Have you ever walked into an interview unprepared? Things can quickly go south when this happens. Given how difficult it has become to manage a face to face interview with most companies these days, you must research a company before your interview. Most candidates will run a preliminary search on a company before their interview. However, this may not be sufficient. Remember, the more informed you are about the company, the easier it becomes to stand out among other applicants.
In this article, we are going to discuss how you can research a company before an interview. Let’s begin.
1. Visit the Company’s Website
The first step is always to visit the company’s website. You can peruse their goals, objectives, and recent milestones. Once you have a basic understanding of this, it’s time to dig deeper. Take a look at the department you will be working in if you get the job. More importantly, try to find out as much as you can about the role you are applying for. Most interviewers want to know how you will perform the various tasks associated with a job. Finding out about what you’ll be required to do can help you answer this question in a comprehensive way.
You can also learn about other things when visiting a company’s website. For instance, you can find out about their workplace culture and identify whether their values match yours. Additionally, understand what their organizational structure is like. This can also help you identify growth opportunities within the organization and pose questions to the interviewer regarding the same.
Finally, if you are applying for a multinational company, then assessing the company’s global presence is also important. You must learn about the company’s competitors, as well. If you can find out information that is relevant to your role, then this will be even more useful. For instance, if you are applying for the position of a Marketing Manager, then reading about a competitor’s recent marketing campaigns can help you out.
2. Find Out About the Company’s Financial Position
Even if you are not applying for a job in the finance department, it helps to know about a company’s financial position before an interview. Most privately-held companies do not post their annual reports. However, if you are applying for a publicly-traded company, then this information should be readily available on their website. Remember, annual reports are a goldmine of information. You can find out about things like what the company has planned for the future, how much profit they have generated in the past 5 years, whether the company is in debt, and more. You can also read about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the company is facing. This will help you understand the business environment and identify industry trends.
You can also review the company’s share prices over the past 6 months. This information can be useful if you are trying to determine the company’s potential for growth, and whether it will continue to be profitable in the future. It can allow you to assess things like job security and career growth within an organization. A company that is heavily in debt and is struggling to generate profits is more likely to lay off employees in the future. Additionally, they may not provide you with sufficient compensation and benefits.
3. Try Other Online Resources
If you are applying to a smaller company, then there may not be a lot of information available on their website. Consider reading employee testimonials on Glassdoor in this case. This can help you understand their work culture and what you can expect if you choose to work there.
You can also look for mentions about the company in mainstream media. Try searching Bloomberg, FT, and Wall Street Journal. Reading news items published on local news websites can be helpful too.
Besides this, you can visit the company’s social media pages. Take a look at the type of content they post and the pages they follow. This can provide you with insights regarding new milestones, company culture, etc.
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4. Do Some Research About the Interviewer
While it’s important to research a company before your interview, it is also imperative to find out a little about the interviewer. You can try looking for their professional profile on LinkedIn. Consider running a Google search and see if you can find their Facebook Profile as well. While LinkedIn will provide you with information regarding your interviewer’s professional career, Facebook can help you understand them on a personal level. This information can prove to be very useful during the interview process.
Wrapping It Up
When you research a company before your interview, make sure you find out as much as possible about them. It’s easier to research well-known companies. You can visit their website, review their financials, and learn about their competitors. Things get tricky when you are looking for information on a smaller company. In this case, we suggest you try reading employee testimonials on Glassdoor, peruse their social media accounts, and look for relevant news items.
Ultimately, you must be prepared to answer two questions. “What do you know about this company?” and “Why do you want to work for this company?”
The tips mentioned above should provide you with enough information to frame an effective answer to these questions.
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