11 Ways Candidates Can Research Employers Ahead of the Interview

What is one tip you’d offer candidates looking to do research on employers ahead of an interview?

To help job seekers nail their interviews by researching the company, we asked CEOs and business professionals this question for their best tips. From knowing company competitors to seeking former employees, there are several ways job candidates can research employers before their interview. 

Here are 11 ways candidates can research employers ahead of the interview: 

  • Hack Into Their Mind
  • Show Them Your Research
  • Think About Strategy
  • Seek Former Employees
  • Align With Their Values
  • Cast a Wide Net
  • Know Company Competitors
  • Review Recent Press
  • Check Company Culture
  • Look Up Professional Profiles
  • Measure the Commute

Hack Into Their Mind 

Search your interviewer’s name and company on Google News. Read his blog archives and his Twitter posts. Aim the job interview to have some personal elements about the employer. You are more likely to get hired once you know what interests the employer, what he does on weekends, and how you can help him even outside of the job. 

Antreas Koutis, Financer

Show Them Your Research 

Make it known that you put in the time to research! Hiring managers and recruiters alike are continually impressed by candidates who go the extra mile to look into the company, and the biggest mistake you can make is not utilizing the information that you learned. For example, if the employer has been at the company for 5+ years, ask them what keeps them there. A new hire? Ask why they joined the company. Were they recently featured in an article or starred in a company video? Weave that into the conversation!

Katia Dillon, TechnologyAdvice

Think About Strategy

If you’re a candidate applying for a job at a company, make sure you research everything you possibly can about the company’s product as it relates to the role you’ll be doing should you get the job. This will give you a leg up in the race because your research will involve a strategic lens. By knowing more about the product, you’ll have the confidence to share compelling ideas and insights during your interview. For instance, imagine telling a potential employer something like, “If I was in charge of ‘X’ I would explore carrying out these five specific initiatives.” Any employer who hears something that thorough from a candidate early on in the interview process will feel like that candidate is the best fit for the job because he or she has done sufficient research and, more importantly, is prepared to execute.

Mike Krau, Markitors

Seek Former Employees 

For any candidate looking to get an honest view of an employer, seek out former employees, and ask them why they left. They have nothing to lose by telling you the truth, whereas current employees do. Another good question to ask is if anything major ever went wrong. If they did experience this, ask how the company handled it. How a person, and a company handles adversity will show you everything that you need to know.

Ralph Severson, Flooring Masters

Align With Their Values

When we receive applications to work with us, we’re always hoping to engage with people who are on the same page in terms of caring about what we do and why we do it. That being said, we encourage candidates to do their research on our company to ensure that they genuinely agree with our product values. We urge potential candidates to look into how we manufacture our CBD oil products and why we believe that our CBD oil products are important.

Abraham Rahmanizadeh, Leafwell Botanicals

Cast a Wide Net 

Glassdoor, Quora, LinkedIn, and other social media are all good places to try to get a feel for the company. While you may certainly get a chance to ask about it during the interview, it behooves a candidate to do their homework beforehand too. Any site that has reviews, comments, or a forum for discussion, is a good place to peruse around and garner information. Take everything with a grain of salt, however, after reading several write-ups you should start getting a picture of what the company is truly like. Ultimately, if limited to one source, I would choose Glassdoor and go from there. Good luck!

Magda Zurawska, ResumeLab

Know Company Competitors 

One tip I’d offer candidates looking to do research on employers ahead of an interview is for them to learn their competitors, particularly if they’re not familiar with the industry they’re interviewing for. Knowing about a company’s competitors is vital information that can be used in a great way to impress those who are interviewing the candidates.

Patrick Crane, Love Sew

Review Recent Press 

In addition to looking at the company website and researching their mission, key players, and company history, be sure to look into recent news surrounding the company. Being up-to-date on recent releases, acquisitions, and successes that made the press will help you have the most relevant information for the company today.

Guna Kakulapati, CureSkin

Check Company Culture 

Prior to your interview when you are wondering what to research about the company, try to get an idea of what the company culture is like. Check the company’s social media for how engaged the employees are, social events happening, and how the offices are. With some investigating, you can determine if the company culture is one you believe you will fit into.

John Levisay, The Pro’s Closet

Look Up Professional Profiles 

Candidates should research the interviewer’s professional background on the company website as well as additional professional profiles that may be on platforms like LinkedIn. It’s beneficial to learn about the trajectory of their career to gauge expectations for the role. You can also take this knowledge to gauge what questions to ask the interviewer about their work and experiences.

Randi Shinder, SBLA

Measure the Commute

If the job requires you to work at an office, make sure you are aware of the exact location of the business. Even if it’s in the same city where you live, you still should find out how long of a commute it will be. For example, Los Angeles is a big city with a lot of traffic, so that is definitely something to keep in mind if you live there or in another big city. Be mindful and do your research on what route you would need to take to get to work and decide if this particular commute would be convenient for you on a daily basis. You wouldn’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’ve accepted a job only to realize too late that you have to take hours out of your day to drive there and back.

Chris Caouette, Gorilla Bow

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