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.
A Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram feed can give you great insight into what a company is like, as well as some of its key players.
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
Sites like Glassdoor, The Job Crowd and Crunchbase feature company profiles and reviews from previous employees and useful information like the number of employees at a company.
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.