One of our top recruitment tips is ‘Do your research’ and this is very important when preparing for job interviews.

A recruiter will give you enough information for you to decide if the company is one you’d consider working for, however research you take to the interview could set you apart from all other applicants.

Take a look at the company website

Your first port of call should be the company website as this will contain all the information of how the employer wants people to view them. Find out their services, their company ethos and check out who works there.

Looking at their about page should give you a bit more insight into how this company came to be, where did they begin, how long they’ve been around and how fast have they grown. You’re not expected to memorise this information but retaining some of the information can make for spur of the moment topics of conversation that show you’ve done your research.

If their website doesn’t offer this kind of detail about the company, you will have to search elsewhere.

Check out their social media

Social media should give you a less formal insight into the company. What are they sharing? Who are they sharing content from? Do their social media channels give an insight into their employees?

Linked-in is an invaluable tool in researching the companies structure, with some insight into roles that you might be responsible for or report to.

This is especially important if the role you are going for is involved in marketing, design or creating content for social media. They’re likely to ask for some feedback on what you’ve seen on their social channels.

Google them or Ask Siri

‘Siri, is this company a good one to work for?’ Siri may not know the answer but Google might.

Give them a Google and depending on the size of the company you might find articles, news, press releases, opinion pieces or even company reviews that will inform how other people view their business.

Review sites like Glassdoor allow employees to the comment on their time at the company.

Learn about their industry

Searching the company itself will only get you so far therefore researching the industry they represent will provide context and competitors.

Full competitor analysis may be a step too far however being able to name drop a clear competitor in the right moment proves you have some knowledge of the industry.

Gain some insider knowledge

Do you know someone who works for the company now or worked there in the past? Do you have any contacts on Linked-in from the company that that you could approach?

Insider knowledge could be the key to making the interviewer feel like you’re the perfect fit for them. Often a big part of their decision to employ someone is whether they’ll fit in with the current team and staff culture.

Gather your research

Gather all this research and take it with you to the interview. It doesn’t have to be pages and pages of information, but it will show active research and you can refer to it if you feel like you need to in the interview.

Ask questions

Another way to prove you’ve done your research is to use your findings to ask smart questions to your interviewee. For example, they may not even be on social media so you can ask why. Should you find some ‘bad press’ online, you can ask a thoughtful question about how they overcame that circumstance. Did they recently change their name? Ask them what was behind the decision.

Questions will prove your hard work researching and spark conversation.

Conclusion

Research should inform your interview answers and can inform moments to impress the interviewer with your efforts researching them. You can spend a few hours doing it or 20 minutes on your phone on the way to the interview but just putting that little bit of time and effort into researching a company can make all the difference.