Everything You Need To Know About Company Research Before a Job Interview
When you’re a job seeker it can sometimes feel like you’re on an endless job search; going from job interview to job interview, almost as if you are going through a continuous revolving glass door of the same interview questions and hiring processes.
It can be tempting to prepare stock standard responses, but the one area that you should always do individual research on is the company. So, what company research do you need to do before the job interview?
A basic search of the company website is not negotiable
No hiring manager or HR team will hire you if you don’t even know what the company makes or does. You don’t have to be a career expert in the area or be able to give a detailed rundown of every single department but understanding the basics of the company is an important step.
This includes the company name (you’d be amazed how often people miss this!) and research about the company online or from brochures about what the company does. This is a search that can be done if you don’t have much warning about the interview or are going company to company in one day in search of your dream job. Do it on the way to the job interview if you must!
of the times candidates don’t have any information about the company they’re applying for
Always do a Google search for the latest news and recent events relating to the company
Pay attention to what’s going on in the world in relation to the company. Recent press about the company or the industry is a fantastic way to put yourself above other qualified candidates, by being able to show your understanding of the how current events will relate to your job and the long-term growth of the company. For example, if you’re going for a job at a local hotel, you need to have some understanding of the local tourist industry and how it impacts the hotel.
Equally, if there’s recently been a scandal or the company has been involved in litigation, knowing this and being able to avoid making comments that could be sensitive show that you’re the best candidate, without having to say a word. Google news, newspapers, press releases, or simply googling your potential employer should give you some details to go on.
Make sure you know what the mission statement and vision statement are
Understanding mission and vision statements gives you a huge advantage in job interviews. They tell you all about the company values and being able to show that you have the same values through answering common interview questions with those values in mind. Maybe they’re very charity focused, in which case mentioning that you regularly volunteer with a similar charity or that’s also based in New York etc. can show how well you’ll fit in with the company.
It can also be a great conversation starter or a way to align your career goals with their values. If they work hard to be a green company, then when they ask about your five-year plan, mention that you’re aiming to find ways to make the industry more environmentally responsible, and that’s why you want to work with the company.
of job interviewers mentioned that candidates were unable to make eye contact while answering questions
Check company reviews and current employee LinkedIn profiles to understand the corporate culture
If all the company’s online presence, including social media and LinkedIn pages, are fun, young and casual, then you know that the corporate culture is likely to reflect that. Keep in mind your job posting and contact with the hiring manager:
Were emails signed off with first names or full names?
Do they use emojis?
Did the job description ask for someone “fun and flexible” or “experienced and detail-oriented”?
Another way to figure out the corporate culture is by having a look at the social media accounts of employees, such as LinkedIn. If they update with pictures of them in suits and ties at conferences, think formal. If they update with pictures of them in fancy dress at the work networking event, you’re probably looking at a more casual situation. This can give you an idea of employee functions within the company and what they’re looking for, which can help you answer questions in the best way possible.
Knowing something about the company you’re going for a job interview with is not only crucial to success but will also show the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate amongst the other job seekers.
Take advantage of the wealth of information online and find out everything you can so that you’re not only able to answer, “so what do you know about our company”, but can also tie in your aims and beliefs with theirs so that they see what a fantastic fit you’ll be with both their corporate culture and their company.