4 Things to Research Before Your Next Job Interview
You’ve spent countless hours meticulously tailoring your resume and making sure your cover letter is error free. Then, it happens—you’re asked to come in for an interview! But that’s just the beginning, and now the real work begins. You can recite all of the answers to the toughest interview questions you want, but nothing will kill your chances faster than stepping into the interview knowing next to nothing about the company. Taking the time to research a company is what separates the serious candidates from the rest of the talent pool, so be sure to take the following steps to be on your A-game.
First, keep things simple and start by checking out the company’s website. Take a look around to become familiar with the company’s history, mission statement and core values, as this information shows how the company stands out among its competitors. Be sure to take note of anything particularly interesting that sets this company apart from others—like a commitment to a cause that you strongly identify with. Reviewing these things, along with any other “basics” you should be familiar with prior to the interview, will save you the embarrassment of asking something during the interview that could easily be checked on the website.
Now take it a step further and do some social media stalking. Does the company have a strong presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram? Social media profiles are a great way to gauge a company’s voice and see what they’re up to. Oftentimes, a company will post happenings within the office, helping to give you a feel for the company’s culture. In addition, companies who strive to be thought leaders in their industry understand that content is king, and will often post their blog’s content onto their social channels. Picking a few favorite posts and discussing them (when appropriate) will undoubtedly leave a strong impression among the interviewers.
After you’ve gained a solid understanding of the image the company projects online, it’s time to see what others have to say. Visiting job review websites will give you a chance at viewing the company from the outside-in, as these websites are a great resource for previous employee reviews and salary information. However, be sure to take any negative reviews with a grain of salt. Coming across a negative review or two may feel discouraging, but try to remember that everyone’s experience will be different—no matter the company.
Finally, don’t forget to research the company’s industry as well as its competitors. Being able to talk about how the company fits into the industry as a whole and how it stands amongst its competitors shows your ability to understand the bigger picture. Look up competitors by going to the company’s LinkedIn page and scroll down to the “Other Companies People Viewed” section. A few of the company’s competitors should show up. Do the exact same thing with those competitors until you start to catch on to who are the biggest industry players.
Arming yourself with this knowledge doesn’t just show off your thorough researching skills—your confidence and authenticity will shine through, knowing that you properly prepared for the interview.