Job hunting is stressful, but you can make it less so if you know how to research a company for an interview. You surely want to know what you’re getting into as well as raise your chances of getting hired, so why not use all the available information to your advantage?

Fortunately, we live in the golden age of the Internet, so finding relevant data about your potential employer is fairly easy. However, you still need to know what you’re looking for.

That’s what the following lines are all about. Stay tuned and learn how to research a company before an interview, and you’ll be closer to fitting the role you want.

Key Takeaways

  • Learning how to research a company for an interview begins on its website and social media profiles.
  • Recent company-related news is an unbiased source of information.
  • Researching the company’s competitors lets you know where the company stands in the big picture.
  • Employees’ profiles on LinkedIn and company reviews can offer additional information about your potential employer.
  • Checking the job-related skills the company requires and getting to know the hiring manager can help you tailor your resume and interview responses to stand out from other candidates.

4 Crucial Reasons Why You Should Research the Company Before Your Interview

how to research a company for an interview

The answer to the question of why you should research the company before your interview seems pretty straightforward, but there are a lot of hidden benefits to getting to know your potential employer and their policies and practices in advance.

There is also a lot of information you can gather during the research.

#1. Signals Genuine Interest

First and foremost, learning about the company before an interview demonstrates genuine interest in the job you’ve applied for. Needless to say, employers appreciate that. Showing your knowledge during the interview will make you appear enthusiastic about joining the team. Moreover, you’ll come across as a dedicated and reliable candidate.

#2. Offers Insight into the Company Culture

An important piece of information you’ll have when you research your potential employer is the company culture. You’ll gain insight into its values, goals, expectations, and work environment. That way, you can determine whether they align with your working style.

Additionally, you can modify your interview responses and highlight the skills the employer is looking for.

#3. Gives Material for Your Questions in the Interview

Learning about a company means learning about the challenges and opportunities it faces. They are great material for the questions you can ask the interviewer, which is another way of showing genuine interest in working there.

#4. Opens Doors for Potential Connections

Finding common connections on LinkedIn is another valuable result of researching a company. Needless to say, it opens the possibility of getting recommendations or referrals, both of which can raise your chances of getting hired.

7+ Ways to Research the Company For an Interview

Now that we know why, let’s move on to how to research a company for an interview. We’ll offer some tips and highlight everything you’ll learn during your research.

From visiting their website to finding reliable employee reviews, there are many approaches, each of which will offer valuable insight into the organization. Not only will you know how to present yourself as a suitable candidate, but you’ll also determine whether the company is the best fit for you.

#1. Explore the Company’s Website

Learning how to research a company for an interview starts with the basics—the website. Visiting the company’s website can give you insight into the organization’s structure and culture. While the “About Us” page can offer some information, keep in mind that it’s predominantly oriented toward attracting clients.

That’s why you should focus on the values section, mission statement, or any other page that speaks of the company’s values. As for the position itself, you can open the “Careers” section to gather more information about it, as well as see how many openings there are and how often the company hires new people.

#2. Check Company’s Social Media

Check Company’s Social Media

Many companies invest in social media marketing to keep up with trends. Thus, you’re likely to find the one that interests you on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.

A company’s social media presence is its reflection, so you can see how your employer wants to be perceived, both by clients and potential employees. If a firm’s social media profiles seem poorly managed, that may be a sign of poor management overall.

Spotting additional red flags on social media is easy, especially if you check the reviews. There, you might learn some information the company doesn’t let on at first glance. However, many of those reviews are even more useful to potential clients than employees.

#3. Research Recent Company-Related News

Companies care how they come across, which is why they strive to present themselves in the best light on their websites and social media. There, they can tweak their image to some extent to appeal to their target audiences and attract potential employees.

That’s why you should pay attention to recent company-related news—your potential employer doesn’t have any control over it. In the news section, you may see whether the company has had any difficulties recently. Additionally, the news may reveal some information about the company’s employee treatment standards.

#4. Look at the Company’s Competitors

To gain insight into the interviewing company’s mission and success, you should broaden your research and look at the company’s competitors. The information you’ll find there may give you a different perspective on your potential employer, such as their status in the niche.

Finding competitors should be fairly easy—you can either search the niche-specific keywords and Google them or look them up in LinkedIn recommendations when you visit the interviewing company’s profile.

You can then cross-research the interviewing company and its competitors and compare employee reviews, which we’ll discuss in detail in our next two points.

#5. Research Employees on LinkedIn

Research Employees on LinkedIn

Nowadays, many companies use LinkedIn to connect with potential collaborators, clients, and employees. According to LinkedIn, there are over 65 million of them.

Learning how to research a company for an interview begins with the website, but expands vastly with LinkedIn. There, companies share a lot of information that can be useful in this process. There are promotions, hires, statistics, and milestones that paint a more realistic picture than the official websites.

From researching the company itself to researching its employees, it is a short road—it only takes a couple of clicks. Visiting your potential colleagues’ profiles will let you in on their skills and qualifications, as well as their experience at the company.

#6. Find Company Reviews

You can broaden your research even more by finding company reviews on employee and even job search websites. People are mostly honest with them, not shying away from giving both praise and criticism. Larger companies that have been in business for a long time have many reviews, and you can use them to track the company’s progress.

Smaller companies, on the other hand, usually have fewer reviews. However, if you invest some time, you may still find valuable information about them.

#7. Find Out What Skills the Company Requires

This step is simple, as the job requirements are usually listed in the ad. You should pay attention to them, though, as they reveal what the company considers a qualified candidate. Subsequently, you can assess your chances and tailor your resume and cover letter, as well as your interview responses, to the company’s requirements.

#8. Learn About the Hiring Manager

While you research the company’s employees on LinkedIn, see what you can learn about the hiring manager as well. Connecting with them during the interview and sparking a memorable conversation will paint you in a good light. That’s why you should see if you have anything in common with them that can separate you from the other candidates.

Final Thoughts

Researching a company for an interview is highly important in your preparation process, as gathering as much information as possible, from the company’s culture to its employees’ experience and requirements, will go a long way in helping you do well in the interview.

You’ll also be able to tweak your resume to highlight the skills they’re looking for and use your knowledge to stand out from the other candidates. That is, if the company’s values align with your working style in the first place.