As a job seeker, it’s essential to research a company you’re interviewing with in-depth. You need to understand the company culture, values, products, services, and goals. This knowledge helps you align your skills and experiences with the company’s objectives, helping you stand out as a strong candidate.
But you already know that. The question you are probably asking yourself is “Where do I start?” Here are 7 steps you can take to research the company before your interview.
Read on to find out exactly what to do to take to make your company search efficient—because job search shouldn’t be a full-time job.
Understand the Company Culture
Research a Company’s Core Values and Mission
Researching a company’s culture is an essential step before a job interview (and ideally it should happen before you even apply for a job). Understanding the company’s values, mission, and work environment helps you determine if it aligns with your personal and professional goals. Start by looking for the company’s mission statement, which outlines its purpose and goals. It’s usually located on the company’s homepage or “About Us” section.
Next, look for the company’s core values. These are basically guiding principles that shape the company’s culture and behavior. Understanding these values helps you determine if you’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture and, more importantly, if the culture will be a good fit for you. (Did you see the “and”? It goes both ways.)
You can also research the company’s culture through review websites like Glassdoor, where current and former employees share their experiences. Look for patterns in the reviews that can give you insight into the company’s culture and work environment. More on that later in the article.
Review the Company’s Financial Health
Analyze the Company’s Financial Reports and Performance
One of the most critical aspects to research before your job interview is the company’s financial standing. This will give you an idea of the company’s overall health and its potential for growth and expansion. To do so, start by looking at their financial reports. These reports will give you insights into the company’s profitability, revenue, and expenses, as well as any significant debts or liabilities they may have.
Another useful tool to assess the company’s financial standing is by looking at their stock prices. This information is publicly available and can give you insights into the market’s perception of the company’s financial performance. You can also analyze the company’s annual reports, which give a more comprehensive overview of the company’s financial position and long-term strategies. Annual reports usually include key financial metrics like revenue growth, net income, and earnings per share.
Added bonus? By taking the time to research the company’s financial standing before your interview, you’ll be better equipped to ask informed questions and showcase your knowledge during the interview process.
Explore the Company’s Products and Services
Discover the Company’s Offerings and Market Niche
Before your interview, it’s essential to get familiar with the company’s offerings, market niche, and competition. You can research this information by looking at the company’s website, social media pages, and product brochures.
Start by exploring the company’s website and navigate to the “Products” or “Services” section. This will give you an overview of what the company sells or offers to its customers. It’s also important to look at the company’s competitors and compare their products or services with those of the company you’re interviewing with. This will help you understand the company’s market position and how it differentiates itself from its competitors.
Another way to research the company’s products and services is by reading industry reports and publications. This will give you a broader perspective on the industry and how the company fits into the market. You can also look for customer reviews and testimonials to get an idea of how customers perceive the company’s products or services.
Understanding the company’s products and services is essential for several reasons. Again, it not only gives you insights into the company’s culture and values, but if used properly, it shows the interviewer that you’re knowledgeable about the company and its offerings. (Or in interviewer’s language, it means you can easily answer the “Why do you want to work here” interview question.) Not only that, but it can also help you identify potential areas for growth and innovation within the company.
Investigate the Company’s Reputation
Analyze the Company’s Reviews and Ratings
Start by looking at the company’s online presence and social media profiles. Check out their reviews and ratings on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn. These platforms provide anonymous employee reviews and ratings that can give you a glimpse of the company’s work culture, management style, and compensation and benefits.
Look for patterns in the feedback, such as recurring complaints or praises, to gain insights into the company’s strengths and weaknesses. You can also use these reviews to prepare thoughtful questions for your interview and demonstrate your knowledge of the company.
In addition to employee reviews, you can also research the company’s reputation by looking at news articles and press releases. This will give you a sense of the company’s recent activities and accomplishments, as well as any controversies or negative publicity the company may have received.
Analyze the Company’s Competitors
Identify the Company’s Top Competitors and Market Position
Start by researching the company’s top competitors and understanding their products, services, and market niche. Look at their website, social media pages, and reviews to gain a comprehensive understanding of their offerings.
Once you have done your research, you can analyze the competitor’s market position and compare it with the company you’re interviewing with. Look at factors such as market share, customer base, pricing strategy, and brand reputation. This will give you an idea of how the company differentiates itself from its competitors and where it stands in the industry.
You get then use that information to prepare thoughtful questions for your interview, demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and show your enthusiasm for the company you are interviewing with.
Keep Up with the Latest News
Follow the Company’s Social Media and Newsletters
Start by following the company’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This will give you access to the company’s latest news, updates, and industry insights. You can also sign up for the company’s newsletters and email updates to receive regular updates and insights directly to your inbox.
Another way to keep up with the company’s latest news and developments is by setting up Google Alerts for the company’s name and related keywords. This will notify you whenever there is news or mentions of the company online.
Follow them and staying updated on their latest news and press releases will not only help you understand the company’s current initiatives and projects but also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company during your interview.
Network with Current and Former Employees
Connect with Employees to Get Insights on Company Culture and Work Environment
One of the best ways to get insights into a company’s culture and work environment is by networking with current and former employees. This will give you an idea of what it’s like to work at the company and whether it’s a good fit for your career goals and aspirations.
Start by reaching out to your professional network and asking if they know anyone who currently or previously worked at the company. You can also connect with employees on LinkedIn and send a message asking for their insights and experiences. Be respectful of their time and don’t ask for confidential information that they are not comfortable sharing.
During your conversations with current and former employees, ask them about their experiences working at the company. What are the company’s core values, and how are they reflected in the day-to-day work? What is the company culture like, and how does it support professional growth and development? What is the work-life balance like, and what is the management style?
Networking with current and former employees will give you a comprehensive understanding of the company’s culture and work environment. This will not only help you prepare for your interview but also help you make an informed decision about whether the company is the right fit for your career goals and aspirations.
Researching a company before your interview is crucial for your success in the job market. By understanding the company’s culture, financial standing, products, reputation, competitors, news, and employee experiences, you can make informed decisions about your career goals and aspirations.
By following the tips and utilizing the tools discussed in this article, you can research a company thoroughly and showcase your knowledge and enthusiasm during your interview. This will give you an edge over other candidates.
So take the time to research the company thoroughly before your interview, and show your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the company. This will not only help you land the job but also set you up for a successful career.