Doing some research into a company before an interview, or even before applying for a role, will help to give you a good idea of what the business is looking for and if you are a good fit. A job may look perfect for you from the description, but on closer inspection of the company it’s just not what you’re looking for. Carrying out research before an interview can help you to determine if this is a role you’re truly interested in, and can save both yourself and the company time if it is, ultimately, not the job for you. Researching a company before an interview will help give you a good framework of their culture and what they are looking for in an employee. Here are 6 things to research before an interview that can help you stand out from the crowd and wow the hiring manager!

1. Elements of the job description you’re unfamiliar with…

If there are any parts of the job description that are confusing or you don’t understand, try your best to research the topic to ensure you know exactly what is expected of you. This will allow you to talk about your experiences more confidentially, in relation to the job description, which wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t researched the role further.  

2. Find out the company’s mission/ values

Try and find the company’s official mission and their values. This will likely be on the ‘About Us’ area of the company’s website. A mission can help you to establish the business’s culture and what you can expect from them in the future. For example, companies looking to expand will likely have opportunities for progression. Knowledge of their aims for the future can help you to adapt your answers in an interview to best demonstrate how you, as a candidate, could help the company achieve their goals.

3. What industry does the company operate in?

Determining the industry within which the company operates can help you to structure your answers to fit the types of clients/customers the businesses is working with. Different industries will require you to take different approaches. Some industries, such as the technology industry, are fast paced and ever changing, showcasing your ability to adapt and evolve will help to demonstrate your ability and land you the job.

4. Who are their competitors?

Finding out about who the company’s competitors are can give you a good idea of how established the business is within the market. This is a great way to find out how companies in the industry operate, especially if the company you are applying to doesn’t have much of an online presence. Googling a company’s competition can help fill the gaps that their website may not provide, allowing you to tailor your interview responses more effectively.   

5. What does the company actually do…?

Having a clear understanding of the work the company does is essential to interview success. In an interview you need to reassure an employer your competency and suitability for a role – not being able to adapt your answers to the role and company can make you seem generic. Most businesses will have their own website which will give some detail in regards to what they do. It is essential that you read this information! Lack of knowledge about what a company does can make you look unprepared and unsuitable, as you won’t be able to explain why you’d effectively fit into the company.

6. Ask your friends and family!

Friends and family members are an invaluable source of information. Asking your friends and family about a company can help to reassure you of the company’s reputation and, potentially, alert you to the hiring processes of the business. Any inside information about what to expect and what the company is looking for could give you an advantage over other candidates, which will help you to prepare more effectively for the interview.


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