Nearly all interviewees know they should research the company before they apply and again before the interview. But simply telling someone to research the company and individual, isn’t giving much direction. Here’s a list of what you should know about the company and your interviewer before the interview starts. You want to be able to explain why you are a good match for the company in terms of work and culture. You’ll gain insight into the work by researching the company and the culture by researching the person.
- What’s the company’s Mission Statement?
- How is the company organized? (hint: Is there a CEO or president? Are there department managers? Who will you be reporting to?)
- What are the company’s goals? (hint: this might be difficult to find if it is a private company, but if you can find this and reiterate how you can help the company achieve these goals, you’re more likely to land the job.)
- What are the recent news stories about the company? (hint: try trade publications and local niche publications.)
- What’s the company’s financial situation? (hint: you might not want to discuss this in the interview. Use your best judgment.)
Tech Republic suggests in this article, using the following sites to help you gain as much knowledge about the company as possible: Business Wire, WetFeet.com, Hoover’s Online, Annual Reports Library, Forbes Lists of Best Companies, Thomas Register, Wright Research Center, and EarningsWhispers.com The article also has a good list of additional questions to research.
As for what information you need about the interviewer, some good knowledge to have is:
- Who will be interviewing you?
- What’s his background? (hint: LinkedIn is a good place to find this information if it is not public on the company site.)
- How long has she worked for the company?
- Is he involved in other organizations?
The more information you have on hand (don’t be afraid to print things out!), the more comfortable you’ll be at the interview and all your research will reiterate that you are taking the interview seriously.