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Career Advice

Preparing for Interview – Top Tips for Researching a Company

“ So then, what do you know about us….”

At most interviews I have ever been involved in, either as the interviewer or the interviewee, this question generally features at some point. It is virtually a given that it will be asked. Which is why it always puzzles me why people don’t always pay attention to it in their interview preparation. Being involved in commercial recruitment meant I heard interview feedback from both candidates and clients on this on a daily basis.

Clients were often shocked at the blatant lack of knowledge about their business whilst candidates came up with excuses to me about why they had not read any of the company information I had provided for them.  And there really were never any valid excuses.  This question should always be answered easily and answered well.To help make sure that you answer this question well at your next interview, we have put together our Top Tips for Researching a Company. 

Check the Company’s Website
Most companies these days have a website. The “About us” section will usually give you a bit of general background information about the company and its’ history. There may also be bios of the directors and management team. The company’s products and services will generally be featured, and there may be testimonials from satisfied clients and customers. The site may also feature a “News” section, which if up to date can be particularly useful. New product development, managerial changes, press releases, awards etc. will generally feature here and this information is all invaluable for you when learning about the company.

Use Google News
Not all companies will update the news section of their website, if they even have one. Using Google News to search on any articles relating to the company as, if  there has been an achievement or some event of note for the company, it will most likely have been given some press coverage. Using google will also help you find out about the company’s current performance, its’ reputation and where it is heading – something that you may not always find on the official sources of information, particularly on its’ own website.

Check out page 2 for more handy tips…

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Discussion

14 Responses to “Preparing for Interview – Top Tips for Researching a Company”

  1. Very insightful information and completely agree. The problem seems two-fold; graduates and students still seem to be unaware of what they are expected to know about the employer before they go for interviews and secondly they don’t always know where to find this information. Another problem is that most graduates are not applying for just one job. This means that for each employer there is a lot of research to do, which can be very time consuming. Being aware of this at TARGETjobs we have put together Employer Insights, almost a one-stop-shop with independently written reviews on top graduate employers. The insights provide all the relevant information you need and are a great way to find out what it is really like to work for an employer. They provide information on the work culture, and values, benefits, vital facts and figures, as well as give helpful tips on how to get hired and career advice.
    Another great tool is the ability to follow the employers which allows students and graduates to receive the latest news from the chosen employer in real-time.

    Employer Insights tackles the problems students and graduates face when researching employers by providing the essential information, in one place, doing all the hard work for them. Currently there are 100 employers listed but this is ever-growing. http://targetjobs.co.uk/employer-insights

    Posted by Jackie | October 21, 2011, 3:26 pm
  2. Thank you glad you found it helpful.

    All the best,

    Jackie

    Posted by Jackie | October 24, 2011, 9:44 am
  3. Thanks a lot for your post. I didn’t know about Glassdoor and Insiderbuzz, they look very useful. I did not that it is important to research a company before going to an interview, and usually spend a lot of time on it. As Jackie says above, it is very time consuming. I also research them before I write the job application – to find out if I even want to write there and find the name of the contact person (if it isn’t stated in the job ad) and a bit of background info from Linked In e.t.c.

    Posted by Mados | April 4, 2012, 11:23 am
  4. Corrected comment:

    Thanks a lot for your post. I didn’t know about Glassdoor and Insiderbuzz, they look very useful. I did know that it is important to research a company before going to an interview, and usually spend a lot of time on it. As Jackie says above, it is very time consuming. I also research them before I write the job application – to find out if I even want to work there and find the name of the contact person (if it isn’t stated in the job ad) and a bit of background info from Linked In e.t.c.

    Can you please delete the other one. Thanks:-)

    Posted by Mados | April 4, 2012, 2:36 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] what you know about the company. Research it well and have that info at hand. See our previous post here, for tips on researching […]

  2. […] that you are genuinely serious about the job. Check out our previous post on Researching Companies here for some additional […]

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  4. […] job description and that you have fully researched the company. Read some more tips on doing that here. Just like when you sat an exam at school, the more you prepare, the better equipped and confident […]

  5. […] Despite being asked in virtually every interview what you know about the company you are applying to, many candidates spend little or no time researching this. There really is no excuse for this. It is hardly a surprise question. Telling an interviewer that you haven’t had the time to do much research on them, or simply just stating that you don’t know anything about what they do, is quite frankly an insult. With the resources we all have these days, there can be no excuse for not doing your homework on them. Being able to show you know what they are about will always impress an interviewer. For some more tips on doing that research, check out our previous post here. […]

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  8. […] before I had applied. The joy of social media, Twitter, Facebook etc, means that doing some research on the company prior to an interview is easier than you may […]

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