Researching A Potential Employer Before the First Interview

Before your first interview at a company or organization you should research your potential employer and be fully prepared. You don’t want to miss out on a job because you didn’t research your prospective employer. But do you know where to look for important information regarding your potential employer or even what to look for? 

Most of the company’s information is readily available to you. First, check out the employer’s website and their competitors’ sites to learn about the industry.  Read the About Us, Facts, and Media Center sections. Find journals, magazines, and newspapers that contain articles about the company, and learn as much as you can so that you will be familiar with the company’s successes and latest ventures. You can search the Internet or visit your local library to access these resources. This will show the interviewer that you care enough about the company to familiarize yourself about it ahead of time.

If you know someone at the company, give them a call and ask them a few questions before your interview. They can give you a personal view on the company, its culture and employees, but make sure to double-check their information. You don’t want to look unprepared by misquoting a fact during your interview.

Here are some key items to research:
• The year the company was established
• Products or services provided
• Mission statement and goals
• Industry
• Business Model
• Profitability of the company and potential for growth
• Corporate culture
• Organizational structure
• Key employees
• Locations, if more than one

Are you going to be prepared with an answer if an interviewer asks, “What do you know about my company?” or “Why are you interested in this position?” These are popular questions, so make sure you know your facts. Remember, research can be time consuming and should not be put off until the night before the interview. Collect as much information as you can about the company, prepare a few questions for the interviewer, and don’t be afraid to ask the questions you prepared. Asking thoughtful questions will show that you have done your research.

Researching the company before your interview can mean the difference between getting the job and not receiving an offer. Research is an important step to increase your chances of landing the job you want. So, take the time to research the company, and you will be ready to tackle your next interview.

Are you prepared for your next interview? What tips or suggestions do you have for others preparing for their first interview?

8 Responses to “Researching A Potential Employer Before the First Interview”

  1. sylvia quirion #

    im currently working fulltime,right now im looking for parttime work to be able to catch up on some bills i support myself.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:06 pm Reply
  2. Amr #

    Dear Sir ,
    I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that , I was working as sales & Marketing Man five years and I was working Sports Admn. as well
    appreciated to get your reply

    December 14, 2007 at 8:06 pm Reply
  3. Deborah VanderWal #

    I recently got layoff,and support my self, so I am hoping to find another job soon. I have experience in factory,cleaning and restaurant work.

    December 17, 2007 at 9:52 am Reply
  4. Nora Gonzalez #

    Hi, my name is Nora Gonzalez. I’m currently working full time in McAllen, TX. I was working out of Harlingen, but the company closed that office in November so I’m now having to drive every day. The company I’m with is US Energy Savings Corp. US Energy Savings just had all of the employees from Harlingen Office come to McAllen. If you could please help me out I will greatly appreciate it. Thank you and have a nice day !

    December 17, 2007 at 12:39 pm Reply
  5. When Researching a company, there are several resources you can use and they are usually free. Your local library has publications at the Business Desk from Moody’s, Standard and Poors, Dun and Bradstreet. Ask the librarian for other publications they have that will help you do your research.
    Without having to leave home, you can always go to Hoovers, McCrae’s Blue Book, and just typing in the name of the company that you are researching in a search engine will bring up links or online (usually free) research and news articles.

    January 16, 2008 at 8:16 am Reply
  6. Mary #

    I going to have an personal interview but they didn’t give me the name of the company, How me I ask them before the interview, I don’t know anything about that company only the interviewer’ name. Please tell me is it is right to ask this ASAP

    October 3, 2008 at 9:58 am Reply
  7. Shannon | Express Job Blogger #

    Hi Mary ~ It’s best to be prepared for an interview. So, try to make contact with the interviewer or the individual who set up your interview and ask them a few questions. This way you’ll know the company and type of position you’re applying for and you can properly prepare for the interview. Good luck!

    October 7, 2008 at 9:49 am Reply
  8. Calandra #

    I think it does pay off to research the company you are interviewing for, mainly because you want to be prepared just in case they ask you something about their company or maybe your opinion on something about the company. Also, you just want to be informed on what type of company you could potentially be working for.

    December 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm Reply

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