By Selipha Kihagi
Are you scheduled for a job interview in the next days to come? If you are, you need to know how to research a company before you walk into the job interview. You don’t want embarrassing moments where you can’t come up with an answer for interview questions such as “What do you know about us?” You also don’t want to go blank when the interviewer asks why you think you are the best fit for the company.
In any job interview you must aim to impress the hiring managers, and this begins with understanding what the company does in an out. Most people get too excited about getting the interview that they forget to do their research on a company; a move that propagates the many cases of job scams today.
So, how do you research a company before the interview?
1. Understand their products, services and clients
Before walking into the interview room, make sure you research a company and its products. This includes knowing the products the company or organization sells, the services it offers and even who its clients are. Why is this important? Recruiters expect to see a potential employee the minute you walk into the company.
And potential employees understand what the organization stands for and are ready to become ambassadors for that particular brand. Do you think you can be that employee? Do your research on this and you don’t have to worry about looking bad.
2. Know what the company has been up to
It is not comprehensive research if by the end of it you do not know what the company you are going to interview at has been up to. Visit their social media profiles and see what news they have been associated with in the last few days or months.
Read the company’s blog posts if they are available on their website and make Google your best friend. By doing this you will be prepared for any current affairs interview question that the recruiter shoots your way.
3. Research a Company to know what makes them stand out
While it is obvious that every company has a direct or indirect competitor, every employer needs to feel special and unique. They don’t want to be likened to another entity or confused for another company that does not share in the company’s values.
Knowing this, it is up to you to research a company and find out how the employer inviting you for an interview stands out from the rest. What is unique about them? What are the company’s strong suits? You can learn this by studying their mission and vision or by analysing their online profiles.
4. Learn about the company culture
Most hiring managers pick out the best candidates based on these two things; experience and the best fit for the company. You may have the experience, required qualifications and certificates but end up losing out on the job because you are just not the best fit. And what does the ‘best fit’ mean? It means a candidate who will easily and quickly adapt to the company culture.
It could be that you work best in a serious environment but the company prefers someone who can work in a fun environment, and vice versa. It could be that you like wearing suits to the office but the company expects you to ease up on your dress code. Company culture is an important factor during the hiring process, and by you doing your research on a company, you can demonstrate that you are easily adaptable by dressing and talking the part during the interview. Make yourself likeable.
5. Confirm the location of the company and its existence
This is a very important aspect, not only because it will give you the confidence you need to pass any job interview, but also because it prevents you from being duped. Think about it; most people get scammed because they are not sure a company actually exists. Today most organizations can be found by a simple Google search and LinkedIn can help you track its actual employees.
You can also visit the company’s website to research on their current location. The last thing you want is to assume you know where the company is located only for you to realize they moved offices on the day of the interview. Research a company and how long it has been in existence and have your facts right before the interview.
Once you get that invite to a job interview, start your interview preparation by doing research on a company and learning everything about it. It doesn’t matter how much information you scoop out in your research or if this information will matter in the interview room. Doing your research will position you as the ideal candidate.
Are you attending several job interviews but not getting hired? Talk to an interview coach for assistance.
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