I’m sure you’ve heard it before- “make sure you research a company before your interview!” However, all that is provided to you is a vague explanation of why you should do it followed by inexplicit ways to gather information. Researching a company in-depth is a crucial aspect of interviewing that, at times, is overlooked. Nothing is worse than being asked a question about a company that you are unable to answer, demonstrating that you are unprepared. Additionally, through this research, you may be able to find what principles are central to the company and highlight those qualities in yourself. Fortunately, we’re here to diminish and replace the vague and inexplicit information previously provided with productive and helpful tips so you can reap the benefits of being prepared.
Browse their website
When seeking information about an organization, the best place to begin and find the most accurate details is on the company’s corporate website. First, educate yourself on the history of the company- usually placed in the “about us” section. After that, read their mission statement and the values they uphold. Ensuring you make the connection of their history with their purpose and values will allow you to be thoroughly knowledgeable of what they strive to do, why they do it, and how. Familiarizing yourself with their history, mission, and values will also allow you to determine if you align with them, or not. On their corporate site, you can view a company’s social responsibility, which may entail its endeavors regarding sustainability. As you browse, navigate to the “press room” or the page that showcases the latest news about the organization to inform yourself. Also, knowing about their investors/shareholders and finances as a whole is helpful. If possible, visit the page(s) corresponding to those. The products and services offered by the company, especially bestsellers, are necessary to be aware of and can give you an edge during the interview. Before departing from the website, check out their “meet our team” or “executives” page to get a brief overview of the employees who work there.
Visit their social media accounts
Every company has social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter- and if not, they are in the process of creating them. Visiting their social media pages will allow you to observe how they portray themselves to customers, investors/shareholders, and other employees. Also, postings may give you some insight into the company’s culture and how they interact with each other. Their social media will provide you with news that you may have missed, or wasn’t on their company website- and if so, this shows interviewers that you have thoroughly done your research. LinkedIn specifically can help you learn more about the employees within a company including their educational and professional backgrounds, in addition to skills they hold (which may be essential to the company).
Use google to search for information
There are various ways to find current events and news about an organization, as this is the third one mentioned so far. Google provides news from the past and present, which gives you the opportunity to read about a company’s history. Using a search engine such as Google allows you to learn more about the public perception of the company in the form of reviews, feedback, and comments. To add to that, HuffPost writer Susan Joyce wrote, “reality about an employer could be quite different than what the website tells you, depending on the quality of the website or the quality of the organization.” Is it in your best interest to form your own opinion of a company and its business activities through research to determine if working for them will be beneficial for you.
Use Glassdoor to find out more information about the employer and company
Glassdoor is a helpful resource when seeking information within an organization. As stated by Glassdoor, their website provides users with “a growing database of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, benefits reviews, interview reviews along with questions asked during interviews, in addition to office photos.” Glassdoor allows users to anonymously submit information about their companies- whether that be positive or negative. As useful as Glassdoor is, some information may not be extremely accurate due to situations or experiences individuals may have had; therefore, it is most effective when used in conjunction with other resources.
Do research on the field and competitors
The ability to discuss, and being knowledgeable about trends in the industry related to the company you are interested in is impressive to interviewers. To add to that, knowing key competitors and what differentiates an organization from those competitors will give you an advantage. You can do this through a quick google search on a company’s biggest competitors, and then visiting those company websites. In addition to that, you can also use the methods previously mentioned (visiting the news section on websites, using google news) to be knowledgeable about business moves that competitors are making within the industry. In a nutshell, you will be completing the same research tips given above and apply them when seeking information on competitors.