One of the most important ways to prepare for an interview is thoroughly researching the company you are applying to. Having your interview techniques perfected is only one side of the interview, but all the knowledge and information needed is just as important.
It is important to research the company, for yourself, your interview, and your interviewer for various reasons. Researching the company also requires knowing what to look for and where, and getting it right will ensure that you put yourself forward as the perfect candidate.
Why you should research the company: For yourself.
Researching the company is not only beneficial for aiding you in your interview, but also aiding you in understanding what your desired role is really about, who you may be working for, and how suitable you for the role as well as the company.
Things you may want to research for yourself:
Why you should research the company: For your interview
This will be a highly important aspect of your interview, if you are lost for words when your interviewer asks you how much you know about the company, it will show a lack of preparation. It is standard nowadays to have at the very least, the core knowledge of the company.
Things you may want to research for your interview:
Why you should research the company: For you interviewer
You should be researching the company in order to make it clear to your employer how much you know about the company, in turn, the interviewer will be able to assess you better as a candidate with full knowledge of what the role and the company entails. This will give you an edge against those who may have stumbled on this stage of the interview!
How do I carry out research on a company?
When interviewing for a company, you will want to be looking at various channels available, as each will allow you to give you insight on a particular aspect of the company which may help you and your interview.
Here are the best places to consider looking:
The company website will be your main source of guidance for the start of your research. This is where you can find everything you might need to know about the company, and where to find the rest of whatever else you may need to research.
The “about” page is always the best starter, as it will give you a brief history of the company. You may also find any additional pages dedicated to important information.
Product or service knowledge is also key in your research, knowing what the company offers is possibly the most important thing to know. Another way to learn more about the services or products is to go to the location, or call up their offices and have them take you through the products themselves.
A company’s social media is often used for interacting with the public, and you will often see how they wish to be portrayed to their customers. This will allow you to engage in the way that the company provides its customer service, which you may want to portray also during your interview. Social media may additionally allow you an insight on the more social side of the company, and how they may interact with outside parties, or even within the employees of the company itself.
LinkedIn is the best personal social tool you will be able to use at your advantage when researching a company. A company LinkedIn page will give you the same basic information you can find on the website, with the addition of a social networking aspect. You will be able to see who current employers are affiliated with, and how they showcase themselves professionally.
An employee’s LInkedIn page may show you how you how you yourself can showcase your professionalism during an interview.
The press is a good source of information showing how the company is seen and portrayed to the public from an outside source. The amount of press that they have may also be an indicator of how important their reputation is to them, who they may be affiliated with, or even if they have any titles or awards. There are plenty of things you can infer from the press articles written as well.
Researching the competition is a good source in order to compare where the company is at in the market. Competitors often come up as a topic during an interview, and will often be an indirect question from the interviewer to see how much you know about the company, as well as testing your business awareness. So make sure you know those competitors!
Research is a great part of interview preparation and getting it right can be hard work. Finding the right information, then storing it, then showcasing it in an interview requires the right mindset and skills. For the most part, not everything you have researched may even come up during an interview. But being fully prepared with all the information available will make sure your interview goes smoothly!