Literally every single interview, regardless of the job you applied for and its seniority, will include questions that aim to assess your knowledge about the company you are being interviewed for. It is a universal fact. Although a majority of candidates know it, a minority prepare themselves for that part of the interview. Our rough approximation is that only 2 out of 10 candidates are well-prepared and informed about the company they are interviewing for. And that comes from recruiters who have interviewed more than 1,000 candidates for major, world-known companies. This defeating statistic is even worse for small, local companies or start-ups.
Taking that fact into account, it means you only need to do the research on the company to set yourself apart from other candidates.
By researching the company, you will be prepared for all the questions coming from their side.
Also, it will be easier for you to come up with smart and straightforward questions at the end of the interview which show that you are interested in the company and the role. Based on that, you will be able to find out whether you and the company are a match-made-in-heaven.
From the employers’ perspective, knowing at least basic information about the company you applied for is an obvious sign of your motivation. skyrocket your interview performance as well as the chances of getting a job offer.
If we have managed to convince you of the importance of it, follow the next 5 steps to do thorough research on any company and to ace the upcoming interview with ease.
1. VISIT COMPANY'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Ok, this one is obvious.
Company’s official website is the best possible starting point with plenty of information about a company’s mission, history, services and products. You will also find information about the company’s culture and values.
Furthermore, there you can find information about events they have participated in, their success stories, awards, certificates and accomplishments.
Find the answers to basic questions, such as:
How long has the company existed?/When and where was the company founded?
How many employees does the company have today?
Where are their headquarters and in how many countries they operate?
What are the company’s most famous products or services (if applicable)?
How many branches they have in your country (again, if applicable)?
Most likely they will not ask you these simple, straightforward questions.
However, it is always a plus to know answers to them, just in case.
It would be a shame to ruin a good impression you have made at the beginning of the interview because you did not know the information you could have found in the first 0,00067 seconds after googling the name of the company.
After you have gathered basic information, expand your research.
Do an expertise-driven investigation.
It means you should pay attention to information important for the role you are applying for.
You know how every good hairdresser will immediately check your hair at the very first moment they see you? Or how dentist scans your teeth in a second, even outside of their offices?
You should apply the same approach here.
Put on your expert lenses and snoop around their website.
For example, if you have applied for roles in finance, check out their financial reports. Find out more about their financial status, revenue, turnover. Every company openly shares their yearly data, so you have an indefinite, direct source of information.
If you are applying for HR, check their job ads, see if they have any HR certificates or awards, think about their values, company culture and approach to employees. Also, think about their recruitment process. What was your candidate-experience like? They might ask you something about it.
As a potential employee in marketing, you should know more about their marketing strategy, target audience and recent campaigns.
You get the picture.
If this information is available online, they will expect you to know it. And if you deliver a good answer, they will not only perceive you as a motivated candidate but as a professional and knowledgeable one as well. Simple as that.
2. STALK THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Companies that are following trends or want to be one step ahead of them (you can read as: all of them) are now all present at social media.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube channel... Most likely you will find the company you are interviewing for on some of these networks. Or even on all of them.