I am often asked by friends and acquaintances for tips on how they can get a job or, even better, how they can land the job at the company of their dreams.

This often sparks an interesting conversation.  After 17 years working in the media business and hiring talent, I have come to realize that many women haven’t been taught simple hiring tips that can make all the difference in an interview.

To help demystify the interview and hiring process, I’ve compiled my top 10 easy tips for this How To Get Hired blog series, where I’ll explore—in detail—one tip at a time.

Let’s empower you to get that dream job you’ve always wanted!

Tip 1: Appearance Matters.

Now before we go any further, I want to clarify what this means. When I talk about appearance, I am not saying that every woman needs to starve herself, book an appointment for plastic surgery or spend her life savings on a gorgeous Versace suit. Quite the contrary!  What I’m talking about is you being the best version of yourself, while also being mindful of where you are interviewing.

No manager wants to hire a sloppy, insecure, disheveled person who shows up nervous and sweating.  Nor does a manager want to hire a woman who comes into a professional environment with a mini-skirt on and too much makeup—from the hiring manager’s perspective, this is an HR nightmare waiting to happen.

How to strike the balance between who you are and where you want to work? The good news is, this is all in your control!

First, do your research.

Know what the company culture is all about. Some of the new tech start-ups definitely favor a more relaxed and creative vibe; this is often reflected in their employees’ appearance.

Find pictures of their offices and employees. Pay attention to what they’re wearing. Better still, contact someone who already works there to ask them about suitable attire.

Second, take care of yourself mentally and physically.

Again, this does not mean you need to be a size 2. It does mean you have to respect and care for yourself. When you look and feel your best, your confidence comes through. I recommend defaulting to a pencil skirt or dark pantsuit. You want to be yourself at all times, and if that means that you spice up your business attire with a colorful pair of earrings, so be it.  Just be sure to look polished, professional and pulled together.

Third, never—ever!—be more underdressed than the person interviewing you.

A cardinal rule, if ever there was one. Just don’t do it. If you do, you may as well turn around and walk back out.

With a little prep work and a shot of self confidence, your interview is off to a solid start. Stay tuned for more tips on How to Get Hired!