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Do Your Homework Before an Interview: Four Essential Areas to Research

Everyone knows research is an essential part of the job-search process. Your research started before you applied, enabling you to customize your cover letter and resume. Now that you’ve secured an interview, it’s time to dig deeper. As you prepare, be sure you hit these four areas:

  1. Past. Where has the company been? When and why were they started? Understand any pivots they’ve made. Be familiar with their story and how that’s shaped the organization they are today. What in your experience corresponds to their past? Draw the connections, whether you have a similar experience or are bringing an outside perspective from a different industry.

  2. Priorities. What are their mission and values? Are there any initiatives that they are currently pushing? What differentiates them from their competitors in terms of approach and practices? How do your strengths assist that?

  3. People. Who are the key players in the organization? Read what you can both from the company’s own site and also from external sources, seeing how they are viewed by others. Look up your interviewers on LinkedIn.

  4. Plans. Where is the company heading? You should know the industry trends and have a grasp on how the company will tackle them. What is there in your skills that make you in the best position to help them achieve their goals?