When the time comes for an interview, how do you prepare? Everyone has their own process, but there’s one part of interview prep that no one should skip: company research. When technology makes information accessible with the simple click of a button, most companies expect candidates to enter the hiring process with a fair understanding of the business and its goals.
In addition to showing that you’re prepared and informed, making yourself familiar with at least some company basics will also give you a better idea of whether you’d enjoy working there. However, as a simple internet search will reveal, there is a lot of information out there! This can make it difficult to know just where to begin—or even end—when doing your company research.
To make the process go a little more smoothly, we’ve compiled a few tips on how to do your research and what to take away:
How to research
- Check their website. A company’s website is always the best place to begin your company research, as it will typically have an “about” section that serves as a great introduction. This is where you can often learn about the company’s origins, growth over time, and outlook for the future.
- Look them up on social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are great resources for information, from company culture to branding.
- Read up on them through Glassdoor. Glassdoor.com is an invaluable resource that includes information such as employee reviews, salaries, and first-hand accounts of what to expect on an interview with the company.
- Search for past news stories. If a company is mentioned in any news stories or blog posts, it will often show up in a quick search. Getting an idea for the business’s recent developments and industry involvement can give you a great set of talking points for an interview.
What to take away
- The company’s mission. In order to know if you’re a good fit for the position, you need to understand how your role will impact the company in the long run. While the hiring manager should be able to address this in the interview, it’s important to have a firm grasp of the mission prior to the meeting.
- The company’s culture. While there’s only so much of a company’s culture you can gauge from a distance, knowing a bit about their values and the work environment is a great first step when determining whether this is the right fit for your needs. This information can also assist you with interview questions—and not only the ones asked of you! By having some knowledge of the company’s culture, you can formulate some of your own questions to ask the interviewer.
- The company’s reputation. This may not be something you want to comment on in an interview, but knowing the company’s reputation can help you tremendously throughout the process. Do most employees have a positive experience, or are they generally unhappy? Does the company have a bright outlook for the future, or are they struggling? Glassdoor is a great resource for determining answers to questions like these. Just be sure to keep an open mind and take negative reviews with a grain of salt. If you see any concerning themes, however, this should raise some red flags.