How to Research the Company Before You Interview
One of the most important parts of interview preparation is company research. The more you know about the company before the interview, the more equipped you are to answer their questions. Employers want to see that you want to work for their company. They do not want to hire someone that simply “needs a job.” They want to hire someone that wants to work for them.
You should research the company thoroughly before your interview. You cannot know “too much” about the company. Company research is a crucial tool for success.
Start on the Website
Interviewers expect you to know all of the information on their website, especially information relevant to your position. You should know the products they offer and the services they perform. You should know their mission statement and how long they have been incorporated. You should read any news that on their website. Never go to an interview without thoroughly reviewing the company’s website.
Do a Quick Web Search
Searching for a company in a search engine will often bring up other websites with information on the history of the company or published interviews with executives. All of these will have information that is useful for the interview.
Check for Press Releases
Press releases are a great place to find information for the interview. Information that the company shares to the press is always information that is useful to learn. Often you will find interesting facts and figures about the business through these press releases.
Additional Company Research Tips
You only have one chance to impress your interviewers. Company research is the best way to make sure that you are ready for the interview questions. Any source of information should be tapped. Additional ways to find company information include:
- Speak with a current or former staff member.
- Talk with someone that uses their products or services.
- See if there are blogs or social media websites that have additional information.
Look for people that you can connect with and contact anyone that may have thoughts or knowledge about the company.
What to Do With the Company Information
Researching the company is only the first step. Once you have completed gathering information, you will need to use that information to prepare for the interview. Interview preparation involves several steps.
- Familiarize Yourself With Products – Spend some time getting to know the products and services of the company. This information will make it easier on your interviewer and show that you are an informed applicant.
- Envision Your Role – Your next step is to imagine what your role will be in furthering the goals of the company. See if you have any skills, ideas or strategies that will be useful to mention during the interview. Once you have reviewed the company’s mission statement and procedures, you should have a good idea of what the employers value, and generate answers accordingly.
- Come Up With Questions – Interviews are a two way street. You should have great questions to ask the employer in addition to creating great answers.
No employer expects you to know everything about the company. Their corporate environment, strategies, procedures and practices will not be displayed on a website or listed in a search engine. These are things that you will learn throughout the interview. Company research is not intended to cover every aspect of the company.
What the research will do is provide you with knowledge of the company that you can use to provide answers during your interview that the company will value. You will also show the employer that you are truly interested in the position and have taken time out of your day to learn about the company and what it offers. Employers value that dedication, and it will quickly be evident that you are a worthwhile applicant.