Knowing About A Company Before An Interview
You’ve been praying for a call since the day you sent the application. Then it comes. You got the interview! So what next? While it is okay to do your short victory jig, you should first confirm you pressed the end call button. Those jigs should be very short! This is because the victory is not won yet.
Your potential employer has formed a certain impression of you from your resume. In their minds, they think you are close to what they consider their preferred candidate, and you have the task of surpassing these expectations.
So, what should you do? The first step is ensuring you have all the requirements your potential employer mentioned. Interviewers are totally put off by candidates who turn up without their portfolio if it was requested.
As you were applying for the job you probably checked the company’s website. At this stage go deeper. Every candidate will look into the history of the company, their products, vision and all the obvious information in the website. You should take your research a step further. Your interviewer may be looking for the single thing that makes one candidate stand out from the sea of promising talent eager to please. For instance, you could find out what the company’s clients are saying in reviews. Sometimes such information is available on the website or separate blogs. Positive and negative reviews should serve to arm you with information that will hoist you to a level above the throng of job seekers eyeing the same position. Positive reviews from clients give you answers to interview questions like;
“Why do you want to join our company?”
You can state:
“From your users’ reviews I saw happy clients showing their appreciation for your quick responses, excellent customer service and innovative products. I would definitely like to be part of a team that is this passionate about customer satisfaction”
Negative reviews or complaints should point to you the company’s pain points. This should help you position yourself as the guy with the solution. When asked what value you will be bringing or why they should hire you, your response could be:
“I have a rich background in user experience and support. Despite the many positive reviews from your users, I noted a few disgruntled reviews mainly on down time and failing systems. These are issues I have dealt with in the past and I hope to implement with your users and improve customer satisfaction levels.“
Such a response not only shows your deep understanding of the role you are looking to fill, but also, your analytic skills and the ability to see the bigger picture. You will be miles ahead of other candidates.
Proper research about a company can also reveal information that is not common knowledge to many job seekers. You could stumble upon recent milestones that the company you wish to join recently attained. This will work well to your advantage and the panel of interviewers will be impressed by your keen interest in their company. informed answers to a panel will always win over empty bravado in an attempt to impress. Interviewers can see through futile cover-ups efforts trying that replace the lack of planning and research. Be wise.
Where To Search
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. Stand out from the rest with some research about the company by using the following means:
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 at that particular 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 vision statements. These may seem like a bunch of positively worded formalities until that moment when 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 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 10 years? Have they helped the company through any difficult times? It’s good to know what the main leaders are up to and their backgrounds
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.
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. But don’t be creepy, only if it’s a real connection that is relevant to talk about!
Speak With Current Employees
Information is best 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.
Reading the experiences of other employees can also 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.
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.