As you interview for a position, it’s critical that you’ve done your homework beforehand.
The homework we mean is to study and learn as much as possible about the company and your hiring manager.
Read below for some tips how to research an employer and why you must.
- First, your interviewer/hiring manager is expecting you to know something about his or her company. And the “something” isn’t just its address and name. Instead, the hiring manager expects you to know such things as what the company does/makes, its mission, its locations, how big it is/how many employees work for it, who are its major competitors, its reputation in the marketplace, etc.
- Such knowledge is more crucial the higher the position for which you’re applying. If you’re looking for warehouse work the very fact that you know about, for example, how the company is faring in the marketplace will undoubtedly impress a recruiter/hiring manager immensely. If you’re gunning for an upper-management position with an NYSE company, you’d darn well better know how the company’s been faring lately.
- Find out the names of the company’s leadership team and executives. These often are found on the company’s own website, so there’s really no excuse not to know this.
- But don’t leave your research efforts only to the company’s website. You can also Google its name to read articles about it and find news releases its marketing folks distributed. If you know anyone who works at the company, ask the person if you can chat for a bit to learn more about the company and your potential supervisor. Don’t forget Twitter – follow the company as well as the tweets of the company’s leadership (if applicable). Follow the company on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- As you speak with your interviewer, at appropriate places in your conversation, mention a few things you know about the company. You can ask questions based on your research. For example, if you read an article that mentioned the company is in growth mode, you mention the article and then ask if your position is part of the growth, etc.
- You can also ask questions that arise due to your research. Ask the hiring manager how it deals with its competitors (name them). Ask the interviewer its recent acquisition of XYZ company and how that will affect his or her department. In short, ask questions that show a) you’ve done your research and b) you’re interested in the future of the company.