What to Research About a Company Before Your Interview

Despite a welcome upturn in the jobs market, competition remains fierce for high-quality employment opportunities. Companies often use a range of tests to challenge prospective new talent, but the face to face interview is arguably the most up close and personal part of the process.

One of the most important parts of pre-interview preparation, which is sometimes overlooked, is researching the company you plan to work for. Even the best candidate with the most impressive CV and skills portfolio will struggle to excel during a job interview for a company which they have not adequately investigated.

Here we look at how putting the hours into company research is a worthwhile time investment which will boost your chances of securing employment.

Interview Company Research

Mission, vision, values and culture

Starting off with the basics, it is essential that you get to grips with the company’s raison d’être and find out how they go about their business. Much of this information can be gleaned from their own website so that’s a quick win.

Read carefully though, in order to get a real insight into what makes the company tick and supplement with information from sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Examining values and culture can help you tailor your approach to fit in with their specific style of organisation. This will help with responses on the day.

People power

It is also important to identify key company personnel in advance of the interview. The internet is a valuable resource in terms of gathering information on the top executives. Reading up on these leaders and their particular styles is useful in getting inside the psyche of the organisation.

Try to find out more about the interview panel you will be engaging with. If you cannot find information about them online then use personal contacts and your wider network to research them.

Try to find out more about the interview panel you will be engaging with. If you cannot find information about them online then use personal contacts and your wider network to research them.

Industry positioning

Conducting wider research will help you develop an understanding of where the company is positioned within their particular industry. Read up on press reports about their activities and delve into sectoral analysis of key competitors and business partners. Reading trade journals and other specialist publications is also advisable. Being able to refer to recent company successes such as awards or new customers acquired will boost those interview brownie points.

Being able to refer to recent company successes such as awards or new customers acquired will boost those interview brownie points – though obviously do not mention any negative news stories. you may come across.

Strategic direction

Successful businesses never stand still – they are always striving for bigger, better, faster. Find out where this particular company wants to go and show how your contribution can help them get there. Presenting yourself with confidence is critical, but this confidence must be based on something. Famous former world number one tennis player, Arthur Ashe once said,

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

You need to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the job specification, the company requirements and how you fit into that picture. Access the latest company documents and annual reports – these should indicate plans for the future. Link these plans to your skills set – for example their intention to expand into new export mark could be advanced by your foreign language skills.

Formalizing your curiosity is a skill in itself, so learn more about how to hone your pre-interview research techniques from the experts at interview-skills.co.uk.

Interview Skills Preparing

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