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Job Interview: How to Research a Company

research a company

As a seasoned career coach, I underscore the critical importance of honing research skills for job seekers. A deficiency in this skill may not only impede your ability to effectively scrutinize a company but could also diminish your prospects of securing the desired job. Beyond its immediate impact on job searches, cultivating research skills proves invaluable for future endeavors.


While it is widely advised to prepare questions for recruiters during job interviews, possessing firsthand knowledge of the company is equally crucial. The interview period offers a window to delve into the company’s culture and its alignment with your career goals. However, relying solely on this time for basic company knowledge is suboptimal.

Efficient company research, despite its apparent simplicity, demands a strategic approach. This skill becomes pivotal at three key junctures in your job hunt: when profiling the kind of employer you want, during the application phase, and especially during the interview when your knowledge is scrutinized. In adherence to Google Guidelines, let’s explore the best resources and methodologies for effective company research before your interview.

Company Research Checklist – How to Research a Company

Below, we discuss a couple of steps you can take to ensure you understand the company where you’re applying for a position.

  • Take a tour of the company website

Initiate your company research by visiting the company’s website. Access the website by typing the company’s name into your web browser, typically facilitated by the search engine. Key information is often found in the ‘About Us’ section, detailing the company’s background, mission statement, products, services, and management policies. Pay keen attention to the central theme emphasized on the website, as it often encapsulates the core values of the company.

  • Put your LinkedIn into use

Leverage your LinkedIn account as a valuable resource for gaining insights into company profiles. Explore the profiles of company employees and teams, providing an avenue to search for your prospective interviewer.

Assess mutual connections and shared experiences, such as attending the same college or residing in the same area. This information facilitates a stronger connection during the interview process. Additionally, delve into the company’s LinkedIn profile to uncover recent hires, job advertisements, promotions, and statistics. Engaging with connections in common can offer valuable insights into the company’s culture, providing practical tips for your interview.

  • Browse through their social media accounts

Utilize social media platforms for comprehensive company research. Commence with the company’s Facebook page, often regularly updated with relevant information.

Analyze their Twitter account, a rich source of recent information, and explore their Instagram account to gauge their approach to publicity. These platforms may unveil aspects not readily visible on the company website or LinkedIn profile due to their frequent updates. Evaluate the tone used in their posts – is it casual or professional? Assess their responsiveness to comments or complaints. To stay updated on company developments, consider liking or following them.

  • Read outside reviews of the company

Company websites and social media accounts may present a polished image, often portraying only favorable aspects. To gain a more nuanced understanding, turn to external reviews where individuals share their candid opinions.

Platforms like Hoovers Online and BusinessWeek Online: Company Search for public companies or Forbes’s list of largest private companies for significant private entities offer valuable perspectives. For non-governmental or non-profit organizations, exploring professional organizations and associations provides insightful critiques.

  • Go to company directories

Recognized companies in your country typically feature in company directories, organized by sectors such as public, private, or non-profit/non-governmental. These directories, often arranged by ranking or alphabetically, provide a quick overview of companies in a specific sector. Identifying your company’s position in these directories adds a layer of understanding to its industry standing.

  • Read company media publications

Diversify your information sources by exploring various media outlets, including national news, business publications, and industry-specific platforms. Media publications offer articles and stories about different companies, shedding light on their activities, achievements, and challenges. Running a search on the company of interest provides a wealth of knowledge beyond official channels.

  • Get a clue of their financial strength

Understanding a company’s financial standing is crucial for aligning expectations and preparing for salary negotiations. Navigate to the ‘Investor Relations’ section on the company website, especially prominent in larger organizations.

Quarterly earnings and annual reports housed here reveal insights into the company’s financial health, risks, services, new products, and revenue growth. Additionally, details about funding, recent hires, and procurements can empower you to engage in informed discussions during interviews, showcasing your awareness of the company’s trajectory.

  • Read the company’s corporate blogs

Corporate blogs serve as dynamic platforms for companies to communicate directly with their audience. Regular updates and varied content on these blogs offer a nuanced understanding of the company’s culture. Delve into these posts during your research phase to unearth valuable information that can significantly contribute to your knowledge base.

  • Make use of your connections

Leverage your professional network during the research phase to gain insider insights into the company. If you have connections within or affiliated with the company, reaching out to them for assistance can provide firsthand perspectives. Engage with school alumni through emails or LinkedIn messages to glean valuable information and unique insights that might not be readily available through conventional research channels.

  • Get to know the company’s strength and its competitors

Going beyond surface-level company research, delve into the industry dynamics to understand the company’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison to competitors. Impress your recruiters by showcasing your in-depth industry knowledge.

Highlight what sets the company apart and align this information with their values and mission statements, prominently featured in their website’s ‘About Us’ section. Demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the company’s position in the industry can leave a lasting impression on recruiters.

  • Learn about the employee benefits provided by the company

Explore the comprehensive array of employee benefits offered by the company, including health insurance, company cars, stock options, and flexible working schedules. Frequently, this information is available in the FAQ section or can be gathered through discussions on the ‘Career’ or ‘About Us’ pages. Engage with current or former employees to gain firsthand insights into the company’s benefits structure, showcasing your thorough preparation and genuine interest during the interview process.

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below, you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic


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