“Why do you want to work within our company?” Anyone who has had a job interview recognises this question. In this article, I’ll explain some top pre-interview research tips so you won’t be caught unawares by a tricky interview question. Although it’s a good idea to know more about the company for the interview, you could also find out some scary things that make you re-consider your application!
The company website is a great place to start. Websites are the online face of companies, if you want to research what a job is all about you should start here. Most companies have a mission statement on their website that tells you a little about the company’s values, quoting this in your interview is sure to give you an edge. The website will also have the links you need for social media, financial information, and ethics.
It’s the 21st century and if a company isn’t online it isn’t being seen by thousands of potential consumers. Companies are increasingly taking advantage of the reach social media offers, for example Gucci’s #tfw meme campaign on Instagram. How companies interact with customers, trends, and other companies on social media can show how companies are adapting their marketing to new platforms as well as how they view themselves. Social Media is a great way of checking the social awareness and adaptivity of a company to a changing global market.
Is the company going to crash in the next financial period? Did they spend a million on a statue of the CEO? The answers to all financial aspects of a company are in the financial statement. Many companies make their statements public and companies on the stock market are required to. Financial statements won’t just show how the individual company is performing but also how the group is; big companies are often part of groups owned by one larger company. Check the average wages, how much of capital is borrowed, and what they’re spending money on to get a clear picture of the financial situation of a company. You wouldn’t climb onto the Titanic as it’s sinking.
What are people saying about this job? Do people like the product and company? See if you can find out what previous employees are saying. Use LinkedIn to talk to people and see reviews for the company. What’s the career mobility like? Does the job allow for promotion and is the pay competitive? If people consistently give bad reviews on the service or product perhaps you should look into why this is.
Ethics, morals, values, and practices: do you agree with these? On the company website or in the financial statement there should be a section on ethics. Equality and diversity campaigns can also reflect company values, for example the ratio of men to women in higher positions within the company. You can also easily research any charity campaigns as well as the workers’ conditions and if there’s any testing on animals or humans.
The Interview Process
When heading into your interview it’s important to be prepared. Some companies have group interviews to test your ability to work with others. The other common types of interviews include: traditional one-on-one, phone, online or skype, lunch, and the behavioural interview. Behavioural interviews can be tricky as the interviewer is examining your behaviour in both past situations and any future situations that could come up. Each interview is different but all have preparation in common. Make sure you know what you want to ask, be confident, and be yourself.
Finally, you should take a look at your own CV. Do you suit this job? If you were the interviewer would you reject this application? Why? You need to make sure that you’re suitable for the job and its requirements. You need to have reliable transportation (even if this is a bus or your feet) and a way to get into work every day. If you don’t have the relevant experience or you can’t talk about what you’ve done eloquently they might not take your application any further. Research into your own suitability is a must for any job interview. Most importantly of all, you need to remain calm under pressure and show that you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
Johanne Gorman is a StudentJob blogger, she is currently studying Marketing and Events and Festivals Management at Edinburgh Napier University. Check out her LinkedIn profile!