Say you have landed a few interview opportunities at some companies. How would you prepare for the same? How would you do the research for interview? The usual drill prepares you to answer obvious questions like “where do you see yourself in 5 years” and “what are your salary expectations”. However, for several reasons, one should be thoroughly informed about the company before going into an interview. Before an interview, it is important to make yourself aware of the internals and externals of a company. Being well informed about a company makes you a more knowledgeable candidate and boosts your confidence in answering any other unexpected questions from the recruiter.
Why are pre-prep and research so crucial before an interview?
Research is highly beneficial to you as an applicant. By researching the company goals, work ethic, and missions, you can gauge if this company is the right one for you. Each individual has different work habits and looks for various aspects to suit them in a work environment. This is where research steps in. By gaining a deeper understanding of the company, you can filter out companies that will genuinely interest and excite you. In this manner, your values can match with the employer which makes the interview process more comfortable overall. At the time of the interview, you will be less stressed because you know about the company and this makes it easier to answer any questions. Learning about the company beforehand makes you seem like an enthusiastic and responsible candidate. Therefore, it is evident that research presents several advantages that help with nailing the interview process.
Additionally, doing research projects into future goals of the business shows that you are planning on staying with the company for a while instead of just using it as a stop-gap measure. It is always beneficial to look into a company beforehand through their website or other online resources. Sometimes even talking to current employees can give great insights!
What and how to research:
The company website:
The easiest way to gain access to a company’s primary information is through the company website. Here you can easily look at the “about us” and “meet the team” sections. Get a good idea of what the company is about, what it does, the products it sells, and the primary customer base. From there on, the company website gives you basic details about the company’s vision and mission. This you may use to quote any of your skills and experience that may help the company achieve its goals. Some company websites also provide information on jobs posted in a “careers” section. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the job description and other positions the company offers.
Keep yourself updated via social media:
Social media is a great way to know about the latest trends in the company or any recent updates. These updates may include any new company policy, the launch of new products, new staff entries, or any company milestone. Keeping yourself well informed about the latest internal information about the company, like its successes, helps make for a well-informed candidate. So make sure you check the companies Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts before your interview. You can get a good sense of the types of employees hired as well as the company culture.
Collect information for multiple channels – always check the news:
It always helps to have multiple secondary sources of information about a company, and news is one of the best ways to go about it. Check google news for any updates about the company. Any controversies or recent developments that seem worthy of knowing about always act as brilliant prep work. Google can provide not only news but also financial charts of the company. Look for economic developments as well, general profits or losses the company has endured, or annual financial reports. Looking up stock prices or investor relations helps you get a good idea of where the company stands in an industry. Bringing up news reports gives you an edge and makes you stand out from the regular boring answers candidates give to the usual questions.
Go outside the box – look for competitors:
It is always a good idea to look outside the scope of the company you’re interviewing at and gain some information about the company’s competitors. Any industry is competitive, and getting to know competition always helps one understand the strengths and weaknesses of a company better. Check out companies similar to the ones you are working at, what salary they provide their employees, and their basic work ethics. Make a list of some similarities and differences between companies so you can understand where the company you want to interview stands in the market. Comparing also helps you negotiate at your interview and makes you seem like a more knowledgeable candidate.
Gain a rounded view and look up the industry:
Conducting research on a company’s industry helps you understand the company values on a whole new level. It is essential to reach the industry if you are new to working in that industry. It is important to understand where a company stands, therefore, helping you make a better choice in choosing a company that fits your work requirements. Look at the latest developments and typical jobs in that industry.
The company’s interview process:
A couple of websites provide information on job interview reviews and job seeker experiences. It is easy to look up “interview questions (company name)” or “interview process (company name)”. In case you cannot find this information, do not worry. It is good to gain as much information as possible. The interview process can only prepare you better for various rounds or the most popular questions asked during the interview.
Get a second opinion:
A second opinion on companies always widens the scope for gaining knowledge. Be it customer reviews on products or employees, gaining ground for discussion with the hiring manager is good. It can also give you an idea of what to expect from company leadership.
Finally, it is time to review your study after you have collected all your research. Take time to read your research and choose the company in your best interests. In case you cannot get some information, consider it okay. A substantial amount of research goes a long way and can help you excel at your interview nonetheless. The best advice is to keep a cool head and be patient and persistent with your research. Good luck with the prep!
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