Pre-Interview Research: Why Knowledge is Power for Job Candidates

In today’s technical world, it is often difficult to get past the first online or phone interview.  However, if you make it to the face-to face, it’s important you go into it armed with knowledge.  Researching a company pre-interview, is integral to making you a stand-out candidate.


  1. Cultural Fit is Key

According to a study by Millennial Branding, 43 percent of HR resources say that fitting into the “culture” of a corporation is the most important consideration in a new hire.  Know the mission and values of the company you are interviewing with.  Most of this information can be found on their website under “About Us.” You can also check out a company’s social media networks to discover what they stand for and what their communication style is with their audience.

  1. Find and Interview Key Personnel

Before going into an interview, try to seek out a current or past executive who is willing to spend a short time sharing their corporate experiences. If that is not possible, research individuals (especially the person interviewing you) through LinkedIn or another professional network, making sure your profile is set up to let them know you have been researching them. It only helps to show you are interested enough to get a personal perspective.

  1. Understand the Finances

Whether on the corporate website or an outside service such as Crunchbase or Glassdoor, seek out financial reports.  Study the annual reports and quarterly earnings.  Also look into various funding, acquisitions, recent hires and press coverage to discern as much financial information as possible.  Know the stability of the company and its growth rate.

  1. Know the Competition

Part of understanding what makes a company shine, is being familiar with their competition. This information can also be found on LinkedIn or an outside service website. Awareness of what the competition is up to and who they are can give you a better understanding of what the company you want to work for is up against.  By realizing this, you can make your own value to the company more apparent.  However, be careful to only describe your company in a positive light during your interview.

office buildings_blueThe Takeaway

Knowing the company you are interviewing for and being able to talk with some authority will make you unique to the interviewer.  Remember, all this research is to add to your presentation of why you want to work here.  By sharing your knowledge and your efforts in learning about the corporation, the interviewer will appreciate your enthusiasm and remember you.

By Fred Coon, CEO


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