Researching companies: How to research a company for an interview
The importance of company research for interviews
Researching companies before an interview can hugely benefit you to ace it when the time comes.
Interviews can be stressful and worrying, but researching companies before interviews is a great way to help you feel more prepared and confident in your answers.
By doing this, you will be prepared in the right head space for your upcoming interviews.
It will also show that you understand the company, and that you are enthusiastic about the role.
Completing company research for interviews and finding out their missions and company culture will also allow you to quickly see if it’s the right place for you.
When interviewing, it’s important to choose companies that genuinely interest and excite you.
Don’t accept a position with an employer whose values do not match your own.
This could lead to you leaving a company prematurely, so your research is crucial to working for a company that suits you.
What to research before an interview?
Wondering how to research companies for interviews before applying for a role? Do you know what to research about a company for an interview?
Here are some of the key factors to find out from your research:
- What the company does and the industry they operate in
- Where it is located
- The approximate team size
- The company’s history, major successes and defining moments
- The company’s customers/clients or target audience
- The industry the company operates in
- Products or services that the company has recently launched
- The company’s mission, aims, objectives or goals
Now you know exactly what to research before an interview, here’s how to research a company for a job interview:
How to research companies for interviews
1. Visit the company website
Your first step should be to look online as it is easier than ever to research employers.
Find out what the company does whether it’s a product or service, history, successes, news, and information about the team – try the home page, ‘About Us’ and ‘Meet The Team’ pages of the employer’s website.
Look out for the company’s mission statement here too!
Take note of recurring messages, themes or values that appear across the site.
Perhaps there is a clear focus on company culture, or lots of information on ethical policy.
These things will help to shape your understanding of the organisation and what they look for in an employee.
Have a deep dive into information about a company, including any previous company names or the CEO and Director’s names, you could also use Companies House to conduct a bit of research.
It’s then important to make a note about what interests you in particular about this company.
Are they a new start-up? Do they operate in a sector that you’re really passionate about? Is the company culture attractive to you?
Keep these factors in mind ready to discuss in your graduate job interview.
These are some of the best ways to research a company before an interview.
2. Find the company on social media
The majority of companies are present on social media.
You will find the company’s clients on LinkedIn and their company culture on Instagram.
Give the company a “like” or “follow” to stay up-to-date on the latest news, and to see what they are posting.
Mentioning in your interview you’ve seen their latest news from following them on their social media shows great initiative and can really impress an employer.
If you know the interviewers, search their name on LinkedIn to check their profile for information on their role, background and interests.
You can use this information to create conversation and discuss any common interests to establish rapport showing proactivity!
Update your LinkedIn profile before you begin following others who you want to impress.
Check out our blog for 10 tips for creating a good LinkedIn profile.
3. Check out company review websites
Looking at what candidates in similar graduate jobs were asked in their interview will help you to prepare your answers.
Reviews can also give you further insight into company culture and what to expect from their leadership.
Search for successes and defining moments (i.e. did the company recently receive a large amount of funding?) – which, if mentioned in your interview, will be highly impressive to the employer.
4. Read the news
Staying up to date on the company’s newest products or latest industry trends will be a great conversation starter and prepare you for your graduate job interview!
Google and Google News can be a great place to access any news.
Completing a quick search will likely present you with information that may not appear on the company’s own website or social media profiles.
If you know that you can find news on the company in a specific location i.e. the Financial Times, TechUK or FinTech Weekly, make sure you’re up to scratch so that you won’t be caught out if anything is mentioned in the job interview.
5. Check out their competitors
As well as researching companies for interviews, carry out competitor research as this helps you get up to speed on current industry trends
You will have a better understanding of the company’s niche and what makes its product or service unique.
By learning how to research an employer before a job interview, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage – to help you stand out from candidates in your graduate job interview.