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How to research ahead of an interview

In today’s job market job seekers are looking for a position that is the perfect fit for them. Conducting research aids in understanding what an organisation’s core values are and whether they match your own. The importance of completing this objective is to ensure you thrive, instead of survive, and that you enjoy your job and working life.

Individuals are now becoming highly interested in the brand and what it does, but also how it does it. More and more often, people are becoming more intrigued as to the real values of a business. Conducting research will not only highlight company values and help explain the organisations functions and culture, but also show how current employees are governed and what the overall outcome for the business is in the future.

In this article we look at three key tips for research and conducting it in the right manner:

1. Where you should focus your research

Look carefully at all aspects of the company webpage, it will be particularly worth reading case studies of work, key employees, product information, events they have attended or scheduled to attend and any awards the business may have won. The advantage of doing this is to help shape your answers and any future questions you may wish to propose during your interview. Also read up on what is being said about the company/products in the media so you are fully aware of the company activity. You may also wish to look into how a company demonstrates a drive for best practice and commitment to values/high standards of work, as this will be good in initiating conversation during an interview.

Do you know anyone that works for the company who you could talk to, to gain further insight? Check out other employees on LinkedIn to see what their backgrounds are. Does your recruiter know anyone who works/worked for the company that they can get you in contact with? This will help you to gain a feel of the company, they types of people they hire, how long they have worked their and if they are happy in their roles.

2. Know who your interviewer(s) is

First and foremost, it is important to know who you are being interviewed by. This starts with a discussion with your recruiter. Your recruiter is likely to have first-hand information about the type of person the interviewer is and what their expectations are at the interview. Alongside this you can find them on LinkedIn or other social media sites to see information about their career, expertise and interests. By gaining some background information you may find common interests that can be called upon during an interview and at the very least it will help boost your confidence knowing you are fully prepared. If you have not used a recruiter, the same information applies you just won’t get the firsthand information that a recruiter may be able to provide, however if you have been liaising with a HR representative from the company, they may be able to provide a little extra information.

3. How research will help during your interview

It is expected that you will have your own questions to ask the interviewers during the interview, your research should help you to shape some questions that will enable you to assess if this is the right opportunity for you. Make your questions count so that you can fully assess how the job meets your personal career objectives.

Overall it is important to bear in mind that most organisation’s will not fit your exact search criteria, but by researching and being fully aware of a company’s values/asking the right questions at an interview, you will put yourself ahead of other candidates and find the position that matches your personal and work behaviour the best.

For more advice and support on your job search journey follow @theinterviewspecialist on Instagram or Top Tips for Job Seekers on Facebook and Linkedin

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