How to research a company before a job interview

Einstein

Everyone knows that you should research the company before an interview and it sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often interviewers feel that a candidate hasn’t researched them enough.
 
There are three main areas you should research;

  • The company
  • The interviewer
  • The role

  •  

    The Company

    • Don’t just have a look at their home page and think that will be enough. You need to look at the whole website. Pay particular attention to their “About us”, news/press releases and careers pages. These should give you an insight into the ethos of the company, the type of person they hire and what they have been doing.
    • Make sure you’ve checked their social media channels as well. The chances are they’ll be posting different types of content across the different websites so make sure you look at them all.
    • Google the company as well – this should tell you more about what they’ve been doing.
    • Check out www.glassdoor.co.uk and see if the company has been reviewed. This website exists for employees to rate their employers and the interview process. Do take negative reviews with a pinch of salt though, most people leaving reviews have also left the company and so are less likely to be positive about it.
    • Who are their competitors and what are they up to? How does this company sit in the market place?

    Once you have this information then reference it during the interview. You could, for instance, say “I see you have recently won an award for innovation. I’m looking to work for a company that is pushing the boundaries in their field ”, “From my research I can see you’re working on some exciting projects such as … That really interests me because …! or “I see you have a high score on Glassdoor. Why do you think people enjoy working here so much?”

    If you’ve done all this hard work, make sure they know about it.
     

    The Interviewer

    • Now I’m not suggesting that you become friends on Facebook or find out how they take their coffee, but you should find out a bit about the person you’ll be meeting. The company might have a “meet the team” section on their website. If so, check out their bio. You should always research them on LinkedIn as well. Not everyone has a profile, and not all of them are complete, but it’s a great starting point.
    • Don’t forget about other social media such as Twitter as well as technical sites such as GitHub and StackOverflow if they’re relevant.

    If there are any commonalities then mention them. If they’ve done anything particularly interesting then ask them about it. This is great for giving you something to talk about whilst walking to the interview room and, again, it shows you’ve done your research.

     

    The Role

    • This one is fairly easy. Have a look through the job spec and highlight all the things you’ve done that match their requirements. Don’t just talk about how you’re responsible for those requirements, prepare actual examples of how when you’ve done those things. Just because you’re responsible for something doesn’t mean you actually do it!
    • If there’s anything that you don’t meet, what can you do to change that? Do you have any transferrable skills that could overcome the deficit?
    • Have a look on their website and see if they are advertising the role themselves. That might give you a different angle on the role.

    Once you have done these things you are in a great position, not only to demonstrate that you have bothered to make the effort, but also to know more about the company and if you’d like to work there.
     
    Good luck with your interview.


    Victoria Harlock

    Victoria is the Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as Recruitment Consultant for 5 years, she moved into Office Management over 11 years ago now. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn

     


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