What You Should Research In Preparation For A Job Interview
14 Dec, 2017
Any interview candidate knows that preparation is critical in order to impress the interviewers. Preparation involves a lot of things, some of which we have explored in other articles on this website.
One critical aspect of preparation that is often overlooked, however, is research. Here is how research fits into preparation: imagine two candidates, both interviewing for the same job. Candidate A did everything in the preparation book but he forgot to research the work that the company does. Candidate B, on the other hand, did everything in the preparation book and also invested time to in researching the company and the industry. Which of the two candidates is more likely to speak authoritatively about industry trends and how the company can be positioned to fit into these trends? You have it right; candidate B will have the upper hand.
The moral of this example is that if you want to stand out as an exceptional candidate, you need to put in the necessary work and you cannot afford to leave anything to chance.
In this article, we explore some of the key things that you need to research in preparation for the interview.
Research the company/organization
Researching the organization/company will help you to get a good understanding of what the company/organization does, its goals and mission, and its values. Here is what else you need to know:
What do they do?
This information should be easy to access from the organization/company website. You might want to dig deeper than what the ABOUT US page provides by looking into annual reports and past projects. Also, look into some of the latest events they have held or products that they have launched. Some of this information can also be accessed on the company/organization’s Facebook page.
These often include the Board of Directors, senior leadership, and project-specific personnel. This information will help you to understand the kind of people that the company/organization employs and the sort of qualities they exhibit. Researching these might come in handy, especially if it turns out that some of them will be interviewing you for the job. This information can be accessed on company/organization websites and LinkedIn pages.
It is not enough to just know about the company/organization. It is important to be familiar with the broader eco-system (industry) in which it operates. This is especially important if you do not have any prior experience of the industry in question. For instance, if you are interviewing for a marketing job, research the latest trends in marketing. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:
- What trends are driving the industry?
- Who are the biggest players and what are they doing differently?
- Where does the company/organization you are applying to fit into the eco-system?
- What makes the company/organization you are applying for stand out?
- What policies and regulations guide the industry?
You might want to also research about the role you are interviewing for. If it is a role that you have not held before, finding out what is expected of you might help you to frame your answers accordingly. However, while doing this, remember that different companies/organizations come with differing contexts.