Job interviews are not always fun, but they are usually a required part of making a career jump.

If you find yourself getting called to meet the hiring manager, don't fret. Simply make sure that you're prepared. When you take the time to research, organize and anticipate ahead of time, you will feel more comfortable and confident during the actual interview and have a better chance of securing the position.

Following are five tips to help you ace your next job interview...

1. Research.

The more you know, the more you will stand out. Before you even leave for the interview, take time to research the company and position. Learn little details that the person interviewing you may not even know and find ways to work them into the conversation naturally. This knowledge will not only give you the chance to showcase how dedicated you are to the position but also how much time and energy you've invested in getting to know the company. 

2. Practice - out loud.

Remember the old adage, "practice makes perfect" because that's exactly what you'll want to do to prepare for your interview. You can find lists of the most common job interview questions online and practice real-life answers to each of them. You'll want to be prepared for some unconventional interview questions to be thrown your way too. You might feel silly while you're practicing aloud but the act of doing so will mentally prepare you much better than just memorizing them. One of the best things you can do is to have a friend or family member interview you and provide feedback on your responses.

3. Use real-life examples.

The difference between, "I am really great at email marketing" and "I increased the email marketing conversion rate at my last job by 16 percent within two months" is profound. Find examples of success stories from your previous work experience and be prepared to use them. The more specific, the better. Hiring managers want to hear real results--not just "fluff" that can't be backed up. These examples help you prove your strengths, rather than just telling someone about them.

4. Don't just answer - ask.

Interestingly, a job interview isn't necessarily all about you. In fact, interviewers want to determine how strong of a fit you would be with their company and the particular department you would work in. Make sure you have a list of prepared questions ("how much will I make" and "how much vacation time will I get?" should not be on this list). Great options are:

  • "What key objectives will this position need to achieve?"
  • "What is a typical day like in this position?"
  • "What attributes are you most looking for in your new hire?"

Most interviewers will give you set time at the end to ask questions--three to four thoughtful questions are generally plenty. Be respectful of their time. Do feel free to interject relevant questions throughout the process to make the interview more of a conversation than an interrogation.

5. Remember to say thank you twice.

Naturally, it is important to sincerely thank everyone you meet during the interview process, and it is also critical to follow up with a written thank-you note. Send a short thank you via email shortly after the interview, followed by a longer handwritten note via mail. A genuine, well-written thank-you note can solidify your first impression and help you rise above the rest.

When you arrive with your best examples and best food forward, you will be ready to shine in your job interview. Prepare and practice and make sure you lead with a smile and strong handshake.

If you need to say "can I come back to that question?" it is better to provide a thoughtful response than a hurried one. While interviewing a job may never be your favorite aspect of job hunting, the more you prepare, the more you will succeed.