“Why do you want to work for us?” is one of the most common interview questions and knowing 6 ways to research a company will help you prepare an answer that will impress your interviewer.
How to Research a Company
- Someone you know at the company – Perhaps you, a friend, or a relative knows someone who already works at the company. If so, get in touch with this person to get an insider’s perspective of the company. Come up with a list of questions that you are less likely to find the answers to on the internet, such as a typical day at the firm, its culture, or even possible interview questions. This is a valuable source that you should use to your advantage as you may be able to get information that other candidates may not have.
- Internet – With the advancement of the internet, we can find almost anything online. Make use of the search engines and google the company. The best place to start is the company’s own website. You can find their annual reports, its history, list of company executives, their mission statement, their goals and values, and much more.
- Social Networks – LinkedIn allows you to filter by company so that you can find and reach out to people who currently work at the firm. Perhaps you may even have shared connections. You can also follow the company on Facebook and Twitter and get information you may not have found otherwise.
- Contact alumni – Ask your school’s career office to see if they can give you a list of alumni who work at the company. Then send a message and ask for their assistance.
- Public Library – Besides the internet, the library is a great resource to find journals, newspapers, magazines, and other publications on the company.
- Networking Events – You may meet people at networking events who currently work at the company. Get their contact information and follow up.
Interview Research – Things to Know About a Company
Just knowing how to find the information is not enough. You should also have in mind what you are trying to find out about the company. Imagine that you are assigned to give a ten-minute presentation on the company in front of a group of professionals. Thus, you want to learn as much about the company as possible before your presentation. You want to organize your information so that you can speak intelligently about the company. What are the most important things you want your audience to know about the company? These things include:
- Its mission and values
- Types of products and services the company offers
- Their customers/clients
- Their competitors
- Reputation such as its industry standing and awards they may have won
- Future goals/outlook
- The type of employees they’re looking for (read the job description for the required skills and experience)
Make sure you know how to apply your research in the right context during the interview. In addition, use your research to come up with at least 3 reasons why you want to work for the company. Now that you know 6 ways to research a company and what you need to learn about the company, it’s time to do your research and impress your interviewer!