A Complete Guide to Researching a Company Pre-Interview

Do you know that an invitation to interview is accompanied by a strange feeling between excitement and fear? It’s particularly strong if you don’t know about your potential workplace. But even if you first heard about the company you’re interviewing was the day you sent your application, you can still walk in as you’ve known about the place for years. Here are several ways to address the pre-interview research of the company.

Know the Strong Suits of the company:

The best way to convince your interviewer that you know the company well is to explain what makes it special in comparison to competitors. Are you good news? On their websites, companies will often tell you the answer to this question. Companies share how they stand out through their mission or values, which are typically displayed in the section “About Us.” Read closely to learn what this organization could be different from others.

Sniff Off Financial Health:

Click on the “Investor Relations” tab while you’re on the website. You should be able to access and listen to a conference call for quarterly earnings available to the public for most large companies and read an annual report. These calls and reports cover a variety of topics (often difficult to find otherwise), including new products, company risks and whether revenue is growing or stable. If you’re talking to a startup, check out CrunchBase’s profile. You can get caught up in financing rounds, acquisitions, recent hires and press coverage.

Watch community contact:

Somewhere during the application process, someone you’re interviewing has probably scanned your social media accounts with Google. By finding out what the company has been up to lately, you should return the favor. In addition to the news that comes up when you read the company Google (which you should also read), corporate blogs are gold mines, especially for growing younger companies. Whether it’s a post that welcomes new employees to the sales team or details new features of a recent software update, this is what you should know about.

Go Undercover to Learn Company Culture:

You can glimpse a bit of corporate culture through the blog and social media accounts of a company, but try looking for information from external sources to really build on that information. Check out the company profiles at The Muse, for example, where you can watch interviews with current employees and hear what makes each workplace so different. Or see what positive and negative things people have to say about your Glassdoor interview. (You can also sniff out questions from the sample interview-here’s how.)

Read Up on the field and competitors:

Look for competitors by going to the company page of LinkedIn and scrolling down to the section “Other Companies People Viewed.” There should be a couple of competitors. Do the same with the competitors you find until you know who the big players are in the field. (Or you should be able to find a list of competitors on your profile if the company has a Crunchbase page.)

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