When you’re at an interview, it’s important that you don’t spend all your time talking about yourself! Your potential employer will want to see you show some interest and knowledge about your them with intelligent questions.
In order to that well, you should focus some time on researching your potential employer before the interview. But you don’t have to spend a ton of time on it, you just need some snippets of good info to get started for deeper conversations at the interview. Here are some tips to quickly assess what they’re all about:
Spend 5 minutes on their website
Do they list their mission statement? Make a note of their specialties and main projects. Go to the news section of their site to see if they’ve had any recent announcements or press releases. If you know the name of the person you’ll be talking to, see if their picture and job description is listed on the ‘team’ section of the website.
Spend 5 minutes on Google search
Google the name of the company and the name of your interviewer. If you type in “news about (company)”, with a current date, that will usually pull up any articles where they may have been featured. Specifically searching with “Reviews for (company or project)” can give you great information on what their customers are saying about them too.
Spend 5 minutes on social media
Go to LinkedIn first, to review the company description and feed, if they have one. This is also a great place to review job titles and descriptions of other team members in the department you’re interviewing for. You’ll be able to get a great idea of what skills and duties are valued in the job. If you have time, briefly check out the company’s official Facebook page, twitter, and Instagram as well. Take note of any themes or projects that come up.
Spend 5 minutes writing down questions
Now that you’ve done the research, simply write down some questions that come to mind. We recommend you mention that you researched and/or read about them, and that’s why you’re asking the question. Employers are impressed when candidates make the effort to get to know them. But don’t ask them anything too personal or invasive – keep it professional, and relevant to the company and position available.
A little time invested can make a big difference in your interview, and overall decision! The best bonus to all this is that you’ll be more able to determine better if you’re a good fit for the company culture and mission, and if it’s a place you want to work.