There is plenty to do before an interview. Being intentional and systematic ensures that you will be adequately prepared. Interview research can be perfunctory or, worse yet, you can assume you already know what you need to about the company. We have five sources you must check before every job interview.
Go to the source. The first place you look should always be an organization’s website. Get a clear understanding of their scope of work, location(s), vision, values, culture, and how they talk about themselves. Browse their social channels. Peruse the social media of their president or other key leadership.
Review the job posting. You should have a clear understanding of what the position entails and have already drawn connections to your experience and skills. Have examples in mind of how you’ve demonstrated the skills necessary for the job. Understand how you could enhance the position so you can articulate it to your interviewer.
Check the headlines. Do a cursory Google search to understand how they are making news. What is the public perception of the institution? What noteworthy events are causing a stir, whether good or bad?
Understand the competitors. Do a survey of similar organizations occupying the same space—and vying for the same students or customers. What differentiates the organization you are applying to? What challenges are universally faced in the industry?
Phone a friend. If you know people who have personal experience working for an organization, their perspectives are invaluable. Ask if you can take them out to lunch to hear about their thoughts and perspectives from their time working for an institution.