What should I research before an interview?

Preparing for an interview takes time. In such a competitive market, you cannot simply just walk into an interview with no preparation and wing it. There are so many things you need to research and prepare for, so that you come across passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated – 3 key skills hiring managers will be looking out for.

Company research

Researching the company that you are interviewing for is crucial if you want to be successful.

  • Have they won any awards?
  • History of the company?
  • What are their values?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What is the industry like?

Some interviewers may not directly ask you ‘what do you know about our company’, but I would advise having key facts up your sleeve to include into your answers, to really show how invested you are and how well you have researched.

Role research

It is not just about researching the company, but also key to know the role you are applying for inside out and really understand what is required of you.

  • Pick out your own achievements that are relevant to the role
  • What skills are needed for this role and how can you show you have experience relevant?
  • Think of examples of how you can apply yourself to this role, within your work experience, education or personal life
  • Why the role is important within the company?
  • What can you bring to the role?

Interviewer Research

This is an important part of preparation that many candidates often neglect. By knowing who is interviewing you, gives you chance to build a real rapport and you are able to ask questions, for example: ‘I can see you have achieved 2 promotions since working here, could you tell me more about this’. Not only does this impress the interviewer, this also allows you to get a further insight into the business and their values without directly asking.

The best way to research the interviewer is either through the company’s website or view their personal LinkedIn profile.

Yourself

This may seem odd to research yourself, but again this is a key part of the interview process. It is important that you know and have to hand all of your achievements and facts and figures. Your aim throughout the interview is to sell yourself. Your experience, CV and application have got you this far, so interview success is crucial to obtaining the role.

  • How do you come across? (make sure that you’re well-presented, smiley, confident and use open body language)
  • What personality attributes do you have that will benefit you for this role?
  • How can you provide evidence for your success? (e.g. promotions, sales statistics, awards)

Questions

It is ideal to finish the interview with questions. I would advise preparing a number of questions as some may be covered in the interview. For more information on what questions to ask in an interview, click here.