/Career Advice/Interviewing/Prep Time! – Researching a Company Before an Interview/

The lead up to an interview is a stressful period. Not only are you dealing with nervousness at the thought of meeting your potential employer in person, but you also need to impress them with your skills and knowledge in a short space of time. For that to happen, extensive research is vital. The idea isn’t to repeat your research word for word but to analyze what the company needs and how you can bridge the gap in order for them to reach their potential.

Find out what makes their vision and mission standout

This would probably already be on your list. Getting a detailed understanding of the company’s vision and mission will form the basis of all your research. Instead of regurgitating this information in the interview, dig deeper to find out what unique approaches or steps the company takes to achieve this. 

Where to get the information: TalentSpace Company Profiles, Company Website, Company LinkedIn Profile

Understand the industry and survey the competition

Surveying the company’s competitors will give you a good grasp of the unique selling points of your potential employer. More importantly, you can wow them in the interview by sharing some ideas on how they can further set themselves apart from the pack. Finding the competition is easy with LinkedIn’s ‘Similar Pages’ section on each company’s profile. You should also read up on the issues this particular industry is facing and find out what direction the industry is heading towards in the next few years.

Where to get information: LinkedIn, Online articles, Google

Get insight on the company culture and working style

A quick look on a company’s social media channels can shed a lot of insight into the working culture. Do they share posts on their internal events, new hires, team activities, birthdays, and so on? This will also be a good time to see how they interact with their online community – and vice versa – as well as how much information they share about their work. Some companies deliberately choose to remain inactive on social media and that should signal to you that they – and their clients – value secrecy and limited social media presence. Of course, a more direct method would be reaching out to ex-employees through your personal network.

Where to get the information: TalentSpace Company Profiles, Company Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), LinkedIn

Do a bit of digging on your future boss and/or interviewer

Many people forget that the interview process is a two-way street – this is time for you to suss out if the company is the right one for you. It’s no secret that the company will google you and check your socials, so you shouldn’t shy away from doing the same. Checking out the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewer or future boss is a quick and easy way to find some commonalities to break the ice in your interview. You could possibly share ex-colleagues, have attended the same university or have mutual connections/friends. Just remember to keep it professional – that means making sure that you don’t come across like a stalker. 

Where to get the information: LinkedIn, Google

Marco Eylert
Co-Founder | TalentSpace

Marco's a co-founder at TalentSpace, and he previously worked at McKinsey & Company, Roland Berger and Credit Suisse. He graduated from Bocconi University and Johns Hopkins SAIS, where he was a scholar of the Haniel Foundation and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.