We get it. Job interviews are stressful. Overwhelming. Dare I say terrifying?

These tips (make that anti-tips) from Gary Burnison at organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry can help you to conquer your fears and maybe even score a job offer.

  • It’s all about your A.C.T. An interview is a cross between a trip to Disneyland and a trip to the dentist—you’re excited and scared. Most people fail because they psych themselves out. You need a game plan, and it starts with your A.C.T.—being authentic, making a connection, and giving others a taste of who you are.
  • Do your homework. You’d be shocked by how many people don’t do this. When asked, “What do you know about the company and the position you’re seeking?” they can’t give a straight answer. Prepare by reading the company’s website, press announcements, earnings reports, and analyst commentary on the company or industry.
  • Those first few seconds are everything. When people get nervous, they either go silent or start rambling. Make the most of those initial seven seconds of making a first impression. Use your verbal and nonverbal communication (eye contact, smiling) to show you’re the kind of person others want to work with.
  • No filibustering. Most people launch immediately into everything on their resume. Instead, you need to master the small talk to make a connection. Do some sleuthing on LinkedIn to find out what you have in common with your interviewer: you went to the same college or you share a passion for a sport or pastime. Just don’t try to fake it. If all else fails, scan the person’s office for something to comment on to start the conversation.
  • What gets you up in the morning? Of all the qualities I’m looking for, motivation tops the list. I want to know about people’s passion and hunger—what gets them excited about their work. Showcase your motivation by telling a brief story about what you’re passionate about and why.
  • Be prepared for that question. Everybody gets asked, “Tell me about yourself.” And everybody answers with their day-to-day activities. Be memorable! Tell a brief personal story about who you are and what makes you unique. Prepare, rehearse, and video record yourself giving a precise answer in 30 seconds or less. When you do talk about your job, focus on your accomplishments not activities—and in short “sound bites.”

Learn more career strategies at www.kornferry.com.