Now is the time to make sure you’re prepared for that next big interview you’ve been hoping to get. Think of it like taking a test in high school or college. Unless you’ve mastered the subject already, some extra studying can really pay off. Do some basic research. Find out as much as you can beforehand.

Call the person who scheduled your interview and ask questions: Who will you talk with? Is it the person you’d work for, or are you interviewing with human resources? What’s the dress code? And feel free to ask for a job description. Be a company expert. You can find nearly anything online these days. The best place to start is with the potential employer’s Web site.

This basic research won’t take a whole lot of time and can separate you from other candidates. Have a well-thought-out answer ready when the person interviewing you asks about your accomplishments. If you’re a volunteer, don’t be afraid to mention the impact you’ve had. Plan your outfit, get some rest and leave in plenty of time so you are not late.