Doing Your Homework: A+ Research for the Job Interview | ESP IT Doing Your Homework: A+ Research for the Job Interview | ESP IT


Doing Your Homework: A+ Research for the Job Interview

You’ve caught the eye of a potential employer and scored an interview. The next step is clear; you’ve heard it time and again: “Be prepared. Do your research.” What isn’t so clear is what “doing your research” really means. The following is a two-part breakdown of what you should be doing.

Learn About the Company

  • Look for the company’s mission statement or core values on its website. Think about how your potential work aligns with this mission, and how your particular background and experience has prepared you to advance the company’s vision and goals.

  • Read through the company’s achievements. Think about what these achievements mean for the company; this knowledge can provide thoughtful answers to “Why do you want to work here?”

  • Brush up on the company’s history. Knowing how the organization developed can provide valuable insight on its goals for the future.

  • Review current employees’ profiles, especially your interviewer’s, via the company’s website or LinkedIn. Knowing her/his professional background and qualifications may give you a better idea of what the employer is looking for in potential candidates.

  • Browse relevant publications that mention the company for which you’re interviewing. Not only will they provide you with an understanding of the trends and opinions of the industry in which the company functions, but also knowledge of both its successes and challenges. This will give you a solid base for answering questions on how you think the organization can improve.

  • What is the company’s communication style? Observe the language of its social media feeds to determine what kind of public/brand image it wants to market. Who is the company following and interacting with? What is the organization posting about? You can learn a lot about the company’s recent campaigns and promotional culture through its Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn posts.

Research the Technical Skills You’ll Need

  • Review and hone the technical skills that the position entails; you’ll be asked to demonstrate at least a few of them during your interview. Go over the technical expectations of the job with your recruiter to determine whether there are particular proficiencies you need to brush up on. Then do any research to be prepared to demonstrate a working knowledge of the company’s most widely-used software, programs, products, and languages.

  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s technical lingo via its website, blog, and/or social media feed. This will help you communicate your experience and qualifications in a way that speaks to the needs of the employer.

  • Think like a problem-solver. Some tech job interview questions will involve solving actual problems and brain teasers. In many cases, what’s important is not the answer, but rather the process of arriving at it. Search for a few of these to practice before your interview.

For interview success, knowledge really is power. The best thing for you and your career is to do your homework, and do it well.


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