Successfully navigating your way through a job interview requires more than knowing how to answer the hard questions. Researching the role and the organisation that's interviewing you can potentially give you a big advantage on the competition.
Company research is one of the best ways to learn about what the company does and what they're looking for in a candidate. You’ll also be better prepared to answer questions relating to the company itself. This positions you as a diligent, forward-thinking candidate.
How to Research Companies Before Job Interviews
Visit the company website
Start by visiting the company website. There, you can review the organisation's values, history, products and services. You'll get a feel for the company's culture and potentially an idea of the management structure.
You should also read the company’s blog, case studies, and white papers to give you a better idea of their accomplishments and the aspects they value.
Browse social media
LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find more information on a company you're interested in. You'll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics.
If you have connections at the company, consider reaching out to them. Networking is very important to many industries, including tech. Not only can your connections put in a good word for you, but they may also share their perspective on the company.
Like or follow the company to get updates. The company's Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter pages each reveal something different about the business. This will give you a more well-rounded sense of the company culture and how the public interacts with it.
Use Google and Google News
Search both Google and Google News for the company name. This can be really invaluable. You may find out that the company is expanding into Asia, for instance, or received a round of start-up funding. This knowledge can help shape your responses to interview questions.
Get to know the industry and competitors
As well as researching the company, it makes sense to review the overall industry. If you're interviewing for a SAP role, for instance, it's important to be informed about the latest trends and innovations.
Get to know the company's biggest competitors and identify their successes and flaws, too. Insight into the company's industry and rivals demonstrates that you're invested and care about the role.
7 Useful Things to Research About the Business
1. The company’s culture and values
The value of a good culture fit cannot be overstated. Whether you're interviewing for a project or a full-time role, you need to make sure that your way of conducting business aligns with theirs. You want to be able to confidently say you're a good fit for the company’s culture during any job interview.
As you research the employer, pay attention to what’s written on their website regarding the company’s values and mission. You can also learn more about the company culture by following the organisation on its social media networks.
2. The company's clients, products, and services
It's important to have an idea of the type of work you’ll be doing once you're successful in your interview. Having a good idea of who the company’s clients are and the types of products and services are offered will allow you to prepare answers to questions that have relatable context to the interviewer.
Demonstrating your strengths within the context of the interviewer's frame of reference will make it easier for them to understand how you will best fit into their organisation.
3. News and recent events involving the employer
When you go into a job interview, it’s always a good idea to be knowledgeable about the company’s latest news and updates.
Most companies have a page on their website dedicated to press releases and events. This is a great source for you to find out information regarding the company’s latest news and updates.
4. The skills and experience the organisation values
You need to know what the company looks for in a qualified candidate. You should have a good idea of this already if you tailored your CV specifically for this role. You need to continue focusing on these skills in the interview stage to back up what you've written down.
5. Key players of the business
The key players within an organisation are those employees who hold important positions in the company. These individuals can be managers, department directors, and especially the CEO or director of the company.
You can find out who the key players of the organisation are by reading the employer’s “About” page and employee bios. It’s also a good idea to check out what these individuals say on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Additionally, it's helpful to discover who the interviewer will be. This will give you an advantage during the interview because you’ll have a better chance of connecting with them and sparking a meaningful conversation.
6. The inside scoop
To ensure you’re fully prepared for the job interview, our recruitment consultants will give you the benefit of our knowledge. We cultivate long term relationships with our clients, so we can give you inside details about the role and the company that you can’t find online.
7. Where the interview will take place
This seems like a simple one, but you'd be surprised by the number of people who get lost on the way to an interview. You want to make the best possible impression and being late doesn't help that.
Don't just rely on the sat nav, take a trip up to the interview location before the interview day to get accustomed to the area, find parking and know where you need to go when you get out of the car.
How to use this research in your interview
During a job interview, your interviewer will ask questions designed to help them get to know you. But their main goal is to determine whether you're a good fit for the position and company. Your company research will make your responses to questions compelling and show that you'll be a valuable asset to the business.
Plus, your knowledge will help you give a specific answer if you're asked why you'd like to work for the company. You can share details about things you find admirable about the company, its mission, or its culture.
Success in an interview is all about the preparation. Know all the questions, know all the answers and you'll sail through.