Conducting company research for Interviews: A step-by-step Guide

Explore the company’s website

Your first step should be to look online as it is easier than ever to research employers.

Find out what the company does whether it’s a product or service, history, successes, news, and information about the team – try the home page, ‘About Us’ and ‘Meet The Team’ pages of the employer’s website.

Look out for the company’s mission statement here too!

Take note of recurring messages, themes or values that appear across the site.

Perhaps there is a clear focus on company culture, or lots of information on ethical policy.

These things will help to shape your understanding of the organisation and what they look for in an employee.

Have a deep dive into information about a company, including any previous company names or the CEO and Director’s names, you could also use Companies House to conduct a bit of research.

It’s then important to make a note about what interests you in particular about this company.

Are they a new start-up? Do they operate in a sector that you’re really passionate about? Is the company culture attractive to you?

Keep these factors in mind ready to discuss them in your graduate job interview.

These are some of the best ways to research a company before an interview.

Locate the company on social media platforms

The majority of companies are present on social media.

A Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram feed can give you great insight into what a company is like, as well as some of its key players.

You will find the company’s clients on LinkedIn and their company culture on Instagram.

Give the company a “like” or “follow” to stay up-to-date on the latest news, and to see what they are posting.

Mentioning in your interview you’ve seen their latest news from following them on their social media shows great initiative and can really impress an employer.

If you know the interviewers, search their names on LinkedIn to check their profiles for information on their role, background and interests.

You can use this information to create conversation and discuss any common interests to establish rapport showing proactivity!

Update your LinkedIn profile before you begin following others who you want to impress.

Check out our blog for 10 tips for creating a good LinkedIn profile.

Review company feedback on online review platforms

Sites like Glassdoor, The Job Crowd and Crunchbase feature company profiles and reviews from previous employees and useful information like the number of employees at a company.

Looking at what candidates in similar graduate roles were asked in their interview will help you to prepare your answers.

Reviews can also give you further insight into company culture and what to expect from their leadership.

Search for successes and defining moments (i.e. did the company recently receive a large amount of funding?) – which, if mentioned in your interview, will be highly impressive to the employer.

Stay informed by reading the latest news

Staying up to date on the company’s newest products or latest industry trends will be a great conversation starter and prepare you for your graduate job interview!

Google and Google News can be a great place to access any news.

Completing a quick search will likely present you with information that may not appear on the company’s own website or social media profiles.

If you know that you can find news on the company in a specific location i.e. the FORWARDER magazine, Financial Times, TechUK or FinTech Weekly, make sure you’re up to scratch so that you won’t be caught out if anything is mentioned in the job interview.

Explore their competitors

As well as researching companies for interviews, carry out competitor research as this helps you get up to speed on current industry trends

You will have a better understanding of the company’s niche and what makes its product or service unique.

By learning how to research an employer before a job interview, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage – to help you stand out from candidates in your graduate job interview.

Incorporating Your Research into the Interview

How to research for a job interview is important, equally you want to ensure all your research is going to make an impact by knowing how to implement it to your graduate interview questions.

Add in the relevant facts you know from your company research before interviews.

Expect questions such as:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What do you think are our biggest challenges this year?
  • Why does this industry interest you?

You can also bring in your research by asking the interviewer questions, such as

“I understand you’re currently working on x project, how is this going and will my role play a part in this?” or “I know you’ve recently gained X client, what kind of work will you be doing for them?”.

Exploring a Job Role: Research Techniques

It’s important to know how to research for an interview and the role you’re interviewing for.

Researching the role will allow you to have a better understanding of what employers are looking for specifically and what to highlight in your interview answers to impress an employer.

If you’re wondering how to impress interviewers and what things to say in an interview, here’s our helpful guide:

Thoroughly review the job description

Read over the job description thoroughly as this is where the key requirements, skills, and tasks required will be.

Highlight any of the most important skills employers are looking for, and bring these into your interview answers.

If you’re asked questions like “what is your understanding of the role?” you can easily comment on the day-to-day tasks of the role and what skills you’ll need to demonstrate.

Review your CV thoroughly

Read over your CV before the interview and match up how your education, experience and skills fit the requirements of the job and key skills.

When you’re asked “why do you think you’d be a great fit for the role?”, you can easily and confidently state how your previous skills and experience match X skill/requirement of the job description.

Explore the LinkedIn profiles of fellow employees

Larger companies are likely to have employees in the same or similar roles as the one you are applying for.

See what recent projects they are working on and what tasks they have completed by visiting their profiles.

It will help you get a sense of what the role entails and what you might be working on.

Before you go to interview for graduate jobs, it’s important to thoroughly research the company as there are many benefits of researching a company before an interview!

You will feel confident, prepared and ready to show the employer that you’re committed to the role, and knowledgeable about their business.