Success usually requires significant preparation. That’s certainly true for job interviews. Headed into your meeting with a prospective employer, you should already know as much as possible about the company.

Armed with this information, you can raise your chances of scoring the job. Rather than treating each interview as a generic event, your research allows you to target the specific opportunity.

To maximize your chances of performing well in the interview, you can pursue many different avenues of research:

  • The company’s website
  • Social media
  • Press articles
  • Regulatory filings
  • Employer review websites
  • Your network

But how should you prioritize your information gathering? After all, you might not have the time to learn everything about the company.

There are some areas that deserve more focus than others. With that in mind, here are the most important details you should already know about an employer before going into the interview:

Basic Details

Start by discovering basic information about the company. This will give you a good foundation to understand the firm’s mission and where you fit in the overall scheme of things. Here are a few specific details to learn:

  • What the company does
  • How big it is
  • How long it’s been in business
  • Who founded it

Leadership

Companies are more than an organization. They also represent a collection of people, of personalities. The general atmosphere of a firm generates from the top. As such, you’ll learn a lot about the firm’s values and operational approach from researching the top executives.

Employer Reputation

What do current and former employees think of the firm? Of course, your best source would be someone who has worked (or is currently working) for the firm. As such, see if you have any appropriate contacts in your network.

However, without this personal connection, you can still gather information from the internet. Check out employer review sites to see what others say.

Competitors

Don’t stop your research with the individual company. Look beyond the singular firm to review the industry as a whole. This includes understanding your potential employer’s main competitors.

Place in the Market

Along with the competition, understand your potential employer’s overall standing within its sector. Is it a startup? An established leader? Factors like this will give you a good sense as to the firm’s goals and history.

Recent News

To understand the company’s current priorities, see what projects they have launched in the recent past. Check what mentions the company gets in recent news and review the firm’s website for press releases and other announcements. Then, going into the interview, you’ll know the near-term focus driving your potential employers.

Your Specific Interviewers

It’s also helpful to review your specific interviewers. You don’t want to get stalky about it, but you can skim LinkedIn and social media to discover some info about who you’ll be meeting. This will remove some of the mystery around the interview and help lower your anxiety level.

Culture

What’s it like to work at the company? What are its values? What is its long-term mission (beyond making a profit)?

As you review materials about the firm, look for answers to questions like these. They will suggest whether you’ll make a good cultural fit with the company.

Going into an interview, it’s helpful to have as much information as possible. Getting guidance from an expert gives you an advantage. Partnering with a top staffing firm, like SmartTalent, provides you with the direction you need to find the perfect employer.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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