What You Should Know About a Company Before Your Job Interview
Being well-prepared is the best advantage a candidate has during an interview over the competition, and taking the time and effort to research the company may mean the difference between a job offer and a decline. Before your next interview, take the time to find out these details about the company.
Know the Company’s Basic History
Get to know the backstory of the business. How did the company start and why? Who is the President, CEO or owner? Knowing these tidbits will help you understand the motivation and mission of the company you want to work for, where it is headed and the things it values most.
Understand the Company Culture
This one can be a bit more difficult to research, but try to gain an understanding of what it is actually like to work for the company. Check out the mission and value statements, do a Google search and glean what you can from contacts you already have at the company. For example, was the HR person who set up your interview light-hearted? Does the company website have a gallery of snapshots from the last picnic? Use these small clues to gain a bit more insight into the company before you walk in the door.
Be Aware of Press Mentions and Awards
Businesses are understandably proud when they get a moment in the spotlight, and knowing what press mentions and awards it has achieved can teach you about the company’s values, target customers and recent developments. Learn what the business is most proud of and focus on the same things during your interview. For example, if the company for which you are interviewing has a history receiving environmentally-friendly accolades, talk about your own passion for the environment during the interview.
Know the Interviewers
Try to get a feel for the people who are interviewing you, but do not learn so much that you give off a “stalker” vibe during the interview. At a minimum, know their name, title and contact info. At most, know about their history within the company or organization. This means resisting the temptation to Facebook-search them or jump on their personal Twitter feed!
Know Exactly What the Company Does
Sounds ridiculous, right? But many candidates have only the most basic understanding of what companies actually do, and this lack of knowledge is almost certainly a way to be shown the door. If you are interviewing for a position at a marketing company, for instance, find out if they focus more on online or offline tactics and what their target industry is. Understanding these details will set you a part from the competition.