I had touched on the importance of research on a post a while ago, but I came across a Forbes article that went into greater depth on research specific to pre-interview preparation, so I thought I’d quickly share with you!
The author, Lily Zhang, gives 5 MAJOR tips on doing the best research on a prospective employer prior to your interview. I’ll share my two favorites:
2. Sniff Out the Financial Health:
While you’re on the website, click on the “Investor Relations” tab. For most large companies, you should be able to access and listen to a publicly available quarterly earnings conference call and read an annual report. These calls and reports cover a range of topics (that are often otherwise hard to find), including new products, company risks, and whether revenues are growing or stable. If you’re interviewing with a startup, check out its profile on Crunchbase. Here, you can get caught up on rounds of funding, acquisitions, recent hires, and relevant press coverage.
Once you have this information, it’s up to you to draw your own conclusions. While you don’t necessarily want to spout off stock prices or funding history, being able to speak insightfully about where you think the company will go in the future, backed up with facts, is hugely impressive in an interview.
3. Watch Community Interaction
Somewhere along the application process, someone you’re interviewing with has likely Googled you and scoured your social media account. You should return the favor by finding out what the company has been up to lately.
Aside from the news that comes up when you Google the company (which you should also read), corporate blogs are gold mines, especially for younger companies that are growing. Whether it’s a post welcoming new staffers to the sales team or detailing new features of a recent software update, this is the kind of stuff you should know about.
LinkedIn is also a good tool for learning about what kind of news the company communicates—and therefore wants you to know. Check the company page on LinkedIn and see what kind of updates are featured. Is there a promotion for Mother’s Day, or a statement on how the sales team exceeded earning expectations? Either way, this will show you what types of things to bring up in conversation. (Oh, and while you’re on LinkedIn, check out the profiles of the people you’ll be interviewing with. Make sure you have your profile set so that they can see that you’ve viewed their profiles. This might seem counterintuitive, but it actually shows that you care and are doing your due diligence before the interview.)
Lastly, check out the company’s Twitter and Facebook profiles. Is the tone professional or casual? Is it nonstop promotion with zero interaction? Is the team responsive to complaints? Tuck away positive news and examples you encounter during your research to use in the interview.
If your prospective employer is a public company, there is an overabundance of available information about its operations, financials, corporate citizenship, career opportunities, and culture. All you need to do is take the time to look! And companies are impressed when they realize that you have taken the time to go the extra mile to research and due diligence above visiting http://www.xyzcompany.com. If they’re going to invest in you, they want to know that you’ve at least invested some time into learning about them! Completing solid research also helps you to be more confident walking into the interview because, well, you know your stuff! So set aside time, do your research, and be prepared to wow some interviewers!
To read the entire Forbes article, click here.