How to: Research a Company for an Interview

By Siew Ching

Do your research right and you might just be rewarded with a job!

You hear this often enough – always research a company before you go for the interview. There are a few reasons why this is important. Firstly, you want to know more about the company to see if you’d be a good fit. By having the right information at hand, you can better prepare for your answers and even come up with the right questions to show that you’re really interested in a role there.

Also, the right research may just give you some important nugget of information that may come in handy during your interview – for example, perhaps the company you’re interviewing for is going through an expansion exercise. Knowing exactly what is being targeted can help you craft your answer to show that you’re the person to hire for this next phase for the company!

Besides, knowing a lot about the company will make you more prepared for the interview and this is the best way to make a great first impression on your hiring manager! Without prior research, you may feel ill prepared, stumbling over the main ideas that you’d like to convey especially if they are directly linked to the company.

What should you be researching for? The basics like the company’s mission, culture and values. Then look for any latest news that can give you a head’s up on what’s happening with the company.

Now, time to get the legwork in! Here’s how you can research the company:

#1 Company website
There’s no better place than the WWW to find all the information you need about a company. Most – if not all – companies have a company website so you can start here to gain the basic info like culture and vision. It’s also a good place to gain a better understanding of the products and services they offer their customers whilst also learning about the things that matter to them most.

If there is an annual report, even better! This can help you learn more about how a company is doing financially and what they are currently focusing on.

Don’t have much time to do your research? The best place to look is on the “about us” page which lists all the important information about the company. You can also look at the profile pages to learn about the people who work in the company, even your hiring manager! Knowing what he or she looks like before heading into the interview will give you more confidence.

#2 Company blog
Does the company have a blog site on their site? You’ll want to read as much as you can there as this is a great wealth of information breaking down everything the company is doing. A company’s blog is usually where an organisation shares what makes them different and what’s important to them at the moment. It also offers you a glimpse into their company culture.

#3 Company social media account
Who doesn’t have a social media presence! Look into two types of social media accounts – the official account which is where they put all the content that they would like to share with their target audience and if the company is large enough, personal social media profiles of the higher ups who work there to gain an inside scoop straight from their leaders. You’ll be amazed at how much important information you can gain from these personal accounts, especially if it is the CEO’s account!

#4 Job description
A lot of people forget that the job description is where a company also shares a lot of information about what they value and seek in a hire. Most job descriptions provide you with a short introduction to the company, specifically their culture, vision and values. You can also gain information about the tasks and duties of the role, which can help skew your answers to meet these requirements.

Some job descriptions share information on employee benefits and opportunities within. This offers a good idea on what the company values or how it treats its staff.

#5 Look for news articles
Do a Google News search to look for news articles about the company. It can offer insight on how the company is doing, its latest projects and ventures, and also non-business related activities to give you a sense of what the company values.

#6 Ask around!
You may have friends (or friends of friends) who know people who work there. There’s no better way than to find out exactly what it is like to work in the said company other than from people who actually work there. So ask your network – you never know just what useful piece of information you may receive to help you with your interview as well as decide on whether the company is a right fit or not.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

Share this article: