Job interviews can be intimidating. The good news, however, is that there are a variety of ways for you to prepare for your interview and calm those nerves.
One quick and easy thing you can do? Research.
Doing a little research prior to your interview can not only help lower your stress, but arm you with the knowledge you need for a successful interview.
If you’re still not convinced, don’t worry. We’re going to break things down for you.
Here are 5 reasons you should research a company before your interview:
1. To demonstrate your interest in the job.
You should never plan to go into an interview and “wing it” – especially if you want it to go well. After all, employers are unimpressed by job seekers who don’t know anything about the job they are applying for, or the company itself.
First of all, researching an employer beforehand allows you to LEARN. You’ll learn valuable information about their business, their clients and the industry in general.
The knowledge you gain will, in turn, increase your comfort level and confidence during the interview. It will become apparent to the interviewer that you did your homework. Particularly when you are able to have an actual conversation with them about the job and the business.
This will demonstrate to them that you are serious about the opportunity and show that you care enough to learn about it. And it will go a long way in making a good impression.
Show them that you want the job. Take the time to investigate.
2. To learn about the company’s mission and values.
It’s important to look beyond what a company does. And researching an employer before an interview enables you to do just that.
How? It allows you to view them with a wider lens.
After all, a business is more than just the services they offer or the products they manufacture. A business is also a brand, a culture, an environment.
Knowing what a company’s mission is and what they value will help you uncover a deeper layer to the business. You’ll gain insight regarding what the employer cares about, what they prioritize and it will ultimately help you discover who they really are.
You’ll now have a bigger, more clear picture of the business.
3. To better align yourself to the company.
Your main goal in an interview is to show the employer that you are the right person for the job. Since you’ve already learned what the company does and what they care about, you can now market yourself to them in a way that makes sense to their business.
Take note of any words you find repeated through your research and – when appropriate – incorporate them in the experiences you share.
For instance, if the company values accountability, share experiences where you demonstrated accountability. Maybe you consistently hit all of your assigned responsibilities before their deadlines. Or maybe you led a team to reach a large goal.
Aligning your skills and experience to a company in this way, will show that you not only understand what’s important to the company, but that you’d be a great fit to their company culture. The hiring manager will have no trouble envisioning you on the team.
4. To help craft meaningful questions.
It’s important to have questions ready to ask at the end of your interview.
But you don’t want to ask questions that don’t add value – or that you could have easily found the answer to by doing just a little research.
Obvious questions such as:
- What does the company do?
- How long have you been in business?
These questions are guaranteed to make you seem lazy or uninterested in the position. Demonstrate that you did the research by using your knowledge to ask more insightful questions.
Thoughtful questions such as:
- I saw on the company website that X is one of the core values of the business. How would you say this position demonstrates that value?
- I know that the company’s overall mission is X. But can you share some of the company’s short and long-term goals with me? What part would I play in helping the business achieve those goals?
This will show your interviewer you’re eager to be an asset to the business. And, as an added bonus, you’ll discover if their business goals align with your professional goals.
5. To determine if it’s the right fit for you.
According to Business Insider, the average person spends about 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime.
Now, imagine you hate your job. How many hours of your life will you spend dreading going to work? That’s why researching an employer is so critical.
Before you begin your research, however, you first need to determine what’s important to you in the workplace. Is it professional growth? Healthy work/life balance? Quality training and development?
Once you know that, there are several resources you can utilize to investigate a potential employer. Sites like Glassdoor, for example, where you can find feedback from current and former employees about the work environment and company culture.
Here are some other areas you might want to look into: company reviews, customer reviews, charities and organizations they support, and mission and values.
Knowing this can help you decide if it’s somewhere you actually want to spend one-third of your life.
As you can see, doing research on the company you’re going to be interviewing with can only help you. And it’s also worth mentioning: interviewers can tell if you’ve prepared for the interview or not.
Invest in your future. Take the time to research a potential employer. It will set you apart from other applicants, increase your confidence and help set you up for success.
How TERRA Can Help
If you are interested in more interview tips, check out our blog. We have several great articles designed specifically to help job seekers be successful, including an informative article on questions to ask during an interview.
And if you are interested in help with your job search, don’t forget that a staffing agency is a great resource. Recruiters want you to be successful and often provide additional support, including interview prep.