Before your interview with a potential employer, be sure to do some research on the company.
Attending an interview can be nerve-racking enough, but even worse when you know nothing about the company. Doing your due-diligence beforehand can put you in good stead and arm you with some background information that can be helpful when it comes to answering interview questions.
Here’s what you should investigate when gathering information about your potential employer.
An obvious one, but it’s not just about admiring their logo and colour scheme. There are some important things you should focus on. Look at the following:
- Company goals and mission statement
Does the company’s vision and mission speak to you? Do you share an interest and passion, and feel a real sense of wanting to be part of their team? It helps to be aligned with what the company is trying to achieve. This type of information can usually be found on the About page or Careers page on their website or on their LinkedIn company page.
- Culture and personality
What does the website look like – is it modern or does it look like something thrown together several years ago that clearly needs a major overhaul? Is the content up-to-date or does it seem to be outdated? The old saying “never judge a book by its cover” might apply here, but the way in which information is presented – along with branding, colour scheme and style – can tell you a lot about the culture of an organisation and its personality.
- What it’s like to work there
The Careers page on the website can be an excellent indicator of how its employees are valued within the organisation. What are the benefits and perks of working for them? Do they show pictures of their current employees? What type of wording do they use in this section of their site? Does it sound like the kind of place you want to work at?
Blog Articles, Ebooks etc
A trend we’re seeing a lot of lately; transparency. Companies sharing information about how they run their businesses, what life is like working for them, revenue numbers and even employee’s salaries. Some companies create blog articles and ebooks as a form of content marketing. Companies like Buffer, Groove and WP Curve are good examples of those embracing transparency.
Social Media Channels
Social networks can also give you some idea of the company’s values, their business activities, and how they treat their customers. Is the company active on social media? If they don’t have much of a social media presence, maybe this tells you something about the type of organisation as well. Are they forward-thinking or behind in certain areas? Social media channels can be a great place to find feedback from customers too. Check out the key sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as most companies have a presence there. Another site worth looking at is Glassdoor where you can read reviews from real employees and also see anonymous salary details.
In addition to finding out as much as you can about the company you hope to work for, it’s also a good idea to check out their competition. This information can be extremely helpful when it comes to interview time. Being able to answer questions about the industry in general and what the competition might be doing can impress your potential employer. A good place to start is LinkedIn – use the Advanced Search feature to filter companies by industry and keywords.
World Wide Web
Simply enter the company’s name into your search engine of choice and see what else pops up. It can be a good exercise to see what else you can find about the company that perhaps isn’t mentioned on their website or social media channels.
If you just spend a little more time on researching a company, you’ll feel much more at ease during the interview … and the extra time spent might just give you the edge you need to snap up your new dream job!