Research before an interview is a key factor in how well you will perform. The more you know about a company, its ethos and its markets the more invested you will appear to the interviewer. It will highlight your professionalism, show your enthusiasm for the job and offer an insight into how you work through the fact that you have clearly been diligent in your research.
Key research areas include:
- Company ethos and culture
- Customers, products and services
- How the role relates to the company
- Market trends, technologies, changes and news
Researching the company
The first five research areas are fairly obvious. You need to know as much about the company as you can including the way it works and the markets it operates in. Not only is it likely that you will be asked something about the company during your interview, but it is also beneficial if you can relate to certain aspects of the business or its markets as your interview goes on: this shows a more in depth knowledge of the business.
After all, by attending the interview you are telling the employer you want to work for that business. You don’t want to contradict that by knowing very little about them!
Also, researching how the company operates will give you an idea of where you will fit in and how you can help make improvements, which will give you big bonus points in the interview.
Researching the people
The last two areas to research are not as obvious, but equally as important. Being aware of key employees within the business could unearth relationships you didn’t know were there or give you opportunities to mention people in the interview, again reinforcing your knowledge of the company.
Knowing your interviewers on the other hand, may offer you an advantage in your interview. You may unearth someone you know who has interviewed with them in the past (offering insight into their interview technique) or you may find out information about them or the things they like which you could relate to in the interview.
Keep it subtle
The key with this kind of research is to use it subtly – if you find out your interviewer writes a blog you could mention that you had read it in the past. If they are an avid sports fan you could make small talk about their favoured sport at the beginning or end of the interview.
Remember, you want to leave a positive and likeable impression – not come across like a company stalker!
Researching the position
Next, you need to research the role itself and how you can bring your experience to bear. You need to demonstrate to the employer that you understand the role and relate that to how you are going to not only do what is asked of the role, but exceed expectations.
Finally, you should research what you expect to be paid for your new role. This will come in handy when negotiating your salary. You can do this by talking to colleagues, speaking to your recruitment consultant, viewing similar roles and so on.
There are numerous ways to research the types of information mentioned above, including: