Pre-interview Research: A Guide to Success

October 15, 2022
Pre-interview Research: A Guide to Success

Going into a job interview uninformed is like going into a test unprepared — you’re setting yourself up for failure. But, a little bit of research can go a long way in helping you ace your next job interview. The key to a successful interview is twofold: doing your research and drawing connections. Here’s what you should know before your next job interview.

Start by researching the company

There are two reasons it’s important to research the company – inside and out – before your interview: 

  1. It will help you understand if this company is aligned with your personal values
  2. It shows the interviewer that you’re serious about this opportunity 

The good news? There are many easily accessible resources for you to start your research. Here are some ways to start gathering information.

  1. Social Media: In today’s world, social media is a powerful research tool. LinkedIn and Glassdoor can be especially helpful in seeing what current employees are saying about the company. Here’s one way to make a connection from your social media research:
    • Example: “I was looking at the company’s Glassdoor profile and I saw that many employees appreciate the diversity of thought throughout the organization. That’s something that I highly value. In your opinion, how does the company maintain that value so well?” 
  2. Company Websites and Industry News: Explore the company’s website and get to know their products or services. Read through their “About Us” page and see what their mission and values are. Additionally, stay up-to-date on industry news, especially if you’re interviewing for a position in a rapidly changing industry like finance. Our 2022 Q4 Accounting and Finance Employment Report will give you a good foundation of knowledge to draw from during your interview.
  3. Review the Job Description: What experience is the company seeking? What kind of personality would fit well with the team? Use this information to prepare examples of times when you’ve excelled in similar situations. 

Connect it back to you

Think about what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate. Often, they need someone with the right resume, but ideally that person would also be highly passionate and excited about the company. That’s why it’s important to consider the company’s mission statement – does it resonate with you? Are there recent initiatives you can relate to on a personal level? Draw on those connections during your interview. In fact, tie these concepts into your interview answers. 

For example, “I saw that the organization’s mission is to continually serve the customer. I personally resonate with that mission, and during my last role, I had an opportunity to exceed the customer’s expectations.”

Also consider the company’s products or services: try to understand what sets them apart from their competitors. This can also lead to a great interview conversation.

Ultimately, conducting research before an interview will help you be more prepared for the interview, it will show that you’re excited about the opportunity and it will help you understand if the company is a good fit for what you’re looking for. For additional interview preparation, check out this article on acing behavioral interview questions.

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