Researching a Company Ahead of your Interview

Researching a Company Ahead of your Interview

Different ways of researching the company ahead of your interview

Interviewers will frequently ask candidates what they know about the company. They want to know that you understand what the company does and that you have taken steps to find out if working there will be what you want to do.

Ways of researching a company include:

The company website – this should be your first port of call, but you need to look at the site in depth. You should look at the About Us page to get a sense of the company’s values, the Services page (or equivalent) to get a fuller picture of their various activities, the staff profiles section to understand what skills and experience they value in their employees, and the site news blog (if there is one). Make special note of anything the company believes sets it apart from its competition.

Company press releases and news items – if it is a publicly quoted company there should be an Investor Relations section or similar on the website, where all their news releases can be viewed. Otherwise, you may need to do a web search on the company. Look carefully at what they have been doing, and perhaps make a note to ask a question during your interview about one of their business initiatives. Companies might for example make announcements about new joiners, receipt of funding, new product/service launches or expansion plans.

Social media – look at the company page on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. and see what announcements they have posted. Look also at sites where people can rate their employer – these comments can give you an insight into the company culture.

Talking to past colleagues who now work for the company – do you know anyone who now works for your prospective new employer? If so, they can give you vital insights into the company culture, and will maybe know the personality of the manager who will interview you.

Make notes on what you find out during your research, and look at these notes again just before you go in to the interview room.

It can certainly be easier to find information about larger companies, but you should always try and find out as much about the company as you can, regardless of its size. If you try and find information in all of the ways listed here, you may have an advantage over candidates who haven’t done any research, or who have only glanced at the company website.

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