There’s nothing worse than going into a job interview totally unprepared, other than maybe being late, with your zipper down, food in your teeth AND you’re unprepared! Here at Focus Employment Services, we get a lot of questions about how to prepare for job interviews. While there is a lot of information and advice to share, there’s one thing that’s essential: Do your research on the company you want to work for before your interview. It gives candidates a solid advantage and increases your overall confidence and preparedness levels! Let’s explore why this step is so important and look at ways to find out what you need to really make a strong impression.
Why you should do your research:
- It shows you really care about the job.
- It shows that you know how to be proactive, resourceful and find answers to questions independently.
- Helps you learn if you’re actually a good fit – you may find that the company plans on relocating to a new town, doesn’t offer flex time or benefits that you need, or that their overall values or office culture aren’t what you had in mind.
- Gives you an understanding of what the company actually does. You don’t want to be caught unprepared in the interview when they ask you basic questions about their services.
- Let’s you learn what the organizational structure looks like.
- Let’s you find out about their clients and customers. If you can relate to and understand their customers and their needs, you become a stronger asset!
- Allows you to (sometimes!) learn about the person(s) interviewing you so you have a bit of an advantage knowing their role within the company so you can forge a stronger connection.
What you need to research and take notes on:
- What the company sells/buys/makes/ships/services, and so on
- Their history, their values, their mission statement
- Any positive news stories related to the company
- Their role in the community
- Who the bosses and staff are
- If they have a good office culture
- Challenges the company faces or may face in the future
- What they really look for in their employees
How to find what you need:
Naturally, the company website is the first place to start researching a company as it can offer all sorts of handy information. You may even be able to find an “About Us” or “Our Team” section, as well as all the goods on what they do and what’s been in the news. However, many companies don’t have much of a website, or it may be very outdated. Don’t rely on everything you’ve read, you’ll need to go a bit deeper. Here are a few suggestions for your sleuthing to get you the information you need:
- Look at their social media – start with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and review several months’ worth of posts. You’ll get a good idea of their office culture, customers, products, services, events and much more!
- Do a general Google search and check for their online reviews, news, community support or charity work and so on.
- Read their blogs and case studies. You will learn so much about what they do and what their expertise is that you’ll be able to ask even BETTER questions in the interview than if you hadn’t researched it.
- Network: Talk to anyone you know who has worked there or knows someone who has.
One more tip to keep in mind is this: Don’t go overboard with your sleuthing; it may come across as a bit too intense or even creepy and it can turn a potential employer off. For example, don’t phone or follow staff on social media that you don’t know, or suddenly show up to their place of business before the interview and ask around. You can get a lot of the information you need while still keeping your distance.
The point of researching a company is so that you’ll be able to make a positive impact during the interview and show the employer that you’re a great fit! Even an hour of research can uncover all sorts of things about a company that will help you sail through the interview with more confidence. Further, business owners and management are usually very proud of what they do and how they do it, so when a candidate sounds sincerely impressed with their work, they’ll be a little flattered.
When looking for work, don’t forget to talk to the expert staff at Focus Employment Services in Angus and Alliston. We offer workshops, resources and plenty of supports to help you be successful with your job search, and most help is free of cost! Connect with us today by stopping in to see us or by calling 1-877-513-0187; we can’t wait to work with you to help you find the next step in your career!