Let’s face it: First interviews are intimidating. How should you dress? What questions should you ask? Or sometimes, just when you feel like you’ve nailed it, you’re thrown a curveball question that catches you completely off guard. Stress...

While there isn’t one correct way to prepare for an interview, following these helpful tips will put you on the fast-track to success and leave you feeling supremely confident in your abilities (as you should). Landing your dream job just got so much easier.

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Do Your Research

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Prior to any interview, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching the company you’re applying to, as well as the person who will be conducting your interview. Going the extra mile to learn more about an organization and the senior-level talent they’ve hired will give you a better idea of the company’s culture, not to mention the professional experience or background they favor in new candidates.

Have a Practice Run

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If you’re feeling a bit nervous, ask a family member or friend to run you through a mock interview. As you’re thinking through your answers to potential interview questions, the process shouldn’t feel as if you’re memorizing a script.

Instead, take a pen to paper and outline your greatest achievements, relevant qualifications or skills and most noteworthy professional-growth moments. Keeping these work-related wins top of mind will subconsciously keep you focused on the important stuff day of, and you’ll be less likely to draw a blank when a challenging interview question is thrown your way.

Dress the Part

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Even if you’re applying for a job in a creative field like fashion or design, you’re expected to arrive professionally dressed. End of story.

Opt for a classic look that still allows your personality to shine. Think: A fun, printed blouse tucked into high-waisted pants or a midi-length dress paired with an oversized blazer and strappy sandals. Avoid low-cut tops, spaghetti straps (or no straps at all) and knee-baring hemlines. Keep your footwear low-key and classic––no platforms, stilettos or sneakers.

Come Prepared

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Arrive prepared to speak to your resume, portfolio, or any project you’ve completed prior to the interview process. Even under pressure, it’ll prove that you know your stuff.

Ask (the Right) Questions

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Typically, at any interview’s close, there comes a time to ask questions. Ask meaningful questions about the company or position you are applying for. Inquire in a way that helps you better understand if there are opportunities for growth within the company, what the day-to-day responsibilities are in the role, or what personal and professional traits a perfect candidate should possess.

Express Your Interest

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Make the first move. If the interview went well and you’d still like to be considered for the job, follow up. Send the interviewer a ‘thank you’ note to express your continued interest in working for their company. If your interviewer doesn’t hear from you, they might assume you aren’t committed and could move on entirely to pursue other candidates.

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