Rehearsing your answers to basic interview questions and developing questions to ask for your interview is very important. However, doing research on the organization before the interview is your “ace in the hole.”
When you do research, you gain further insight in what the company needs, so you can better articulate how you fit in the organization. It can help you craft your answers better and you’ll also ask better questions that could help you figure out whether or not the company is right for you.
Here are some topics to research before your interview:
Their mission and vision
Knowing what the company does is very important, but learning why they do the things they do and what the organization values is the cherry on top of your research! This information provides a look into the type of people they are and the kind of employees they hire. It also illuminates their overall goal as a company.
In the news
Go to Google. Type name of the company in the search field. Click enter and explore the recent new articles relating back to the company. You can also visit their website and view their blog or their “press room” to assess their accomplishments and news. Knowing the success or challenges they have encountered can help you put into perspective how can fit in their company. How can you help them overcome challenges and boost progress? Bringing this up in the interview will not only demonstrate your research skills, but also show the hiring manager that you are motivated to work for them.
The field and competition
Are they retail? Non-profit? Education? Whatever the field of work they specialize in, look into the current events and trends of this field to better understand the company’s position. For this you might need more than just an internet search, but a quick way to gather some data for topics is by researching the organization’s competitors. By researching other similar organizations and what makes this organization distinct from the rest, you can obtain a greater context about the field the organization participates in and think of better questions.
Their team members
The people you work with can make all the difference. Learn more about the company’s culture and the types of people you could be working with by checking out what past employees have said on Glassdoor or looking up current employees on Linkedin. You can even do some research on your interviewer once you find out their name. They’re doing research on you, so why not take a look at who they are as a person?
As you may know, hiring managers use social media to review job applicants, so what does your internet appearance say about you? Log out of all of your social media platforms and try searching yourself on those platforms to see what you find. Make sure to also search yourself on Google and Google Images to see what comes up. If you have a very common name, try searching your name and the city you live in. You might have an interviewer make note about something they found on their Google search or on your social media. This way you are prepared to answer any question that comes up from their research.