Interview Preparation: Researching Employers

This mini-series gives you the tips and tricks for interview success.

Researching potential employers is a key stepping stone to becoming a high-calibre candidate during the hiring process. With this research, you’ll discover details about the employer that will better prepare you for any interview.

Employer research is essential to discover what they do, what makes them tick and what kinds of people (and skills) they wish to attract into their workforce. This will also set you up to answer questions that position yourself as the best potential candidate.

Here are some important factors to take into account during your research:

Products, services and Clients

This surely goes without saying – the bare minimum prep you must undertake is what a company does and who it serves.

This will provide an idea of the sort of work you would undertake once hired. This information will be found on the company’s website but do also check out their socials – these may provide an insight into how the products/services are utilised in the real world.

For in-depth research, check out any case studies, client testimonials/reviews and other publications available on the company website such as brochures.

We can guarantee that one of the key questions, especially for a first interview, will be “what do you know about the company?”. So it’s essential you have this response prepared!

News about the employer

It’s always beneficial to know about the company’s latest news and recent events.

Most companies have a News page and sometimes an Events page too. Also, a quick Google of the company name, then heading to the News tab will bring up some recent stories. Some companies may also have a blog page which may be worth a look.

So, when an employer asks “what do you know about the company?”, this can give you the edge, as some candidates may overlook this step.

Key players of the Company

These will be employees who hold important positions in the company – can be managers, department directors, and the CEO/Managing Director of the company.

You can find out who these individuals are by reading the employer’s “About” or “Our People” pages and employee bios. LinkedIn is also a valuable resource here.

An idea of the structure and size of the company can also better prepare you for the interview.

The company’s culture, mission, and values

As you research the employer, pay attention to what’s written on their website regarding the company’s values and mission. You can also learn more about the company culture by following the company on its social media networks.

Many companies now post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, showing off employee engagement, their staff, the offices, social events etc. which are hey indicators for the culture and atmosphere of their offices. Do they seem very professional or more informal and laid back? This part of research will be important when getting a feel for the workplace, and working out whether it will be a good fit for you.

The person interviewing you

Finally, find out who your interviewer will be, and look them up on LinkedIn. This will give you some insight into what they do, as well as their background and you may find some similarities between the two of you, so that you can build a rapport with them during the interview.