For many people, the interview is your make-or-break event. Often, it is your one and only chance to make a potential employer see that you’re the perfect candidate for the position. It also works the other way, as it’s also an opportunity for you to gauge whether the job or the company is really the right fit for you.

The weight and importance placed on the interview naturally makes it nerve-wracking.

Here are a few interview tips that can help you handle the appointment well.

1. Do a background check on the employer. Dig deeper about the organization. Visit their website, look for forums discussing the workplace, read news about them and go to online sites that offer reviews of companies from current and previous employees. The more you know about the company, the better you can position yourself as a valuable addition to the team.

2. Do research on the position. Read the job posting carefully and understand the type of person that the company is looking for. If you know somebody in your network who holds a similar job or is in the same industry, talk to them to get a first-hand account of the requirements and expectations.

3. Know your worth. Identify your training, skills and qualifications and match them with the requirements of the job. List them down and keep each item in mind. Not only will this increase your confidence and boost your morale, it also makes it easy to bring the right point up at strategic times during the interview.

4. Practice, practice, practice. List down the most common interview questions and other questions that you think will be thrown at you, and craft the best answer for them. Face the mirror and study yourself while practicing your lines. Sit down with a friend and do a mock interview. Do this not to have a memorized script, but to be familiar and have a feel of the situation inside the interview room.

5. Present yourself well. The clichéd saying that first impressions last is never truer than during an interview. Pick the right clothes that highlight your professionalism and help you be more confident. Be kind and polite to people you meet in the office. Be neat and tidy and never, ever be late for your appointment.

6. Focus on content. After you have flashed your best smile and offered your firm, friendly and trustworthy handshake, get down to the core of the business. Provide sincere, substantial answers. Ask intelligent questions. And remember that an interview is more than just a Q-and-A, but should be an engaging conversation between you and your potential employer.

7. Follow up. Don’t forget to send a thank you email a day after the interview. This old-fashioned practice is still an effective way to remain in contact with your interviewers, as well as the perfect final touch that gets you nearer to your goal to get your dream job.

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