Every candidate wants to walk into a job interview prepared to pass scrutiny. You have no way of knowing how many other applicants are being considered for the same position, and because of this, you need to make sure you have all of your bases covered. One of the most effective ways to market yourself as a stand-out candidate is to research a company before an interview and become well versed in the inner workings of the company.
Search the News
As you research a company, look for events, press releases for new facets of business, openings, closures, and expansions. You need to know what’s going on in the moment. If the company is growing or attempting to do something revolutionary, researching this before your interview can work to your advantage.
Read the Cliché Stuff
Research a company’s mission and values statements. These may seem like a bunch of positively worded formalities until you’re looking at them from inside of the company. If you’re able to demonstrate how a company’s core values overlap with your core values, you’re making yourself a better candidate by aligning yourself with their corporate vision.
Get Some Background on the Big Guys
If you don’t even know the CEO’s name, you can find yourself in some serious trouble. Look around the company’s corporate website to find out who sits at the top of the food chain. Investigate these individuals, and gather up some basic information about their backgrounds. Where do they intend to take the company in the next ten years? Have they helped the company through any difficult times? It’s good to know what the main leaders are up to.
Understand Their Products and Services
This one seems like a given, but you need more than surface information. Knowing where the cash flow is coming from is paramount. Go beyond general information. Have a thorough understanding of how the structure works. Some companies are mostly known for a single product or service, but offer a whole host of supplementary products and services. It will show that you’re paying attention.
Read Employee Reviews
Reading the experiences of other employees can help prepare you, and it may even save you a major headache. Websites like Glassdoor allow current and former employees to review employers. Some people may leave tips about the interview process. You can see what worked and what didn’t work for a variety of people. You may also find that a company has poor reviews from large amounts of unsatisfied employees. In that scenario, you may find that you don’t even want to work there.
Know A Little About Your Interviewer
Having some background information about the individual who is interviewing you can help prevent awkward silences during the small talk portion of the interview. See if you can find some common ground with this person. Maybe you attended the same university. Maybe you both enjoy volunteering for the same causes. Any shared interests can help you make a meaningful connection with your interviewer.
Speak With Current Employees
Information is at its truest when it’s straight from the horse’s mouth. Though you shouldn’t interrupt employees while they’re at work, perhaps you can find an employee outside of office hours. Check online forums, or ask around to see if anyone who has experience with that company is in your social or professional network. If you have anything you’re unsure about, go ahead and ask them. Most people enjoy talking about their jobs and giving advice.
Knowledge is power, and this is particularly true when you’re trying to outshine others. A company wants to offer the position to the most qualified candidate, and qualification goes a little further than your background. Showing that you care, and have an active interest in the company will let everyone know how serious you are.
Simone Smith is an experienced blogger working at Online Courses Australia. In her stories she focuses mostly on self-improvement and careers.