How Much Do You Know About the Company Prior to the Interview?

John Krautzel
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Most job candidates know it's essential to research the company prior to a job interview. However, many fall short with this task by simply skimming through a few pages of the company's website or relying solely on information provided in the job description. Conducting the proper research is vital. Doing so allows you to impresses employers with your knowledge and helps you determine if the position is right for you.

1. Company Background

Researching the company's products and services before a job interview is important, but don't stop there. Read through the "About Us" section of the firm's website to learn about its history, founders and mission. Dig a bit deeper to discover the organization's current leaders and visit their LinkedIn profiles to learn a bit more about them. It's also a good idea to visit the company's Facebook and Twitter pages to find out about any upcoming projects, events or new products.

2. Company Culture

Learning about a company's culture gives you an idea of what it might be like to work there. First, look at the company's website. Is it fun, bright and playful, or is it very professional and corporate? Also, check out the pictures posted on the firm's social media pages. Do the employees look like they're having a great time, or are they very serious? Does the organization appear to be philanthropic? Does boosting profits seem to be the company's main goal? The answers to these questions can help you decide if the organization is right for you.

Next, find the "Careers" or "Jobs" page on the employer's website, and read through it to see how the company describes the work environment. Finally, check websites like Glassdoor and Indeed to find out what current and former employees think of the organization.

3. Reputation

Research online reviews of the company on Google and the Better Business Bureau before your job interview. Does the company have a reputation for treating employees well and going above and beyond for customers and clients? Or, does the company have a history of selling faulty products and providing extremely poor service? Also, use these resources to find out if the company has a history of ignoring important issues, such as sexual harassment or discrimination. With a simple Google search, you can also find out if the company consistently receives poor press or frequently deals with major issues. Conducting this research is especially important if your job will be to help eradicate the company's major problems.

4. The Industry

Conduct market research to learn as much as possible about the industry before a job interview. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website is a great option for conducting industry research, as it provides information on current trends as well as projected growth or decline in specific industries. You can also learn about the industry by speaking to active workers in your field.

When it's time to research the company before a job interview, don't rush. Set aside a couple of hours to conduct your research and gather as much information as possible. Knowledgeable candidates make job interviews more conversational and leave a great impression on employers. Can you think of any additional topics candidates should research before an interview? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Photo courtesy of Silatip at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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