How to Ace Your Next Job Interview

Congratulations! Based on your stellar resume, you’ve landed a face-to-face interview for a new position. Now, the only thing standing between you and the job of your dreams is the interview. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of qualified candidates run into trouble. Avoid common mishaps and stand out from the crowd with these tips for in-person job interviews.

Practice and Prepare – Practice makes perfect, so rehearse your responses to common interview questions. Think of concrete, specific examples you can use to highlight your skills. Go beyond the bullet points of your resume to explain your previous positions and the experiences they provided. Practice with a friend or in front of a mirror to ensure you’re speaking at an appropriate pace, and to uncover any nervous habits that may be distracting during the interview.

Follow Instructions – Were you asked to bring in a completed application, ID or references? Read all instructions carefully beforehand, as neglecting just one of these items can send the wrong signal to potential employers. Even if not explicitly asked, always come prepared with extra copies of your resume. Your interviewer may not have a copy handy – or even have a copy at all! When printing your resume, use a high quality laser paper like Boise POLARIS® Premium Laser paper. Taking this extra step shows thoughtfulness and attention to detail – and may set you apart from other candidates.

Do Your Research – Demonstrating a thorough knowledge of the company and industry can give you a tremendous edge over other applicants, and indicates your seriousness about the position. At the very least, familiarize yourself with the company’s website, executive bios and examples of the company’s work. The best applicants are able to weave this information into their responses to show how their skills can bring value to the company. Be sure to ask personalized questions regarding the interviewer’s role and experiences – it’s a great way to show you’ve done your homework and stand out from the crowd.

Follow Up – The interview doesn’t end when you walk out the door. Always follow up with a thank-you note reiterating your interest in the position. This also is your opportunity to leave a positive final impression, as well as mention any skills or experiences you forgot to discuss during the interview. Aim to send your note within 24 hours of the interview.