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Don't get left behind: research before your interivew

Posted By James Hawley, Executive Vice President, Veredus | Hays on Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015

Reserach before interviews BlogThe minimum expected
Researching a company before your job interview isn’t about standing out any more. Today it’s about keeping up and staying on the short-list.  Not so long ago, job seekers who wanted to stand out in an interview were advised to research the company and interviewer.

Today however, researching the organization and interviewer is the standard and minimum of what’s expected by most companies. In our information and social media age, where information is so readily available, there’s really no excuse for not doing your homework.

One tell-tale sign of a failure to research includes asking a question you would already know the answer to if you’d looked into the organization and team. Furthermore, people who have done their research are able to demonstrate how their skills can add value to the organization and show an understanding of how the role will help the organization achieve its objectives.

Keep digging
So how can you research an organization and what should you look for?

Social media: At the very least search for the organization and your interviewer on LinkedIn. Like the organization on Facebook and follow them on Twitter so you are up-to-date with their latest news. See if you are connected to anyone who has worked for the company – they could be a valuable resource and provide insights into the culture.

Google: Search for the organization - just like your social media research, you are looking for information about the company. This could include recent executive-level appointments, expansions or new products or services.

Company website: It will give you more detailed news and – crucially – insight into its culture, recent projects and accolades.

Glassdoor: Websites such as Glassdoor can provide further information about an employer that can’t be discovered on their website or social media pages.

From this research you’ll gain a robust insight into their culture. For example, its website may emphasize its meritocracy; you could then share examples of how you were promoted for consistently exceeding your objectives. If it emphasizes teamwork, share examples that show you work well in a team.You should come to understand the organization’s products or services and its objectives. Find out main competitors and see if you can gain an understanding of what challenges they’re currently facing. And you’ll also be able to note interesting points you can ask about in the interview.

A word of warning
But while you want to use your research to inform your answers, don’t overdo it. Critiquing the organization for how you could have done something better won’t go down well in an interview! Instead, use the information you uncovered to prepare relevant examples of your work and performance that show your interviewer you are the very best fit for the organization and role.

Are you making the best impression in your interview? Discover interview top tips and make sure you’re armed with all right tools for success.

Find out more about James Hawley, Executive Vice President, an expert in Construction & Property

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