Interviews are taxing enough; don’t make them worse by not going in prepared! After all, if you go through the trouble of finding a great job opening, then applying to it and finally going for the interview, then you might as well make each bit of your effort pay off!
If you’re heading for a job interview, it’s fair to assume you’ll be asked about why you want to work for the company and what you already know about them. And one of the things that can make you stand apart is having an in-depth understanding of the company and job. So, since what we like to call ‘informed enthusiasm’ is a must, get ready do to a bit of research!
Start with the company website
This is typically the single best resource! The company’s website will ideally list all the significant information, such as the history of the company, their mission, important employees, their services and products. It is imperative that you know this information, as it will reflect your enthusiasm for the company and for the things they have achieved.
Their social media presence
Almost all companies have some sort of a social media presence, which is a great place to start your research. It can give you a snapshot of the company’s professional identity. So read their profiles and try getting a feel of the company’s brand and corporate culture. It would be great if you can find the profile of your interviewer. You can then explore the groups they participate in and the type of conversation they have. Facebook and Twitter can provide more avenues to discover a company’s culture, mainly how they interact with their customers and fans.
Dig out the direct contacts
Another great way of knowing about the culture of a company is asking someone who works there. You can take help of social media to find people who work for the company and ask them about how the corporate culture is like. Talking to them will give you a first-hand account of the office environment, their culture and the job to some extent.
What they do, their products and services
We hate to state the obvious but if you’ve applied for a job, you should at least know what the company does! You should study about their products and services in detail; it is just not enough to know the basics. With the bigger companies, you can check out their financial reviews and stock market history. This will tell you whether the company is growing or is in trouble. Although this number changes all the time, if the stocks are on the rise, then you can safely presume that they are on the rise and are trying to meet the demands that come along with fast growth. But if the stocks have taken a dip for some time, they will most likely be looking for ways to reorganize their process, boost the sales and resume their market share.
Know their competition well
Invest quality time in learning about how the company differs from its competition. Read the websites of competitors and get a fair idea of how the products, professional view points and services differ. Having this awareness will help you answer the “what if” scenario questions asked in an interview. At the same time, the hiring manager will also be impressed by the time you have invested in the research.
Remember: An interview is merely a conversation about how your experience and expertise match and benefit a company’s goals. Making an effort to know about the company’s strengths and weaknesses will not only reflect your sincerity and diligence but will also set you apart from the rest.