Before sending you to an interview, recruiters will tell you: “do your research!” But with so much information about employers on the web, knowing how much is enough (or how much is too little) can make the difference between panicking the night before or going to bed with the confidence that you know everything you need to pass the interview with flying colours.
So, how much should you research employers before your interview? As much as it takes to answer these questions about the company.
What does the company do?
This is the most basic and important question you must be able to answer. Although you won’t need to answer this question at the interview, you need to understand the product or service to give the best answers possible.
But you should go beyond the “repairs heavy machinery” or “produces laboratory chemicals”. What kind of heavy machinery? Chemicals for what types of laboratories? Who are their customers? If you can use specific examples during your interview, you will impress your interviewer.
What are the values of the company?
A business that values professionalism will expect different things than a business that values relaxed relationships between employees. To really show that you can be a part of the team, you need to display the kinds of behaviours that match with your potential employer’s values.
Many companies provide value statements on their website. Find them and use past experiences and actions that exemplify those values.
What can you expect from the leadership of this company?
Some companies leave employees to their own devices while others have highly developed procedures and processes to get the work done. Both ways work; you just need to know which one so you can adapt your interview strategy accordingly.
Although companies don’t usually state this kind of stuff, you can glean this information from the website language: “strictly applied, proven processes” and “free-flowing creativity” evoke different types of leadership.
We would say that this is the basic information you need to go in your interview with confidence. If you want to know more is up to you, but answering these three questions is going to put you way ahead of other, less prepared candidates.
Have you been in a situation where this kind of information helped you secure a position? Let us know your story in the comments!