Interview research

Job interview coming up? Career experts always advise performing company research before heading into the big interview. Sounds easy enough, right?

In many cases though, this is easier said than done. Where do you find the company information? What are you expected to know? Is the information you’re researching outdated? When have I learned enough?

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of things you should know about the company you’re interviewing for before you try to join it:

1. Head honchos of the company

First and foremost, you should learn about the key players within the company you’re applying for. What’s the new of your interview and what’s their position? Who’s the current CEO? Who’s the head of the department you want to join? Learn their names and basic information about the role they play in the company. This little bit of research itself will go a long way.

2. Experience and skills valued at the company

Your interviewer won’t care about everything you’ve done – only the things that are applicable to the specific jo you’re applying for. Go back to the original job post and read what skills and experience they’re looking for. If it’s a skill that you might be a bit rusty on, then perhaps it’s time to brush up on it with some good old studying.

3. Recent news and press releases of the company

It’s always handy to go into the interview knowing what’s the big news story of the week for the company. Some companies have a page on their website dedicated to upcoming events and press releases. Take a look there, but never use it as your only source. Why? Because obviously the company will only have good things to say about themselves and often it’s the bad news that you really want to be made aware of. That way, you know what touchy subjects to avoid and say clear from to prevent any awkward interview moments.

4. Their culture and core values

One of the criteria that interviewers look for is whether you’re a cultural fit. Will you mix in well with the group of coworkers you’ll be working with? Pay attention to what they’ve written on their website and what their mission statement is. Once you’ve gotten a feel for what type of person they want to employee, you can go into the interview with the objective of trying to prove to them that you match their type.

5. Their products and services

At the minimum, get an idea of what products and/or services the company offers to its customers. While for some companies it may be obvious, sometimes it can definitely be a forgettable feature about a company depending on what you do. For instance, you might be interviewing for an accounting and know all there is to know about the accounting side of the company, but because this is such a technical area of the business, sometimes you might skimp out on a much more obvious one like what’s being sold.

6. Their Competitors

You can really impress your interviewer if you can hold your own in an in-depth conversation with them about the competitors they face. If you’re well-versed enough to start talking about some of the recent concerns and challenges the company has on dealing with some of these competitors, then you’ve really hit it out of the park. Not only does it show you’ve done your research, but it gives off the impression like you’re already a part of the company and in the loop of what’s been going on inhouse.

7. The industry the company is in

We don’t all stick in the same industry. Sometimes if you’re applying for a job outside the industry you’re usually in, things can get a bit dicey in the interview room hot seat when the interviewer starts using industry jargon and the like. Be sure to get yourself familiar with all the terminology and hearsay within the industry or risk having to pivot away from some unwanted topics of discussion.

8. Yourself

It may be embarrassing, but sometimes we forget a bit about what we, ourselves have done. Look over the resume you submitted. Be careful! If you’re someone that submits different resumes depending on the job position, make sure you’re reviewing the right one.

On top of reviewing what you’ve accomplished, think critically about why the company is interested in you. Why did they choose you among so many other applicants to interview? Once you figured that out, you can emphasize this element of yourself in the interview to really put the nail in the coffin and ace the interview.