Tips for acing a job interview

King County Career Fair set for March 5 in Bellevue.

Your resume made the cut — now it’s time for you to stand out during the interview.

From deciding how to dress, to anticipating what questions the interviewer will ask, there are several stressful aspects that applicants may dwell on.

But the key to gaining confidence and acing a job interview is preparation.

Indeed’s Career Guide offers the following tips for job applicants to prepare for an interview:

• Practice strong answers. Research the company so you have a solid understanding of the job requirements and how your background makes you a great fit.

• Prepare your answer to the common question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?” Quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the company.

• Re-read the job description. Think about examples from your work history that align with these requirements. In addition, Indeed encourages applicants to prepare to be asked about times in the past when you used a specific skill. Tell anecdotes using the STAR method with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.

• Practice your answers out loud, either to yourself or with a friend.

• Prepare smart questions to ask potential employers, to show them that you are thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there. For example: “Can you explain some of the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?” or “How would you describe the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?”

• Think about first impressions and dress appropriately. Ask the job recruiter beforehand what the dress code in the workplace is and dress accordingly, or research the company to learn what’s appropriate. Check for little things: shine your shoes, make sure your nails are tidy and check your clothes for holes and loose threads.

• Arrive 10–15 minutes early. Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time.

• Practice confident, accessible body language. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders back. Before the interview, take a deep breath and exhale slowly to help you manage anxiety and boost self-confidence.

Jennifer Blanck, a longtime Toastmasters member and career coach, offers the following tips to prepare for and ace a job interview:

• Know yourself. Understand your values, priorities and how to present your strengths and weaknesses. Also take the time to prepare concrete examples that demonstrate your relevant skills and experience.

• Research the position, organization, its competitors and the interviewer. This will help you answer questions and shows you’re interested in getting the job.

• Make the right impression. Arrive at the location of the interview early, turn off your cell phone, stay focused on the interview and actively listen to the interviewer. Greet everyone you encounter with a smile and a firm handshake.

King County Career Fair

Get your resume ready for the King County Career Fair, which will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday, March 5 at the Embassy Suites Bellevue, 3225 158th Ave. SE. This free event will feature dozens of top employers from the region. For more information, visit