We’ve all been there. You’ve got a big interview coming up and you’re stressing out the night before. You’ve cycled through at least three different outfits and have printed out multiple copies of your resume in preparation for the big day. But you can’t help but wonder, is it enough? How can you ensure that you’ll nail the interview?

At 8x8, we’re proud to have a team of people who are willing to tackle questions like this and other common workplace challenges. In this new blog series, we’ll be featuring our employees sharing 8 tips based on their experiences, expertise and, in some cases, lessons learned. While these blogs won’t be about our products or services, they’re written by the experts who make them possible!

With an ever-evolving market and definition of the “ideal candidate”, these 8 tips can help you land your dream job.

1. Do your research

As soon as you have confirmation from the company, make sure you are prepared with the right information going into the interview. Research each and every one of your interviewers to help you find commonalities and conversation-starters among them. Look up the company’s history and know what makes the company unique, its mission statement/core values, and recent news/revenue/stock surrounding the company. Having this information at hand shows not only that you are prepared, but that you are invested. It sets a standard and will help you stand out amongst the crowd.

2. Come Prepared with Intelligent Questions

Not only do you want to feel comfortable with your interviewer, but you also want to impress them. Create questions based on the research that you had previously done, highlighting topics that pertain to your potential work duties, the company’s growth and/or future, and even why they themselves continue to work there.

3. Have Plenty of Star Stories

More than likely, you will be asked a question with a topic surrounding an obstacle you had to overcome recently, or a moment in your professional career that you are extremely proud of. These, my friends, are Star Stories. They are meant to highlight your strengths, ingenuity, and creativity. My advice is to come prepared with one for as many interviewers as there are. Why, you ask? You don’t want to seem stale or repetitive! Having multiple Star Stories will give new information for the interviewers to discuss when deliberating. Even if they do not ask you directly, working Star Stories into any conversation will help get a big check next to your name.

4. Dress to Impress

Remember those 3 outfits you cycled through the night before? That’s a good thing! Being cognizant of what you wear to an interview can make all of the difference. Apart from your research and/or confirming with the recruiter, knowing what kind of attire to wear will definitely set you up to impress your audience. Dress with confidence, composure, and comfort.

5. Eat Beforehand

This one seems funny, but it is extremely important to eat something prior to coming onsite. Unless the company states that they will be providing lunch and/or snacks, chances are you aren’t getting squat. The last thing you want during your interview is to come off as “low-energy” or “lack-luster”. You may even save yourself from an angry stomach yelling at you in the middle of one of your conversations.

6. Arrive Early

As my mom would always say, “on time is late and early is on time”. Give yourself a cushion that allows for traffic, confusing parking garages, and any other unforeseen obstacles. The last thing you want is to sweat through your interview clothes, and knowing the area to which you are traveling allows you to have plenty of time to calm those pre-interview jitters once you arrive!

7. First Impressions Really Do Matter

This is a big one. You want to make sure your first impression is truly a memorable one. This means smiling not only with your mouth but also your eyes. Make sure you have a firm handshake and your posture is straight and full of confidence.

8. Send a Thank You

Lastly, I cannot stress how important it is to send a note, thanking the interview team and recruiter for their time. It truly is about the little things, and this is a lost pleasantry in today’s society. In my experience as a recruiter, the candidates who send a “thank you” are more memorable during deliberation and honestly have been chosen more for the job than those who did not. The amount of time that goes into preparing for a candidate’s onsite interview experience is just as much as the candidate’s time preparing for the interview itself. It shows that you care, that you are committed, and that you want to stand out.

All in all, I hope that this helps you to be better prepared for your next job interview and spares you from avoidable stress or embarrassing moments. If you have a great tip or a proven interview prep routine, I’d love to hear it! You can reach me at michael.kisha@8x8.com.