55111588 - business people shaking their handsKnowing that you’ve been selected to interview for a new job position is exciting. On average, every corporate job listing attracts some 250 new resumes, which means you’ve already done something to stand out. Nice work!

Unfortunately, just because you have an interview scheduled doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll land the job. So, what steps can you take in order to improve your chances of scoring a new gig? If you spend some time and effort preparing in advance, you can make a good impression. The following tips will help:

Do your research. When you get a call back from a company, make sure you take the time to visit their website and various social media channels. What kind of content do they post? Can you get a feel for what their company culture is like? Have they won any recent awards or gained any recognition? Take notes so you get a full picture of what the business stands for. The clearer a picture you can formulate, the easier it will be for you to interact with whoever is conducting the interview.

Look the part. Every company has different rules when it comes to dress code and professional presentation, but you always want to get into an interview looking your best. Make sure your clothing is ironed, clean, and in good condition. Humans are visual creatures and we formulate opinions on others in merely seconds. Don’t set yourself up for failure by wearing something that has holes in it, stains, or wrinkles. Take a few extra minutes to polish your shoes. Minor things like this can set you apart from other interviewees that aren’t as well prepared.

Ask questions. A potential employer wants to know that you’re invested in the work that they are doing. Before attending your interview, come up with a list of questions that show you’ve done your homework. Experts recommend asking questions like “What are the day-to-day job responsibilities for this job like?” and “Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?”

By planning ahead, and focusing your time and energy on pre-interview preparation you’re far more likely to stand out and make a good impression. You’ve got this. Good luck!