Why Company Research is an Essential Interview Skill

Carrying out detailed research into prospective employers is essential for any interview candidate, no matter what the level of job. Ensuring you’re fully-prepared with extensive company research has become a fundamental skill for interview success.

There is so much competition within the modern jobs market that employers can be picky about the candidates they choose to employ and are more likely to take on employees who demonstrate interest in their company, the goods and services offered and the company’s employment ethos.

Company interview - research before

What to Research for your Interview

Of course, if you have been invited for a job interview and the position is within a large customer service, order entry or warehouse environment, you may just want to conduct basic research into your potential new employer.

Similarly, if you are a recent school leaver and have applied for a relatively junior role within a company, research you carry out may not need to be too complex. In roles of this nature, it is a good idea to learn the name of the person(s) interviewing, as this may help break the ice in the first few minutes of your interview.

You should also spend time learning about the role and the types of skills and qualities the employer is seeking, this information will help you frame your answers and responses to questions in a much more meaningful and positive manner.

Step by Step

The first step should be analysing and going through the job advertisement or specification in detail – and glean as much information about the role as possible. This will help you assess what specific skills you can bring to the post in question, and how you meet the necessary criteria.

If an organisation sends you material before the interview, then digest this information and ensure you can recall as much as possible – as no doubt this will be essential in ensuring you get the role. It’s very normal for companies to assess candidates based on the briefs sent before the interview.

Do not assume that all jobs with the same title will be the same. Just because you had previously held a similar HR job, does not mean this role will carry the same duties. The size of the organisation, and the industry it is within, can all affect what your role entails.

Checklist of what you need to research:

  • Where is the company based?

Plan your route in advance, and know exactly where you are going.

  • What time is the interview?

It’s important to arrive on time, and beforehand if at all possible. If you are late, it sends a clear lack of professionalism.

  • Who will be interviewing you?

Find who will be interviewing you, and what their position is within the company. This will be great in preparation for what kind of questions they may ask you, and you can tailor your answers to suit.

  • What’s the company background?

Showing knowledge about the company shows you are informed and enthusiastic – and it also helps in coming over as confident and fully prepared.

Find out more about the environment the organisation is placed in, and any key competitors. This will help for any questions you may want to ask, but also prepares for questions coming your way, and allows you to stand out.

  • Why do you want to work for the organisation?

This is a question that is often asked at interviews, and it’s important to research the key reasons of why you align with this company. If you already have a reason to be applying at this company, then find out more about the background, and make an impact.

Leadership and Graduates

If your interview is for a leadership or graduate role, you will certainly need to research your potential employer in far greater detail. The interview process is likely to be far more in depth, and detailed knowledge of the employer and the company culture and values will be extremely beneficial. Your applications for more senior employment roles will be considered far more seriously if you are aware of recent company news and initiatives and it will also be beneficial to learn about the executive team and leading managers/directors working at the organisation.

Your applications for more senior employment roles will be considered far more seriously if you are aware of recent company news and initiatives and it will also be beneficial to learn about the executive team and leading managers/directors working at the organisation.


Ultimately, the research you conduct into any potential employer helps you stand out when compared to other candidates for the role. No matter what potential job role you’re applying for, appearing well informed about your interviewing organisation gives you an edge and ensures your interviewers have an understanding that you are serious about working for their business. Interview Skills Consulting provide information and guidelines to help any job candidates succeed in the interview process.

If you’re nervous about upcoming interviews, our professional one-to-one coaching sessions can help you improve your skills and gain the confidence needed to ace any interview situation.

Interview Skills Click Common Interview Questions
Interview Skills Click Common Interview Questions

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