The Most Important Thing to Do Before Any Job Interview
Doing this will always make you stand out from the other candidates.
This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.
When it comes to a job interview, few things are as important as taking the time to research the company. As a hiring manager it’s something I look for—and I'm surprised when someone hasn’t done it. It's actually easy to do, if you break it down into three steps.
1. Research the company’s organizational structure.
Start on the company website and look for a list of staff. Focus on the senior people and research how they’ve progressed at the company and where they’ve worked before. Seeing this progression can be super helpful when thinking about your career path with the company and prepping for an interview.
2. Watch YouTube videos.
Now that you know the names of senior executives, look for videos of them speaking at conferences and events on YouTube. In these videos they’ll often discuss business drivers or the current goals and motivations at the company. Check LinkedIn too. Executives often publish articles and thoughts regarding their industry or trends in business on their feeds.
Knowing these facts for the interview, no matter how senior or junior you are, shows initiative and sets you up for thoughtful conversation. Armed with this knowledge you can ask the recruiter or hiring manager: “I understand that these are some of the key business drivers, have any of them changed, and why have they changed?”
3. Look at the competition and see what others are saying.
Knowing how the company’s competition is doing can help you understand how your potential future employer is doing too. For an inside look at the company’s culture and how they’ve treated previous employees, check out Glassdoor.com—which is like Yelp for rating employers.