You may have spent hours perfecting your resume, and to finally get that call from the employer to come in for an interview feels fantastic, but don't stop the hard work and start relaxing just yet.
Taking time to do research before the job interview is the difference between winning the employer over and losing your shot at the job to someone else.
Clearly, you should know some basics about the employer like what they do, what they offer, who's their audience, where they have offices, and who are the key members of management. It also helps to know more about the individuals you'll be meeting with.
Going into the interview armed with as much information as possible about the company helps serve two really big purposes:
- You'll be able to give an intelligent response when the hiring manager asks you what you know about the company, and your potential fit.
- You can use your knowledge of the company to put together some good questions for when it's your time to ask questions during the job interview.
Here are tips on where to go to load up on information about the company.
Companies put a lot of effort into their websites because they're great tools for promoting their brands and attracting new talent.
Even the most basic company website offers some form of information to help you prepare for a job interview. Refer to sections like "About Us" to learn about the basics of the company, "News/Press Releases" to be informed about latest news and developments at the company, "Management" where you can become familiar with important names and see details of who heads the particular department you want a job in, and "Locations" so you see where offices are located.
Even if you're not in sales or marketing, you should also look over sections of the website that talk about services, products, and partners.
Social Media Accounts
Not every employer will have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, but for those who do, they're easy resources to go through to pull a lot of information quickly.
Through what they post, and the tone of their postings, you can learn a lot about a company and its company culture.
Photos and videos posted on these sites can also give you a sense of the dress code, work environment, and show you faces of important individuals.
Job seekers should also use sites like Indeed and Glassdoor to see what the company's employees have to say about it.
LinkedIn is particularly helpful because it offers most of what other social media accounts offer, but more. By this we mean it can put you directly in touch with individuals at the organization. Read up on the individuals you'll be meeting like the HR manager, head of the department for the job you want, and other workers who may work in the same department.
You can even search for people who used to be in the company and find the individual who might have held the job you are seeking. LinkedIn is much more of a professional social media platform, so you can expect its page to include business-oriented news that can help you prepare for the job interview.
Looking to connect with a recruiter on LinkedIn? Here's how!
Online News/Industry News
If you're looking to really impress, also read up on industry news and know what's happening in the space so you can have an intelligent conversation. Employers are impressed by applicants who not only know its business, but about its market and competitors as well.
It doesn't take a lot to come off prepared for the job interview with the various online resources readily available with information. Armed with the information, you are prepared to respond and ask good questions at the job interview so that you solidify the message that you are a serious contender.
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