If you have a job interview approaching, reading up on the company beforehand is an easy but effective strategy to help you handle it like a pro. Walking through the door with a solid understanding of the company’s background will make you feel prepped and confident, add specificity to your answers, and demonstrate that you care about the role, making you a stand-out candidate. Starting with the company website, we’ve listed several great pre-interview research tips, along with the information to look for in each. Take notes as you go, and jot down any questions that come up—these will be great to ask during the question portion of your interview!
As you begin researching, visit the company’s website first. The site is where you will learn the basics, aka the who, what, where, etc., of the business. Look at the team page to learn the organization’s key players – CEO/President and department directors. This will also give you an idea of the backgrounds of employees in similar roles to the one you’re applying for.
The website is also where you’ll find out the company’s values and mission statement. It’s very common for an interviewer to ask you what you know about the company, which is the perfect opportunity to share this information in your own words. Even if you aren’t asked this question, you should still demonstrate that you understand what the company is all about during your interview.
If the company you’re interviewing with is on social media, scrolling through their Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook is a must-do to prepare. These platforms are a great way to test the pulse of the company and get a feel for brand messaging. How many followers do they have? What’s the vibe or overall aesthetic of their posts? How often do they post? Do they engage with their followers? These are questions you should consider, especially if you’re going out for a role in the marketing or social media sphere.
In the news
Get an idea of what the company’s media presence looks like. For example, surf the web to see if it was mentioned in any publications or on other sites recently. Maybe the company or one of its employees received an award recently. That could be a great thing to bring up during your interview, as it demonstrates that you’ve done your due diligence in preparation for the conversation.
Check out the company’s Glassdoor profile for a general overview that includes reviews, salary ranges, positions offered, and other key company insights and statistics. Keep in mind that the information is compiled by a wide array of people, from current and/or former employees to disgruntled customers. Just because it’s posted there doesn’t mean it’s entirely accurate. That being said, there’s a lot of useful information on Glassdoor that can give you a broader scope of the company you may end up working for.
There are quite a few features on LinkedIn that can give key insights into a company’s culture. Under the “What We Do” section on their profile, you can view pictures, testimonials, and cultural insights. Check out current employee’s profiles to see what their duties are. This will help you get an idea of what your responsibilities will look like. Pro Tip: In your account settings, make sure your profile is on “Private Mode,” so you don’t look like you’re stalking them!
Reading up on the company you’re interviewing with is an easy opportunity to show off your work ethic. Your interviewer will be impressed that you took the time to learn about them. As a result, your company knowledge will add specificity to your answers that sets you apart as a candidate. Your research could also teach you things that you don’t like about the company, keeping you from accepting an offer you may regret.
No need to spend a weekend pouring over the internet studying minute details. Take an hour or two to search the web with a notepad and jot down key facts or questions… that’s all it takes to make you a well-prepared, stand-out candidate.