Preparing for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking process, but it can also improve your chance of success. Finding out a few basic facts about the company you are applying to work for can leave you much better prepared to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the role.
Writing for CBS Money Watch, best-selling technology author Dave Johnson gives the following advice to job seekers: "Don't ask anything you could have easily Googled." Turning up at a job interview without basic knowledge of the company shows a lack of attention to detail and could even imply you are not very interested in the role. Use search engines, the company's website and social media accounts to gather information.
First of all, you should be clear about the company's mission and goals. This information is usually easy to find on the company's website and its social media accounts. What does the brand stand for? Write down some adjectives that describe the company's ethos, and keep them in mind when preparing for your job interview.
Second, you should understand the products or services that the company offers. For example, if you are applying for a job with a major retail chain, go and explore one store to become familiar with the environment. If you are applying for a job at a software company, use the company's main software products, if you can, so you can talk about them at the interview.
In addition to researching the company, job seekers should understand the wider industry in which the company operates. Find out who the company's main competitors are and how their offerings differ. What challenges is the company currently facing? If the job interview goes well, you might be expected to address these challenges in your new role, so it is important to understand them fully.
You should also know what direction the company is heading in. Is it developing an exciting new product, expanding its operations into a new region, or downsizing to cut costs? Read the press pages on the company's website to learn the latest news.
If you know who will be conducting the job interview, do a little research on that person and on anyone else you are likely to meet. Find out what their roles are in the company, read any corporate blog posts they have written and check out their LinkedIn profiles. You might find that you have some common professional interests that you can discuss during the job interview.
Doing your research before a job interview can pay off. Researching a company gives you topics to talk about during the interview and gives you a better understanding of your role and responsibilities if you get the job.
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