LinkedIn just launched a tool that helps job seekers prep for interviews. I gave it a test run, and it was really awkward - but it showed me 2 major mistakes I've been making.

linkedin toolAllana Akhtar/Business Insider

Job interviews can sometimes seem more like a game of wits than a test of your abilities.

Things like what you wear, what time you arrive, and how much you smile often make a big difference to the hiring manager, who can even use interview questions to try to trick you.

To help prepare for the uncertainty of job interviews, LinkedIn just released a tool that allows users to practice for the big meeting in real time. After the user applies to a job, LinkedIn shares advice on answering common questions, such as "Why should we hire you?" and "What is your greatest strength?"

Read more: The 30 hottest companies of the year, according to LinkedIn

Using the tool, you can watch videos of career experts who give you a step-by-step guide on how to answer interview questions. Then, you put their advice to the test by making your own videos.

LinkedIn gave Business Insider exclusive access to a mock demo of the tool before it launched (I was registered as "Jane Doe"). I found that even though making videos of myself answering questions felt uncomfortable and silly at first, I felt more comfortable practicing responses out loud over time.

"We are always looking for ways to help our members throughout their career journey, and that is especially true for their job search," Deepti Patibandla, product lead at LinkedIn, told Business Insider in a statement.

Here's what happened when I tried LinkedIn's new interview prep tool:

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I'm currently a reporter at Business Insider. I started very recently, so I was practicing my interviewing skills not too long ago.

I'm currently a reporter at Business Insider. I started very recently, so I was practicing my interviewing skills not too long ago.

To prep, I read a ton of career-advice articles (including the ones on Business Insider). I figured out the most common interview questions and framed answers based on my work experience at my last job. I wrote down a couple detailed points I wanted to make, and then practiced my answers out loud in my room by myself.

Read more: The ultimate guide to creating an impressive LinkedIn resume, according to an expert recruiter, hiring manager, professor, and career coach

I decided to interview like I was applying to my own job at Business Insider so I wouldn't have to do any extra prep (or scare my boss).

I decided to interview like I was applying to my own job at Business Insider so I wouldn't have to do any extra prep (or scare my boss).

The interview-prep feature has mobile and desktop versions. To access the desktop tool, you have to go under the "Track your jobs" tab.

The interview-prep feature has mobile and desktop versions. To access the desktop tool, you have to go under the "Track your jobs" tab.

After that, you click on a small icon labeled "Get Started" on the right side to interview for the tool. I've never applied for a job using LinkedIn before, so it was difficult for me to find this.

After that, you click on a small icon labeled "Get Started" on the right side to interview for the tool. I've never applied for a job using LinkedIn before, so it was difficult for me to find this.

Because I often use LinkedIn on my phone, I decided to do the interview prep that way. I went under the "Applied jobs" tab to get access to the tool.

Because I often use LinkedIn on my phone, I decided to do the interview prep that way. I went under the "Applied jobs" tab to get access to the tool.

After clicking on the tool, I got access to a screen with common interview questions.

After clicking on the tool, I got access to a screen with common interview questions.

I remember being asked some of these questions, such as "tell me about yourself" and "why do you want to work here?" But when applying at Business Insider and other journalism jobs, my questions were tailored to my specific writing role. For instance, I almost always got asked about articles I've written in the past.

While the tool does a good job covering basic interview queries, it would be nice to have questions tailored for particular jobs or industries (which LinkedIn said it plans to do eventually).

When you click on a question, you get a short description of what it means and a video explaining how to approach your answer. Premium members also get a video that includes someone answering the question and receiving feedback.

When you click on a question, you get a short description of what it means and a video explaining how to approach your answer. Premium members also get a video that includes someone answering the question and receiving feedback.

I found the video on how to approach answering the question extremely helpful. A careers expert at LinkedIn breaks down what the employer is looking for in your answer, including what types of skills they want to hear about.

I found the video on how to approach answering the question extremely helpful. A careers expert at LinkedIn breaks down what the employer is looking for in your answer, including what types of skills they want to hear about.

The video on how to approach answering the questions included a lot of details, so I took notes to remember all the points.

The video on how to approach answering the questions included a lot of details, so I took notes to remember all the points.

After watching the video and reading the tips, you can practice answers. LinkedIn gives you two options: make a video of yourself or write down your answers. I opted for the video.

After watching the video and reading the tips, you can practice answers. LinkedIn gives you two options: make a video of yourself or write down your answers. I opted for the video.

Getting on camera and having to look at myself was really weird at first. I felt rather silly using this feature and watching myself answer questions. I kept giggling and stopping the video.

Getting on camera and having to look at myself was really weird at first. I felt rather silly using this feature and watching myself answer questions. I kept giggling and stopping the video.

I then decided to grab a private room in my office, similar to where a real interview would take place. Getting in the mindset that this was actually a real interview helped me a ton. I still had some rough starts, but eventually I got into the zone and could answer questions with a straight face.

I then decided to grab a private room in my office, similar to where a real interview would take place. Getting in the mindset that this was actually a real interview helped me a ton. I still had some rough starts, but eventually I got into the zone and could answer questions with a straight face.

After recording myself, LinkedIn processed the video. Uploading my responses took about a minute or so.

After recording myself, LinkedIn processed the video. Uploading my responses took about a minute or so.

Since I am a Premium member, I watched the sample video to see how the mock candidate answered the same prompts.

Since I am a Premium member, I watched the sample video to see how the mock candidate answered the same prompts.

Having a sample answer helped me see that I tended to speak off topic. Watching myself was awkward, but I realized I should have made more eye contact with the interviewer and stopped saying "um" so much.

Having a sample answer helped me see that I tended to speak off topic. Watching myself was awkward, but I realized I should have made more eye contact with the interviewer and stopped saying "um" so much.

I decided to write out my responses for the next question, "Why should we hire you?" This is similar to what I used to do when practicing for real job interviews.

I decided to write out my responses for the next question, "Why should we hire you?" This is similar to what I used to do when practicing for real job interviews.

Even though writing my answers was a lot less awkward than recording myself, I found that I liked the videos a lot better. I think it was helpful to get out of my comfort zone and get into the interview mindset. If I had an actual interview, I would have felt more comfortable after practicing with video.

Overall, I had a great time with the LinkedIn tool and would definitely use it next time I apply to a job — though hopefully not any time soon!

Overall, I had a great time with the LinkedIn tool and would definitely use it next time I apply to a job — though hopefully not any time soon!

For me, the best part about using the tool was less about knowing how to answer the questions, and more about getting comfortable with the actual interviewing process. Calming my nerves before meeting a hiring manager is very challenging. I believe using the videos to compare my performance to others could have made me less nervous once the real interview happened.

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