are timed, which adds another layer of pressure. 

🎯You have to solve intricate technical problems as well as explain your thought process in due time. 

This can end up being nerve-wracking.

4. Behavioural interviews

These companies emphasise soft skills as much as technical ones. 

🎯You'll face behavioural interviews where you're asked about your experiences, teamwork, and how you handle difficult situations. 

Crafting compelling stories is crucial.

5. Multiple rounds 

Top tech firms often have multiple interview rounds, each testing different aspects of your abilities. 

You might have a phone screen, technical interviews, system design interviews, etc. 

It's like running a marathon with hurdles at every turn.

6. Competitive pool

You're competing against some of the brightest minds in the world.

🎯These companies attract top talent from around the globe, so the competition is fierce

You need to truly shine to stand out.

7. No easy pass

There are no shortcuts. 

🎯You can't just rely on your resume; you need to prove your worth in the interview room. 

It's not uncommon for even experienced professionals to find these interviews challenging.

8. Ever-changing landscape

The tech industry evolves rapidly. Interview questions change accordingly. 

🎯What worked for someone a year ago might not be relevant today

Staying up to date with the latest trends and technologies is crucial.

9. Interviewer's expertise

Your interviewers are experts in their field. 

They'll ask probing questions and expect detailed, well-thought-out responses. 

They can quickly identify if you're trying to bluff your way through.

10. No room for guesswork

Unlike some interviews where you can make educated guesses, these interviews often require precision. 

A slight mistake in your code or an incorrect approach can cost you the job.

Why Interview Preparation With a Mentor Can Help You Avoid Unnecessary Risks and Ace Your Interviews

Preparing with a mentor can be your secret weapon for tackling the challenging interviews at top tech companies. 

Here's how a mentor can help you tackle the above challenges:

👉 Technical depth

In-depth guidance: A mentor can provide expert guidance on technical topics, helping you understand complex concepts and solve intricate coding challenges effectively.

Practical examples: They can share real-world examples and practical insights, making abstract technical knowledge more tangible.

👉 Problem-solving

Strategy development: A mentor can help you develop problem-solving strategies, teaching you how to approach unfamiliar problems systematically.

Mock challenges: They can simulate challenging scenarios, allowing you to practise your problem-solving skills in a controlled environment.

👉 Time pressure

Time management: Your mentor can teach you time management techniques to ensure you make the most of the limited time during interviews.

Mock interviews: Conducting mock interviews with strict timing can help you get accustomed to the pressure and improve your time management skills.

Read: 7 Benefits of Taking Mock Interviews with Real Interviewers

👉 Behavioural interviews

Story crafting: Mentors can help you craft compelling stories that effectively showcase your experiences, teamwork, and adaptability.

Behavioural question practice: They can ask you common behavioural questions and provide feedback on your responses.

👉 Multiple rounds

Customised plan: Mentors create a personalised study plan that covers all rounds of interviews, ensuring you're well-prepared for each stage.

Progress tracking: They monitor your progress and adjust the plan to address your strengths and weaknesses.

👉 Competitive pool

Unique selling points: Mentors help you identify your unique strengths and experiences that can set you apart in a competitive field.

Networking: They may introduce you to their professional network, which can be a valuable resource in landing interviews and referrals.

👉 No easy pass

Realistic expectations: Mentors provide honest feedback, ensuring you don't underestimate the challenge and encouraging you to put in the effort.

👉 Ever-changing landscape

Continuous learning: Mentors stay updated with industry changes and ensure your preparation materials and strategies are current.

Resource recommendations: They recommend the latest books, courses, and resources to keep you on the cutting edge.

👉 Interviewer's expertise

Simulated interviews: Conducting mock interviews with your mentor, who has experience as an interviewer, can expose you to the questions and scrutiny you'll face.

👉 No room for guesswork

Precision practice: A mentor helps refine your skills to ensure precision in coding, problem-solving, and articulation during interviews.

Detailed feedback: They provide meticulous feedback on your performance, pointing out areas for improvement.

With a mentor’s guidance, you're not just preparing; you're preparing to excel in those challenging tech company interviews. 

So, if you have your sights set on the tech giants, a mentor in the field is your best friend.

Ways To Find Your Mentor

The best ways to find a mentor for your interview preparation are listed below:

1. Look for someone in your field

As mentioned above, choose someone who has experience in the domain you want to work with for better insights and guidance.

Reach out to the people and ask them to help you find a mentor for interview preparation.

Preplaced can help you in this process as it has mentors across all domains you might wish to make your career in.

2. Become a part of a professional network

Join the community of active experienced mentors.

Connect with them over social media or email and ask for their guidance.

Also, let them know it is not an obligation but rather a choice for them to become your mentor.

3. Find a suitable online mentorship platform

TThere are many mentorship platoforms with a variety of mentors who will help you with interview preparations as well as your future career.

Sign up for a session.

Lucky for you, Preplaced has a vast range of mentors who will tailor your interiview prep.

We'll help you find the perfect mentor to help you bag your ideal job.

📍 Take a free mentorship sesion with a Preplaced mentor and get a personalised interview prep plan.

Why Preplaced Is The Best Place To Find Your Mentor

Preplaced’s mentorship has been helping people with its one-on-one interview preparation, mock interviews, and consultation sessions with highly experienced mentors.

⭐Our mentees also take one-off sessions that are built to offer immediate feedback or support in the interview prep of our mentees.

Through these sessions, you can:

-> get your resume reviewed LIVE,

-> get assistance with your job application,

-> enhance a particular skill or find direction in your career through 1:1 career guidance sessions.

👉You can browse through 350+ industry experts and filter your perfect mentor based on your domain, their working experience, target company, sessions, and price range.

Everyone needs a different way to prepare for an interview that usually builds up on the essence of the individual’s personality.

Having a career mentor to guide you through the entire process, provide insights, and help you prepare answers according to what the interviewers expect, is always a cherry on top!

It’s always better to approach someone for help.

Book a free trial with your fav mentor today.