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Conducting Company Research before an Interview

Why Company Research is Important

According to CNBC, having little-to-no knowledge of a company is one of the most common mistakes made during interviews. 

In an increasingly competitive job market, employers expect more and more out of potential employees. 

Employers don't have time to bother with job seekers who haven't done their research. If you don't take the time to get to know the company, why should they take the time to get to know you? 

Here are some reasons why you should do your research:

It increases your confidence.

The more you know about the company, the more comfortable you will feel interviewing for them. Make sure you do your due diligence and watch your self-esteem skyrocket!

It makes a good first impression.

Doing your research shows employees that you really want this job and will do what it takes to get it. This will set you apart from the rest of the competition.

It shows you're a self-starter.

Employers like employees who are self-motivated. Researching a company beforehand shows that you are willing to take the initiative to reach your goals. 

If you want to be an employee with the company you're interviewing for, know as much as an employee of the company would know. Businesses will often create content about the company to build their online presence and attract more customers. This is good news for you because you can use this company information to your advantage

Important Information to Research

Who are the key players of the organization?

The key players of an organization are the people in charge: the CEOs, directors, chairmen, and other similar leaders.

What kind of experience is the company looking for?

Different companies look for different kinds of experience. A company that values innovation will look for a forward-thinking employee. A company with more traditional values may look for an employee who supports tried-and-true methods. Identifying this key point will help you figure out if the company is a good fit for you.

Have there been any recent changes or news updates within the company?

You should always stay up to date on the affairs of a company you're interested in. Not only will this help you tailor your interview strategy, but it will also show your interviewer that you have an active interest in the company.

What is the company's mission?

The mission of a company will vary from business to business. In order to gain a better understanding of a company, it's important to know what its overall goal is. 

What kind of company culture does the business value?

Different employees thrive in different business environments. It's important to know what kind of culture a company encourages to make sure it would be a good fit for your own beliefs and values.

Who will be interviewing you?

Knowing who will be interviewing you is invaluable because it gives you a chance to figure out aspects of your interviewer's personality and use them to your advantage. For instance, if you're a marathon runner and know your interviewer is too, bringing it up in your conversation can help you build rapport.

Sometimes, whoever you have corresponded with at the company will be the one interviewing you.  Other times, you may have corresponded with an HR representative or a recruiter.  In that case, you can ask them who your interviewer will be, and they should have no problem letting you know. 

Find out exactly where to locate the company information above by signing up for the premium version of the training program.

According to Twin Employment and Training, 47% of interviewers said they wouldn't offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company.

Other Places to Find Your Information

You can use several other sources of information and research techniques when preparing for a job interview.

Job Descriptions

When it comes to hiring, every interviewer has an ideal employee they're looking for to fill the job position. This is the employee who has the experience, the attitude, and the skills needed to get the job done. However, every company will have a different ideal employee they're looking for, so to figure out what they want, take a look at their job descriptions!

Important points to look for include:


"Creative," "bold," and "innovative" are a set of keywords that let you know they're looking for someone who can think outside the box.  "Motivated," "responsible," and "meticulous" are another set of keywords indicating that they're looking for someone to take on a leadership role.  By identifying keywords in a job description, figure out who their ideal employee is and you'll be able to tailor your interview strategy accordingly.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Sometimes job duties differ from company to company, even if they have the same job title.  An administrative assistant at one business might simply be filing paperwork while at another business, he or she might be settling financial accounts.  Pay attention to the job duties outlined and apply for jobs that align with your own goals and what you enjoy.  If you apply for a job with responsibilities you do not enjoy, the interviewer will know!

Talk to Others Who Work There

One of the best ways to get information about a company is by talking to people who work there. You can locate the employees of an organization using tools like Linkedin. Searching on both your 1st and 2nd Level connections will enable you to reach out to the company’s current or former employees.

There are several ways you can reach out:

Job Review Sites

If you’re not able to get in contact with anyone from the company, job review sites are a great alternative.

Email and Cold Call

Although it is best to talk with someone you already know, simply reaching out to employees in the company can also work!

Look for Fellow Alumni

Although you may not know them personally, reaching out to fellow alumni from your school is a great way to learn more about the company.

Do You Know Anyone Who Works There?

This is the easiest and most effective way to get insider information. By reaching out to a friend or acquaintance you already know, you’re more likely to get an honest response about what goes on in the company.

Company Finances

Before going into an interview, it's a good idea to educate yourself on a company's finances. Not only will it help you figure out whether or not the company can afford to keep you around for another 5 years, but it will also help when negotiating your salary!

Learn exactly where to find this additional company information by signing up for the premium version of our training program. It will help you stand out from other candidates!

Social Media

When it comes to gathering information about a company, social media is one of your best resources. Because social media is meant to be fun and engaging for users, it’s a great way to get a feel for the culture of the company and what they stand for.


LinkedIn is a professional networking website and a fantastic way for job seekers to find information about the members of a company. Working professionals will post quite frequently to stay active with their peers, so it’s a great way to get to know key players within the company before you even walk in the door.


Twitter is a social media site known for its quick, 280-character posts. Business Twitter accounts will often post several times a day, so Twitter is a great resource to find out what a company is thinking. In addition, you can see who the company is following which can give you further insight into the company’s goals and competition.


Instagram is a platform largely known for its photos and 1-minute videos. Because of this, Instagram is a great way to see what a company is doing and to figure out the overall aesthetic of the company.


Facebook is great because it’s a medium for videos, pictures, and text-based posts. If you only have a limited time to do your social media research, we recommend checking out a company’s Facebook page first since this is where the business will be displaying the most information.

Get Into the Mind of an Interviewer

When preparing for an interview, it's important to get inside the mind of an interviewer. A good way to do this is by anticipating the kinds of questions the interviewer will ask and planning your answers accordingly. Knowing how to do this and practicing the questions you are likely to be asked will give you an advantage over other applicants.

The research you’ve completed prior to this section will help you anticipate the kinds of questions interviewers will ask you. These questions will typically be about what you can bring to the company. When answering these questions, make sure to tailor your answers according to the company culture in order to prove that you’re a good fit!

Popular interview questions about the company include:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What is the greatest asset you bring to the company?
  • What aspect of this position excites you the most? Why?
  • Do you like the direction the company is moving in? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it?
  • What goals would you have in this position if hired?
  • Have you heard any recent news about this company?

Interviewers will often ask questions such as these to figure out if you’re prepared. This is a good way for them to gauge if you’re serious about this job. These questions also let interviewers know if your personal goals align with the company’s. It’s important to them that they hire someone who will be a good fit.

What's Next?

This is just a preview of the actual Company Research Guide. We've outlined some necessary information here but go into much more detail in the real thing. Here is the information we cover in more detail: 

  • Identifying key information to figure out company values such as what kind of business they run, what their vision is, what their mission is, and more!
  • How to use a company’s website and social media presence to identify their ideal employee.

Getting access to the tools and information you need to interview successfully and get the job you want is as easy as becoming a member of