In today’s difficult economy and overcrowded job market, it’s already an achievement to get past the job interview phone screening. If you’ve been invited to a face to face interview at the employer headquarters, it’s your job to find out as much as you can about the company.
Facing recruiters will be easier when you’re well-aware of the company culture, goals and mission – you’ll simply make a better impression and boost your chances at getting hired.
Here are a few tips to help you research an employer before running off to your interview.
Screen the job posting
Take a step back for a moment to find the job posting you responded to. If it’s on a service like UK-based Gumtree, take some time to analyze its content – contrary to other job boards, here recruiters are free to write as many things as they want, often producing far more detailed job postings.
Read between the lines to see what the key skills and experiences that are valued by the employer are. After the company website and its career subpage, this is the best place to find out what kind of professional profile the employer is after.
Key company facts
To seem a viable potential employee, you should come in already aware of type of work you’ll be expected to do once hired. It’s good to have a general idea of who the company’s main clients are and what its key types of products or services are. It will help you situate yourself at the company, showing those parts of your experience that really matter.
Your best source for key company data is the employer’s website. Have a look at the company blog, case studies and white paper to gain a better idea about the employer’s accomplishments.
Recent events and news
Having the knowledge about the latest happenings at the company can only help you during the interview. You can usually find this kind of information on the company website, on a page dedicated to events and press releases. If something catches your eye, you can always check Google News.
Company culture is a serious aspect to consider. If you’re able to confidently say that you’re a great fit, you’ll surely positively impress the recruiters – many of them believe that cultural fit is one of the most important qualities job seekers can exhibit during the interview.
Browsing through the company website, you’ll spot information about company culture, values and mission on the about page and other places. It’s a good idea to follow the company on social networks – this is where the culture is best exposed.
A good way to gain some insider knowledge is to check the company on websites that uncover company details, ranging from salaries to internal organization, reviews, employee functions and main responsibilities, as well as key details about the hiring process.
Find out who will be your interviewer and research them as well – it will improve your chances at connecting with them. If you cannot infer the person’s name from the email inviting you to the interview, reply and ask politely for the name of the person who’ll be interviewing you. Once you’ve got the name, turn to social networks to learn about this person, their position with the company, background and maybe some common interests you two share.
Researching the company properly before going to your interview is the single best way to ensure that you make an excellent repression and land the job.
Cindy Boesel is a marketing specialist with a huge interest in personal branding and UK startups. She works at BizStats.co.uk and is a great travel lover.