how to prepare for a job interview

Pre-Interview Research: Questions and Answers

What You Need to Know Before the Interview Where You’ll Find the Information
   
What the company sells About Us page on the the company’s website
The company’s history About Us page, LinkedIn Company Page or Wikipedia page (or conduct a Google search on the company name)
The bios of the leaders of the organization About Us, Management, Leadership or Investor page on the company website
Who the organization’s competitors are The company website is unlikely to include this information. Conduct a Google search on the company name, and also perform a Google search on the term (in quotation marks) “Competitors of [Acme Explosives]”
What the organization has been up to lately Check out the Newsroom, Press or Media section of the company’s website, looking for recent press releases. Conduct a Google Web search and Google News search on the company name.
The background and communication style of your hiring manager and anyone else you’ll be interviewing with Start with the company’s website and see whether your hiring manager has a bio and photo there. Next, jump to his or her LinkedIn profile and read every word. Notice your possible next boss’s interests, group affiliations, college alma mater(s) and connections. Look at the way he or she writes endorsements. Notice the way he or she has written his or her own profile. What is this person like? What does his or her photo tell you about  him or her?
What your hiring manager is up against right now – his or her most likely Business Pain™ With the information you’ve already collected and synthesized, what do you  imagine is keeping this hiring manager up at night? What’s his or her biggest problem? Are the IT systems failing to keep pace with the company’s growth, or is it likely that their Marketing materials aren’t meeting the needs of the salespeople in the field? If you can develop a Pain Hypothesis™ and bring it with you to the interview, you’ve got a great conversation-starter!
18 replies
  1. Vicki Rudowski
    Vicki Rudowski says:

    Another good place to gather information about a company is on Glassdoor.com, although some companies aren’t profiled there. I use it to research a company and also to find out about interview questions and reviews of the company. This is a relatively new site, but well worth looking at. I use this site a lot when I want to find out information that isn’t available on the company web site.

    Indeed.com is also starting to include more information about companies the post positions on the web site. You can look up a company there as well. I haven’t used it yet, but did notice links that weren’t there before for looking up a company.

    Reply
    • Drew
      Drew says:

      Glassdoor is a good source to obtain feedback from previous or current employees perspective, or from people who interviewed with a company but were not hired. I find this information very useful, but you may need to keep in mind that comments such as “big company and slow to change direction”, will be common… because virtually all big companies are slow to change. (Relevant only if you’re looking at a big company, of course)

      Reply
  2. Allison Pells
    Allison Pells says:

    Google the company name. You’ll find the good, bad and the ugly comments from former employees. This will help to gauge the company’s corporate culture and whether or not you will fit in.

    Reply
  3. Mehul
    Mehul says:

    Very good insights. Information of hiring company can also be found from websites such as Financial websites (for example Economictimes.com in India, Bloomberg, WSJ etc.). They are more recent, and also gives market’s perception on the company one is researching.

    Another channel of information is personal contacts and professional networks – which can get very useful insights sometimes.

    Reply
  4. Debabrata Ghosh
    Debabrata Ghosh says:

    Very Important and Interesting discussion
    But in countries like India , it is not mentioned who is interviewer nor any bio-data is available in company’s web site . Linkedin may help partly .

    Reply
  5. Prasad @ CareerFolio
    Prasad @ CareerFolio says:

    This article is quite different and useful than other typically written articles on interview guidance. Information is posted in tabular format and that is why it is easy to read and understand. The questions that are posted in article are really useful to create proper communication between interview candidate and interviewer.

    Reply
  6. Pegotty Cooper
    Pegotty Cooper says:

    This homework is good to do even before the interview, especially if you want to leverage your existing network to recommend your resume to the top of the pile; and to be able to customize your resume and cover letter so that it get the attention that will put it in the “yes” pile.

    Reply
  7. Cynthia Cobb
    Cynthia Cobb says:

    Another good source, in addition to what others have named, are “Best” lists. What awards are employers “winning” and and what have they done to meet the criteria for the awards are helpful pieces of information. I’d much rather work for socially conscious leaders who take into account the needs of their employees, customers, communities where they operate, business partners, and the planet when making business decisions than those who think profits are the ONLY thing that matter. I think a lot of other job-seekers would have the same point of view. Life’s too short to work for the clueless!

    Reply

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  2. […] are. You have to know what’s new in the organization and what people are saying about them. Here is a list of of critical pre-interview research topics and where to find the information you […]

  3. […] are. You have to know what’s new in the organization and what people are saying about them. Here is a list of of critical pre-interview research topics and where to find the information you […]

  4. […] What You Need to Know Before the Interview Where You’ll Find the Information What the company sells About Us page on the the company’s website The company’s history About Us page, LinkedIn Company Page or Wikipedia page (or conduct a Google search…  […]

  5. […] are. You have to know what’s new in the organization and what people are saying about them. Here is a list of of critical pre-interview research topics and where to find the information you […]

  6. […] are. You have to know what’s new in the organization and what people are saying about them. Here is a list of of critical pre-interview research topics and where to find the information you […]

  7. […] are. You have to know what’s new in the organization and what people are saying about them. Here is a list of of critical pre-interview research topicsand where to find the information you […]

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