Picture this: your CV’s been fine-tuned, the company is impressed, and you’ve been invited to an interview. But now’s not the time to rest on your laurels – your ability to research companies is what will help you seal the deal.
Absorbing information from the employer’s website is always a good idea – but also a very obvious one. To stand out from the crowd you need to scratch beneath the surface, get the inside scoop and enter your interview with the ammo to impress beyond all expectations.
Below, we’ve highlighted a handful of simple but effective actions to help you research companies effectively.
Typing the organisation’s name into a search engine takes little effort, but it goes a long way. Uncovering an unbiased picture of what your potential employers have been up to – whether it’s positive or negative, old or new – could give you a real edge in the interview.
Past achievements, current issues and upcoming projects are all possible talking points that show you’ve gone above and beyond. While acknowledging the company’s presence beyond their website reflects your sincerity and commitment to the role.
Companies value employees who actively engage. Researching an organisation’s financial health doesn’t just demonstrate your initiative. It gives you an inside perspective of their current status and an awareness of their market position – proving you’re serious about the job.
That being said, be careful not to overstep the mark. There’s a fine line between showing initiative and being cocky, and the latter could damage your chances.
Social media spy
The best way to get a vision for a company is through the eyes of social media. Scan their pages to see what they’ve been up to professionally and recreationally, Such conversation starters will earn you valuable points and, if their social presence could be improved, you can politely suggest this in your interview.
Facebook and Twitter aside, on LinkedIn, you’ll find the company structure, competitors, and any employees you share connections with. Visiting your interviewer’s profile will also help you gather background information – with the added bonus of appearing in their notifications!
While wider factors affecting the company may not relate to the role in question, a candidate that demonstrates awareness of the sector as a whole is an attractive prospect.
Use LinkedIn to help you identify your potential employer’s competitors. After all, much of how a business behaves is swayed by market trends and the companies they’re up against. If you build your industry know-how, you can show off this knowledge in your interview.
Speak to employees
Reach out to company employees. Touching base with the players on the ground can provide you with intelligence that isn’t available elsewhere. First-hand information and advice from those who have been in your shoes is invaluable – they might even put in a good word for you with the hiring manager.
If your LinkedIn search doesn’t yield results, check the company’s website for a ‘meet the team’ page. Here, you’ll likely find names. jobs titles, and if you’re lucky, email addresses for individuals within the organisation. Select a couple of staff whose roles are similar to the one you’re interviewing for and drop them a polite email.
We’re here to help
Visiting a potential employer’s website to identify its culture, mission and values is a good place to start. But to present yourself as a real asset, you need to go the extra mile and effectively research companies using the tips above.
Outplacement Services offer further support through webinars, 1-2-1 consultations, and other resources. From interview techniques and job searching, to mindset and wellbeing – we can support your transition from redundancy into your new role.
Plus, we can help you if you’re an employer looking to support outgoing staff. Speak to our friendly team on 0203 805 7020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.