Preparing for an interview can be nerve wracking. Trust us, fam, we 100% get it. But we want to see y'all thrive and most people have no clue where to even start. So, we've put together a few tips to help guide you through the research process so that you don't walk into your next interview with no prep. You ready to take some notes? Let's get into it!
Now for those of you in the back of the room claiming that we're doing too damn much, let's acknowledge all the reasons why researching a company before your interview is important:
It shows your potential employer that you're proactive and serious about the job opportunity. Like so serious that you did extra, unassigned homework before even showing up.
It makes it easier to tailor your responses so that they align with the company's values, culture, and goals. All of which will make you a more attractive candidate than that unprofessional dumbass who didn’t look up anything before arriving.
It makes it more likely that you’ll ask insightful questions during the interview instead of stupid ones that could have easily been answered with a quick Google/Bing search.
Researching thoroughly before walking into an interview will pretty much always help you make a strong first impression and, as a result, is more likely to increase your chances of success. Even moreso than whatever good luck charm you rubbed on before your last interview.
And tbh we could all do with a leg up while interviewing, right?
If you have no idea where to start, these are the top five things you should check out about a company before you walk into the room.
1. Their History
We’re not saying you need to know everything that has ever happened within the company (or all the nitty gritty details of that hostile takeover back in the 80s) but a general overview is good! Welegit just google questions like theses:
When and where was (company) started?
What important events (like major mergers and rebrands) regarding (company) have taken place?
Have there been any recent lawsuits regarding (company)?
You get the point. Be curious. It’s hard to walk in an pretend to be excited about working somewhere it you know nothing about the organization.
2. Their Leadership
It’s good to know who the CEO is, as well as the head of the division or department that you’re applying for. You should also know if there’s been a recent change in company leadership. That way you don’t sound dumb af name dropping someone who no longer works there.
Also, if you’re able to find out who your interview is going to be with, do a little research on them as well. Now, we’re not saying stalk the person like how that white lady was stalking Idris in Obsessed but interviews are all about making a positive connection. Any info you find on social media and websites like LinkedIn may be able to help with that.
3. Their Mission & Values
This is a big one. If you don’t know what the mission and values of a company are before you walk into the interview, it’s impossible to know whether or not they are going to align with yours. And for those of you asking, does it really matter that much if they’re paying me regardless to just do a job?
Yes, it does.
Peep this: if you’re really passionate about saving all the tiny puppies in the world, but the company you’re applying to is adamant about using those same tiny puppies to make luxury furs like they’re being commissioned directly by Cruella deVil herself, would you want to work for them in any capacity?
Exactly. The answer is probably not.
That’s why you gotta make sure your values align with the company’s you’re applying for. But don’t worry! Most companies have their mission and vision statements listed on their website (so it’s usually pretty easy to dig up).
4. Their Products and Services
This should go without saying but, please know what the company is selling/offering so that you don’t sound completely inept if they ask about your knowledge of their products.
And don’t try to lie about it or your experiences with the product either. That rarely ends well. This info can also be found pretty easily on most company websites so don’t be lazy.
5. Their Target Demographic and Existing Clientele
This can be a little more difficult to determine than all the other info so do an online search for marketing campaigns or ads for the company (or their products) and pay close attention to the following:
Who do they have in the ads? Is the person famous or are they regular people?
What’s their perceived age range? What’s their perceived socioeconomic status?
What product is being advertised and how/why is it being used?
What’s the tone and style of the ad? What’s the setting?
You can tell a lot about a company, their goals, and their corner of the industry by looking at who it is that they’re marketing their products to.
Get it now? Good.
At The End Of The Day
Doing a little research before your interview will always serve your needs better than walking in with no prep. Whether you spend a few minutes or a few hours is up to you. But we promise, it’s def worth the effort.
Happy hunting and don’t forget to check in again next week for more tips that will help you break into tech, scale the corporate ladder, and land a 6 figure paying job!