Finally, all that time and hard work have paid off getting your resume in front of the right people. You have an interview; the time and date are set. Chances are, no matter how many interviews you’ve gone to, you are feeling a bit apprehensive. You’ll be under the microscope answering all those questions.

Even if you read sample after sample of interview questions and answers, there’s only so much guesswork you can do. But there’s still a way to prepare. By taking time to research the company thoroughly, and by taking time to jot down your abilities and traits you will have gone a long way in helping yourself get through the interview confidently and knowledgeably.

When you research a company, look at what its mission is, who its founders are, who some of the leaders of the company are and what they have done/are doing, and what the company offers in products and/or services. Make sure you know these things well enough so you can pull them out of your brain when and if you need to.

Next, it’s time to assess the skills and education you have. There are the obvious things, like where you attended college and some of the events/places that have helped shape you as an employee.

But also spend some time on the qualities that come naturally to you and the ones that make you unique. Are you comfortable in large groups of people? Do you like taking charge? Are you a good communicator? Are you punctual? Do you have a good sense of humor? Can you go with the flow?

Really understanding yourself and what makes you tick in the workplace is going to be invaluable.

After this initial work, it’s time to give the job description a more thorough go through. How do you fit in with this particular company? How do your skills match up with what they need?  How can you help them, and more importantly, why should they “buy” you?

Because what’s really going on at the interview is that the employer is shopping around. It pays to package yourself carefully—not just look the part and arrive promptly—but to know how and what to reveal during the interview.

For instance, you want to be able to be honest and to be yourself, but there’s a way to be intelligent about it. There’s no need to tell a potential future employer that you were bored at your former job and thus quit. Instead, you might say that you learned a lot from your previous workplace, but when this posting came up, you applied because the job offers more challenges and will allow you to grow.

Other things to be mindful about are your strengths and weaknesses. You likely already have a big list of things that you can bring to the job, but spend some time thinking about areas you need to improve in.

For instance, maybe you are a laid back person and sometimes lack an eye for details. Be prepared to be able to talk about this if asked, but the key thing is to spend more time talking about how you are working on it. You might say that lately, for all projects, you have been making very specific outlines of what needs to be evaluated and accomplished, which help you focus on the details you might otherwise miss.

Everything in a job interview is about why the employer should hire you. Naturally, those in charge of hiring are equally concerned about filling and getting a quality person who is going to show up, get the job done, get along with their co-workers, and then some. Remember, you got the interview—that proves a lot. Now it’s time to clinch the deal.