How to Prepare for your Interview: Researching the Company
Ok, so you've finally got an interview for your dream internship or job, now what next?
As someone who has interviewed hundreds of candidates over the past 8 years, across all levels, I would like to underline just how important it is to prepare for your interview. It is immediately obvious to your interviewer if you have not prepared prior to your interview. Not being prepared may come across as you not being interested enough in the role or the company.
There are two stages in preparing for an interview – Preparing Yourself and Researching the Company.
This article will look at how to research a company before for an interview.
By researching the company before your interview you will:
- Get a better idea if this company is right for you
- Demonstrate enthusiasm
- Find out about key projects the company may be working on
- Learn about the people you'll be working with
- Learn about career progression opportunities
- Match their values to your experiences
- Be capable of asking intelligent and relevant questions in your interview
There are many ways you can research the company – the best place to start is the company website. It may sound obvious but you'd be amazed at the amount of applicants that just hit apply on a job board and don't even do some reading on the company website. Once you're on the website, you should look for:
- Profiles of current employees (what are they working on, where did they start in the company)
- "Working with us” or “Careers” page
- Office locations (there may be opportunities for future transfers overseas)
- The blog/news section of the site
- Key company milestones in the "about" section
Another valuable source of information is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is fast becoming the ‘new resume’. On LinkedIn you should check out:
- Company profile
- Articles on LinkedIn published by current employees
- You can also click into some current employee profiles to see their career progression
- Check the profiles of those who be interviewing you (put a face to the name and look for shared interests/experiences)
- Any mutual connections who may be able to give you further advice/information
Other Sources of Information
Other great sources of information include Google Finance which is a great tool for getting a snapshot of the company (if it's a big one and listed on the stock exchange), Industry Associations for seminars and literature and Glassdoor.com which allows you to get the inside story on current employees' impressions of the company.
Taking these steps to research the company along with preparing yourself for interview will give you the best opportunity to feel more relaxed, create a great first impression, ensure the job is the right one for you and achieve interview success.