Searching for a new job can be exciting … and more than a little overwhelming. After dusting off and updating your resumé, you start submitting your credentials in hopes of hearing back from someone (anyone!). You’d think you’d be relieved to get a message from a prospective employer requesting an interview but, instead, your stomach just fills up with knots. Now you’re wondering if you even want to go…

Sound familiar? If so, don’t worry you’re not alone. The interview process can be so unnerving, in fact, that people stay in a job that they hate rather than trying to find something better. It doesn’t have to be torture, however. Rather than psyching yourself out and bombing the interview, use these suggestions to blow away your competition.

Research, Research, Research

This can’t be said enough! As soon as you find out that someone is interested in meeting with you, start researching their company. Find out how it was founded, what the culture is like, read their mission statement and check to see if any employees have written online reviews. This will balance things out since, you can be sure, they’ve spent time researching you.

Practice Makes Perfect

Spend some time reviewing common interview questions, tailored to your potential position, if possible. Consider how you would answer each question and start practicing how to respond out loud. Many people find that role playing with a friend can make them feel even more prepared.

Eat and Rest Well

Don’t show up to your interview exhausted and hungry. You want to put your best foot forward. The night before, plan a relaxing evening and don’t stay up late watching television or playing on your phone. Instead, keep it low-key and plan for a light, healthy breakfast. Give yourself enough time to eat and dress before your interview. You will be amazed at how calm you can feel.

Be Yourself

While you want to make a great impression, you don’t want to pretend to be something that you are not. If you do get hired, you won’t want to try to live up to some persona you created for the interview. Instead, be the best version of yourself but stay true to who you are. If you don’t think you’re good enough neither will they.

Keep Perspective

Finding a job is important, there’s no doubt about that, and some situations are more dire than others. Despite this, it is important to maintain perspective in the face of disappointment. You may have five interviews completely fail and, suddenly an opportunity arises that far outshines anything you’ve done before. You will face rejection and you will have to try different approaches but you should never give up!

What are your tried and true tips for acing an interview? Do you have any horror stories to share?