Researching a company for your job interview

Researching a company for your job interview
Researching a company for your job interview

Just before you go in for a job interview, researching the company will help make your interview a smoother ride. It is forgivable to miss out on some interview questions, your qualifications and stellar resume can atone for that, but missing simple questions about the company is unforgivable.

What you are communicating to your prospective employer is that ‘I don’t give a hoot about your company’ and the employer response is always the classical ‘neither do I…about you.’

In less than 10 minutes of reading this article, you will acquire some simple and complex ways to research a company properly for your job interview. There is a chance that even though you research a company before you sit for an interview, you are not doing it properly.

When you step in for an interview (physical or virtual space), you want to feel confident and ready. The easiest way to save yourself from embarrassment is to know the company.

What information do I need to know about the company? Where should the focus of my research be? Where can I get such information cheaply and easily? These are some of the questions that we will cover in this article.

What to Research?

It is common knowledge that before going in for a job interview, you have to know some information about the company you want to work with. It may not be possible to know everything about the company, and while no knowledge is wasted, not everything about the company is useful for the interview.

The interviewer will not expect you to know the latest gossips in the company or the names and payment records of all the employees in the company. If the interviewer does, he or she just probably wants to waste your time.

What you need to research are the basics about the company such as the company’s name, founding date, nature of the business, name of the founder, the necessary directors or managers, skills and experiences the company wants, and the mission or goals of the company.

Where to Research?

The first place to research is the company’s website if it has one. Open the website and milk all the information you can get from there. Find out the products or services the company is into, what makes them unique, who are their ideal customers and how the company makes its money.

The company website always has an ‘About Us’ page. Read it to understand the culture of the company. Also, the ‘Meet Our Team’ link can provide you information about the top players in the company.

The ‘Career’ link or similar links through which the company offers insight into what kind of roles they employ for can give you insight into the kind of people the company is looking to hire.

Researching the company’s website can take a lot of time but it is worth it. It will provide you all the key information you need to ace that interview, especially the most dreaded interview question ‘why do you want this job?’

Another way to research the company is to use search engines such as Google and Bing to search for the company. Input the company’s name in the search box and go through the information that pops out.

This step is short and easy to perform. You will get the latest news about the company, the company’s website, and tons of other information from this step. You can use this news in the job interview to impress your interviewer(s) by telling them the latest about the company.

Social media is another valuable source for researching a company you want to work with. Almost every company has an online social media presence. The popular social media platforms companies use include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Check out the company’s social media pages and look at its latest activities to get a grasp of what the company is all about. You can learn a lot about the culture of the company from their social media pages. A small bio-data about the company on the social media pages is also a useful read.

Researching the company’s competitor is a deeper step that can help you nail that interview. You can use to find a list of competitors for the company you want to work with. Just type in the company’s name in the search box and hit the search button.

Interviewers tend to throw in this question “how can you improve us?” in the mix. By researching the competitors before the interview, you will better understand the marketplace and what the company can do to beat its competitors.

Use LinkedIn to find out the kind of employees the company typically hires. Look at what employees in the company have in common. If possible, research the LinkedIn page and social media accounts of the job interviewer(s) to better prepare you for what to expect.

This is a lot of work and you do not have to do all if you do not have the time. The key is to do thorough research to help you stand a better chance of passing the interview.

Why research the company for your interview?

Companies are looking to hire committed and passionate workers who share their values and goals. Your interviewer is not going to overlook a poor knowledge base about the company when hiring. Once the interview establishes you know little about the company, there’s very little you can do to impress them.

Proper research of the company demonstrates your excitement and willingness to be a team player and useful addition to the workforce. It is the edge you need to be able to convince the interviewer you are the right guy for the job.

You can never do justice to the ‘why do you want to work for us’ without having a well-grounded knowledge about the company’s culture and practices.

Before you do that job interview, ensure you research the company. It will save you from embarrassing yourself in job interviews.