Interviewing can be a scary thing and leave even the most competent of applicants feeling judged and at the mercy of others. That’s especially true if you’re new to interviewing or haven’t been through the process in a long time. This series will take some of the mystery out of interviews and help you sell yourself to the organization.

First, it’s important to understand that the interview may happen in one day but it’s by no means a one-day endeavor. Once a prospective employer has expressed interest, one of the most basic initial steps toward a successful interview is getting it scheduled. When scheduling an interview, there are questions you can ask that will help you prepare. How long will the meeting last? Who will I be meeting with? What additional information about the position can you provide me that is not reflected in the job description? Was there anything in particular about my qualifications that interested you?

By asking questions, you are demonstrating interest and perhaps gaining additional insight that could help you in the interview. As soon as these questions are answered, you should immediately begin your research.

It’s particularly important to learn about the person that will be interviewing you: their role in the company, areas of expertise, examples of their work and perhaps outside interests. This research will help demonstrate thoughtfulness and planning, two important attributes that every employer appreciates in an employee.

Now that you’ve scheduled the interview, we’ll look at how to prepare strong answers (especially in difficult situations), what to do after an interview, and how you can evaluate the interview for yourself. We’ll also discuss situations in which you may have multiple interviews for the same job and how to tailor your approach to each one.