By Paris Close So you just landed an interview for the job of your dreams and you want to make the best possible first impression. That’s awesome! Looks like someone’s been following my resume tips! Now it’s time to land the job. You’re probably biting your nails to the nubs right now because you don’t want to blow your big chance. I’ve been there, and I know that not everyone is confident in their interviewing skills, which is understandable. The best interview tips I’ve received were surprisingly easy to follow, and have made me feel a lot less nervous about interviews ever since. So, let’s sail through this thing together with a few foolproof tips that you will make you a pro in no time. Here are three tips that will make your future interviews seem like a piece of cake. 1. Be yourself, show your personality You’ve heard this one too many times I’m sure, but that’s because it’s a great way to win over employers. I’ve learned that having a genuine and personable approach made my interviews flow a lot smoother. Employers not only want to hire someone who is qualified for the position, but someone with a compatible personality who won’t falter because of little mistakes. So loosen up, smile, and laugh if you feel like it, because employers want to see the real you. Don’t be discouraged if you trip over your words when answering questions. It happens to the best of us. They don’t want to hire robots who are above making minor slip-ups, or someone who will only tell them what they want to hear. Note your strengths, acknowledge (BUT DON’T DWELL ON!) your weaknesses, and conduct the interview based on one question: Was I true to myself? If you can walk away feeling comfortable about the way you represented yourself, you’ll feel more confident during the process. 2. Always have your resume I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to bring an extra copy of my resume to job interviews. Whether I overlooked it being mentioned in an email, or simply misheard it over the phone, I’ve experienced the embarrassment of not having a copy for an interview. For the longest time I was under the impression that if the employer schedules an interview, they will obviously have a copy of my resume on hand. Don’t assume that. Always have one handy just in case. It pays to invest in a nice portfolio. Having a portfolio not only provides a safe place to store your interview essentials, like your resume or business cards, but it also looks very professional. Believe it or not, portfolios are a great way to demonstrate to employers how organized and prepared you are. And if you keep your portfolio in the car, you’ll never forget it on your way out the door! 3. Being on time = being 10 minutes early One of the most important details of any interview is being on time. Your punctuality can make or break your chances of getting the job. Here’s how I see it. If you’re on time for an interview, like exactly on time, it suggests that you were running late and happened to make it in the nick of time. On the other hand, if you arrive 20 minutes early, it could seem desperate, or even pushy, and your energy level probably won’t be the same after waiting so long. My suggestion? Arrive 10 minutes early. It’s the perfect amount of time to get your things in order and prep yourself, without having to wait so long it messes with your flow. In any regard, being early shows employers your reliability and promptness. Which is a double-plus for any job! I know that interviews can be scary, but sometimes the fear and anxiety is more in our heads than anything else. Staying true to who you are, being prepared, and respecting the employer’s time will definitely improve your chances of getting the job of your dreams. About the author Paris Close earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Aquinas College in 2014, where he worked as an editor for the college’s newspaper for three years. He is all too familiar with the horrors of final exams, almost being hit by flying lacrosse balls, and making friends with the snooze button. Paris’s leading obsessions are Jack Falahee and Jack Falahee’s face and beard, respectively.