You made a list of the top companies in the area you would like to work with, tailored your cover letter and resume to the job description, and now you’ve been invited to interview with one of your top choices. What should you do for interview prep? You definitely want to practice answering some of the top interview questions. You also want to research the company where you are interviewing. This research will not only help you answer questions during your interview but will help you decide if the company is a good fit for you.
Start With the Company’s Website
Make sure you understand what the company offers and what makes that offer unique. Check out the Mission and Values section, the About Us, or the Meet the Team web sections. You should also check out any testimonials and reviews. See if there are any completed projects or case studies to read and take some short notes on. A company’s website is its digital office or storefront. Is the website maintained, helpful, and organized?
Move On to Social Channels
Social channels are an excellent way to see how a business interacts with clients and employees. Reviewing them can give you a better understanding of company culture. For example, a company will sometimes announce a new product, client, or project on its social media before posting it on its website. Of course, they will share any press releases and mentions here too.
Research Key Employees
LinkedIn is the social channel to use here. First, check out the company page and the CEO’s profile. Then, look back at a company’s posts. Since LinkedIn is a business social media channel, you may find be able to find out about new initiatives, projects, or even other available job opportunities.
Be aware that people will be notified that you viewed their profiles on LinkedIn. So, the point here is not to “social stalk” someone but to get an idea of the work background of the person interviewing you. Check out their career path at the company – did they start at an entry level and work up to their current position? That speaks well of the company in general.
Extra Credit-Check Out the Company’s Competitors
Extra credit interview prep – check out the competition. You can use Google, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor to look at one or two of the company’s main competitors. What do the competitors do the same or differently? Are the competitor’s reviews decent on Google and Yelp? Is something interesting happening in the industry that might come up in your interview?
Have an Idea About Salary for the Position in Your Area
Salary might not come up in an initial interview, but it is good to be prepared. Research on Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale to see the typical salary ranges for the position. Remember that these are national averages for a position’s salary-your geographic area salary may be higher or lower. You can check out local job listings to see what the position typically pays in your area too.
Wrapping it Up
There are two good reasons to spend time on company research as interview prep. The first is that it will help you during the interview. Suppose you understand the company’s product or service, competition, and the current business environment. In that case, it will be easier for you to make a case for your ability to make a positive difference in the role you are applying for. The second reason is to determine if this opportunity is a fit for you. You want to find a role you can thrive in at a company you would feel good representing. You might also want to see if there are growth opportunities for you at a particular company. It is worth a little bit of homework up front!
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