Do Your Research: What You Need to Know Before a Job Interview

We’ve all experienced those darn pre-interview jitters. Figuring out what to wear, how to get there, what to say and everything in between can all be a little overwhelming. While there’s only so much you can control, one thing you can do to ease your nerves and boost your confidence is thorough research of the company you’re interviewing with. Since your goal of your interview is impressing them and proving that you truly want the job, there’s no better way to do that than by showing up prepared with the right research. Knowing your stuff during an interview shows your true interest in the company as a whole and what they do, so here’s 5 things you should research about the company right now to better prepare you for your interview.

Know the basics.

If you show up to an interview and spend your question time asking about the company locations, size, CEO, or products, they most likely won’t be impressed. These are essentials to know not just for your interview, but to get a better understanding of the company itself and help you decide if you really want to work there, so showing up not knowing the basics can come off looking like you aren’t truly interested in the job. It only takes a few minutes and an internet connection to learn these quick facts, so put the effort in before the interview. This way, you also have more time to ask more meaningful questions that can impress your interviewer.

Know the industry.

Doing your research into the industry and competitors of the company you’re interviewing for is essential and will truly impress your interviewer. Do some external research outside of the company website to get a good feel for the industry as a whole. Is it a growing industry? Is it saturated with competitors? Knowing a few hot industry issues will give you a better idea of the future and how the company positions itself in that market related to its competitors.

It’s also a good idea to know a little bit about those competitors, including what they do differently and how they size up in relation to where you’re interviewing. Finally, you should check out the company’s financial status through a third-party website, such as the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, to get a good grip on where the company is headed financially. Knowing this information will make for more valuable conversation during your interview and gives you a basis to ask well-informed questions.

Know their differentiator.

What makes this company special? Knowing the answer (Or at least, what the company promotes as the answer) is one of the most important things you need to understand before entering an interview. A Company’s differentiator can be the reasoning behind why they sell their products or why they are in business in general, and it may be the reason you want to work there. Maybe they do what other competitors don’t do, maybe they offer a unique product or service, or maybe they pride themselves behind their company cause and philanthropic efforts. Find the company values and be sure to reference them during your interview. Spend some time diving into their “About Us” page on the website, dissecting their company purpose, and learning about their distinct values that go beyond day-to-day responsibilities.

Know what they’ve been up to. 

Has this company been featured in the news or win an award recently? Chances are that if they did, you can read all about it either on their website or just by typing the company name into Google. Keeping up with happenings regarding the company shows your genuine interest. Not to mention, it can be a moment to inject some excitement into your interview and congratulate them on something that they’re proud of! If there are no big news stories to talk about, check out their social media and see what they have been promoting recently. Showing your interest in these events not only displays your hopes of getting the job, but also that you have a genuine interest in what they do and their success.

Know what they might research.

Interviewees aren’t the only people who put in a little research before an interview. Interviewers will often search for mentions of your name across the internet and see if anything appears, so check beforehand to make sure you know what comes up and are prepared to answer any questions regarding the results. Also, take a peek at your social media accounts to make sure that your LinkedIn is updated and that anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see is private or hidden from Facebook. Any questions are fair game, so prepare for them to ask you any questions spanning from specifics on an old job listed on your LinkedIn account to clarification of an old social media post.!

Pre-Interview nerves are normal to get a few days before a big interview. However, the reality is you won’t know how it goes until it’s over. Preparing correctly is essential because there is only so much of an interview that is in your control. Going into your interview with at least a base knowledge regarding each of these five topics will prepare you as best as possible and ease your nerves, so study up!

Do you have any suggestions on what is important to know about a company before the interview? Let us know in the comments!

16 thoughts on “Do Your Research: What You Need to Know Before a Job Interview

  1. Thank You so much for this article. I read a lot of interview prep material, but this was the first one that was thorough. I wish there was a link so I could share on social media. This should be read by many people who aspire to be hired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>