Ask any recruiter and they will tell you, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for an interview is to research the company you are interviewing with. For many people, researching a company means going to their website, maybe their LinkedIn, looking at their ‘About Us’ section or page, reading their mission statement, and skimming through to get an understanding of what they do and who they cater to. This is not thorough research. Taking the time – an hour or two, as opposed to ten minutes – to thoroughly research a company will set you apart from anyone else you may be competing with to land what could be the job of your dreams.
Starting your research with a company’s website is a fine first step, but ultimately, research goes beyond just looking up a company’s website. To get a good understanding of how a company fits into the industry that it serves, look up their competitors as well. Take note of how they differ from their competitors, how this appeals to you, and most important, how you can contribute to that which sets the company apart from others in the industry. If you know that you can contribute to, or better yet, improve, what makes them different, you will be able to work this into your interview and appeal to the company’s hiring managers.
As great as websites can be for conducting research on companies, they are generally very surface level. Websites will provide you with the basics: you will walk away knowing what a company does, who they serve, what it is that they have to offer, and of course how you can contact them, but that barely scratches the surface. To take a deeper look at a company, look them up and follow them on social media platforms.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube will provide you with a bit of a deeper look at the company itself – definitely beyond what is shown on their website – which will help you gain an understanding of the company’s culture. Companies care now more than ever about whether or not a candidate will prove to be a good culture fit, and more importantly, candidates themselves should care themselves about whether or not they feel they will fit into the environment or atmosphere of a company, making this step very important in researching companies.
It is also important to take the time to look these companies up on review sites, like Glassdoor and Indeed, and to check companies’ Google reviews and Facebook reviews. There will definitely be bias across the board when it comes to searching reviews, but you will also be able to locate trends among them. These trends will allow you to see if there’s anything in particular about the company that peaks your interest, or anything that could be a potential deal breaker.
There’s no better way to stand out in an interview than to know what you’re talking about. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity by not taking the time to thoroughly research the company that you’re interested in and the role that you’re applying for.
Deirdre Fanzo | Marketing Coordinator