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 doesn’t know enough about them.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 start stalking the hiring manager to find out what their favourite coffee is, 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.
  • Whilst you’re on LinkedIn it’s also worth checking out anyone else who currently works at the company.

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.
  • If there’s anything that you don’t meet, what can you do to change that?
  • 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 Watkins is Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as a Recruitment Consultant for 5 years she moved to Office Management for an IT consultancy 7 years ago. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+

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