Anyone who has ever conducted a job search knows that it is important to research a company before your interview. But what, exactly, should that research entail? How much research should you conduct? What information do you really need to know? Here is your comprehensive guide to pre-interview company research.
The Company Website
Always start with the company website, but make sure you study it the right way. Don’t just skim through the main sections and consider your research a success. You need to sit down with the site, prepare to spend some time there, and of course, take notes.
Study the products and services the organization offers so you can speak about them intelligently with the interviewer. Pay close attention to the benefits they highlight so you understand who they are targeting and how their products and services make life better for their customers
Spend some time with the company mission and values statement, as well. This will help you answer questions about why you want to work there and what you like about the organization.
Social Media Channels
Blogs, videos and social media profiles can add a lot to your research efforts. Check out LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and any other channels the employer advertises. Companies use social media to showcase their personality and to connect with others, so make use of these valuable tools to your advantage.
The topics a company covers on social media can provide insight into organizational culture and values. The content they push shows you what their priorities are and what they want others to know about them.
You will likely want to spend the bulk of your time on LinkedIn. Here you will learn about the company structure, you will see who works there and who the key players are. You can also do a bit of recon on the people you’ll be interviewing with. Learn their roles and use their profiles to craft thoughtful questions for your meeting.
Make a list of local and industry-related publications. Then sit down and search their websites for news and information about the company and its key players. These pubs can provide insight into new areas the company is investing in, whether or not they have conducted layoffs in the last year and other important information.
Browse through employer reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed, but remember to take these with a grain of salt. Read as many reviews as you can to try and get the full picture, and don’t be swayed by one or two disgruntled people.
You may also want to take some time to browse competitor websites, as well. This doesn’t have to be as thorough, but do get a feel for these companies, what they do and what they do differently than the firm where you will interview. Not everyone asks about competitors, but it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
If you are a talented job seeker searching for the right new opportunity to grow your career, the recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions are here to help. We will partner with you to match you with positions that align with your career goals and help you grow over time, and we can help you polish your resume until it shines. Contact us today to amplify your job search.