Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. To help ease our nerves and build our confidence we can research a company before going on a job interview. There are many things you can research, including the company’s website, social media pages, and reviews from other people. When researching a company, make sure to look for things like company culture, the products and services they offer, and features in the press. You should also look for information about the company’s leadership team and the working conditions. A job interview is an opportunity for you to impress them with your knowledge of their organisation and how you could fit in.
Many people have the misconception that the hiring process is just a formality – just interviewing to have their skills assessed. They believe that as long as they show up and answer questions, they will get the job. The truth is that job interviews are not just to assess skills, but to make sure the candidate is the best fit for the company and its corporate culture.
In this article, we will focus on just the research side of preparing for a job interview, but for a more detailed guide on how to prepare for a job interview, check out our article The Ultimate Guide On How To Prepare For A Job Interview.
Best way to research a company before an interview
The best way to research a company before an interview is to find out in detail what the company does, who its customers are, and what its values are. This will help you to determine if the company is a good fit for you.
Set aside some time well in advance of your job interview to take to the internet and begin fact-finding.
You can start your research by looking at their website and reading about them on social media sites like LinkedIn or Twitter. After that use tools like Google, Google News to find examples of good press they have received in recent times. Once that is over, consider checking out websites like Glassdoor to see what current and past employees say about that business.
There is only so much public information you can find searching on the internet and often the best source of information is from someone who already works there. Turn to your social network and see if anyone you know or a mutual friend works there and would be willing to spare a bit of time to answer some of your questions.
If you are a LinkedIn user you might be able to locate existing staff with whom you share a mutual connection, who might be prepared to make an introduction for you.
Make notes of the things you observe and begin to formulate ideas of how your existing knowledge and experiences fit in with them. These could be things like:
- Have you worked in the same industry before?
- Have you dealt with similar customers before?
- Have you dealt with similar products or services?
- Have you worked for similar sized organisations?
- Do you currently work in a similar position elsewhere?
Taking the time to consider things like this can help you when answering questions in a job interview and when demonstrating how you are the right fit for the job role and the business.
What should you know about a company before a job interview
It is important to research the company before an interview. This will help you learn about the company and what it offers. It will also help you know what to expect during the interview.
When you research the company, you not only find out who they are and what they do, but whether or not you would enjoy working for them. This isn’t to say you should approach your job interview with a closed mind. Approach it with a mindset to learn as much as you can about them, sometimes appearances can be deceiving.
Look to learn these things about a business before your job interview:
- Products and services – what do they offer and who to? what makes their products special and different from the competition?
- Size of the company – How many people do they employ? Do they multiple locations?
- When were they founded? – Are they an established company with a good market share within their industry? or are they a new and upcoming business looking to make their mark.
- What is their culture – are they a relaxed organisation with ping pong in the staff lounge or are they more corporate in their approach.
- Prospects – do they have any evidence shared of a clear career path and progression for people who join their organisation?
- What is in the news – are there specific recent projects or events you could mention in your interview to show a real interest in what they have going on?
Researching a company is a vital element in achieving success in your upcoming job interview. To learn what else is important check out 13 Top Job Interview Tips.