Researching a Prospective Employer Before Your Interview

Researching a Prospective Employer Before Your Interview

Before an interview, you probably spend hours trying to prepare. You might practice interview questions in front of a mirror, do power poses for confidence boosts, and crunch the numbers to find your salary requirement. However, all of your preparations may not be enough. If you haven't researched the prospective employer, you are unlikely to have a successful interview. To improve your chances of a job offer, you need to learn about the company.

The Keys to Thorough Research

Anyone can do a quick Google search on a company or read a paragraph from a website. But that won't be enough to impress your potential employer. They want to know you took time to learn about the company because this shows you have a genuine interest in the job. Additionally, it demonstrates your ability to do detailed research.

To get started, look online for industry journals and news articles about the company. SEC documents and social media accounts are also great resources. As you look for information about the company, take notes. You probably won't remember everything you read, and your notes can be a good refresher before you go into the interview.

Of course, you don't want to ignore the company website. Scour the website for information and read press releases, blogs, and more. If possible, reach out to a former employee and learn more about the company. During your interview, you can use the knowledge to impress the hiring manager.

Important Things to Note

While you research the company, there are a few things you should look for. First, try to define the company atmosphere. Every business has its own environment, and it's crucial you feel comfortable in that environment. If you're not at home, you won't last long in the position.

For some individuals, a relaxed environment is the best option. But others perform better in a rigid atmosphere. One of the best ways to learn about the workplace culture is to check out social media accounts. Find out the dress code, company activities, and overtime policies.

Company Finances

It's no secret that finding a new job is hard work. To avoid being on another job hunt in the near future, you need to work for a financially strong company. If a company is in distress, they may be close to making layoffs or going bankrupt.

You can't expect to go to a company's website and find news about a company's financial troubles. But you can obtain tax and financial history on a company through various channels. Although it takes work to get this information, the effort is worthwhile.

Competitor Insight

This step is for those who truly want to impress a hiring manager. When you do your research, find a way to speak with the competitors. At first, you need to find out who those competitors are. Then, you need to look into the names of the CEOs and the accomplishments of those companies.

Don't be afraid to reach out to members of the competing companies directly. Through your research, you can become more educated and informed. During the interview, you may prove to a hiring manager that you don't need as much training as other job applicants.

Dealing with Reviews

As you look into a company, you're bound to find a few reviews from former employees. While those reviews can be valuable, they shouldn't be taken at face value. Think about reading reviews for your favorite restaurant. Even though the food is fantastic, the restaurant has its fair share of negative reviews. Not everyone has a good experience, and some of the customers just want something to complain about.

Reviews about an employer are very much the same as restaurant or service reviews. If one employee had a terrible experience, there's no guarantee you'll have the same trouble. In fact, you may not be getting the full story.

Look for general trends in the reviews. For example, multiple employees might mention a failure to pay overtime wages. Or, several employees might rave about the management. When people

echo the same sentiments, there's a good chance the reviews are truthful.

The Importance of Research

With everything on your plate, should you really take the time to look into a company's background? After all, you haven't accepted the job offer yet. Despite your initial feelings, you should know that researching a company comes with several benefits.

Drive the Interview

These days, hiring managers want the job applicants to drive the conversation. They don't only ask questions and expect short responses. Rather, they expect you to have questions for them and want detailed responses to their own questions.

If you fail to do any research, you won't be able to drive the conversation. You will probably be at a loss for topics and may come across as unprepared.

Show Your Passion

All good often, job applicants don't have a genuine interest in a position. While those applicants might be able to feign their interest, their acting can only go so far. By researching a company, you show the hiring manager you are passionate and interested in the job.

In a competitive market, this could be enough to push you to the top. The 30 minutes you spend researching a company could be what pushes you through to the next interview or what gets you a job offer.

Show Resourcefulness

If you do more than read a mission statement from the company website, you may demonstrate your resourcefulness. In any industry, being resourceful will help you succeed. A manager is always happy to know an employee excels at finding information and studying an issue before they jump into a project.

Avoid Making Mistakes

Without researching before your interview, you don't know what to expect. You might show up overdressed or say something that goes against company values. In any case, your lack of research could hurt you.

When it comes to finding a new job, you have a lot going against you. But you can beat the odds by doing your research and preparing for the interview.

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