Researching a company before your interview

Arran Williams, May 31, 2017

Do you have an interview fast approaching?

If yes, then you have probably started to prepare for it, if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?!

Practising interview questions, focusing on perfecting your body language and working on your award-winning smile are all important. However, you should also consider taking into account one more key factor.

So, what is It I hear you ask?

The key to your success may well lie in the research you do into the company you’re applying for! This might sound like the easy bit, but it’s knowing the information that you should be on the look for that can be tricky.

We recently conducted a survey that showed us that 47% of people typically take 1-3 hours researching a company before their interview.
If you’re not doing the same then you could be falling behind half of the other candidates before you even enter the interview room.

The research you do can make all the difference, as long as you know WHAT information you’re looking for…

Our blog discusses the top things you should be on the lookout for.

The company’s culture and values

Before going into any interview, one of the first things to understand is what the culture and values of the company are.

Ways to do this are by checking out their website’s ‘about us’ page as well as taking a look at their social media platforms and paying attention to any posts that give an insight into company life. Everyone they see will be able to tell them what the company does, but will they be able to show that they understand the people within it?

Being able to confidently let employers know that you’ll be a good fit could be really important when it comes to their final decision.

The company’s recent achievements and news

Most organisations like to (and rightly so) shout about their achievements. So, it shouldn’t be too had to find their latest success stories with a quick search on Google.

If these achievements are directly linked to the team or department you’re applying for, think about how they might affect your role. Bringing these up as talking points will show your interviewer that you have not only done your research, but understand how it can be applied to you.

Other things to read could be the company’s white papers. These are usually packed with useful information about how the company sees themselves within the sector they operate in and their vision and ideas for the future.

What they’re working on

Find out about any projects that they are working on and any big plans they have. If you’re interviewing for a role in a council, they might have exciting plans that will help to make a positive difference to their residents.

Being able to demonstrate an understanding of the role that you might play in this could really work in your favour.

Find out this information on the company websites or blog. Also, check out if they are featured in any public sector publications for a further insight.

The person interviewing you

A simple search on LinkedIn can really help you out here. Take a look at their past working history and form some questions (without being too intrusive!) from this.
See how long they’ve been at the company as this could give you some questions about how the company and their role have changed in that time.

Taking a genuine interest in your interviewer can make a big difference when it comes to standing out, so being prepared with knowledge on them can go a long way.

Skills and experience of people in the team

As well as your interviewer, use LinkedIn to find out some information on the different people within the team you’d be joining. What kind of experience do they have? How is the team set up?

This will give you the opportunity to show that you understand the dynamics of the team and the fresh skill set that you can bring.

And finally…

Ensure that your CV and LinkedIn pages are all up to date and are truly reflective of what you have to offer. Not being able to back up all the great things you have to say about yourself when they do their own research could undo all your great preparation.

Happy researching and good luck with your interview!