Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Interview Basics: Doing Your Homework Before the Big Day

Job searching can be tedious and daunting for everyone. College graduates and high school students alike share their stories of having their information scattered throughout the nation in an attempt to land their dream job. Once you’ve perfected your resume and you land the chance at an interview, standing out among the crowd can be tricky. A simple solution is to research the company more in-depth so that you can be confident in your interview and impress your audience with your detailed knowledge.

Step One: Research the history of the company
In today’s modern age, almost everything is online – if you find something that’s not, please enlighten me. Look up the company’s history to get a background understanding of how it grew, when it grew, and what events possibly helped move it along. If they’re a public company, check out how many years they have been profitable. This is beneficial for your own knowledge of the company and a good reflection that you’re sincerely interested in their successes and history.

Step Two: Research recent press releases on the company and its products/services
Dive even deeper and uncover recent press releases on the company. Find out what others are saying about their products and services, what they’re worth, and get a better sense of the environment you will be entering. If they are in a steady decline, fresh energy could be the spice they’re looking for in the interview. On the other hand, if they’ve been successful and have the resources to hire more hands, you can demonstrate why you specifically would be most suitable for the position. Similarly if you find information that deters you away from the company, then you can simply take the interview as practice and make a stronger opinion about what you want for yourself and if the position is the right fit for you and your personal career development.

Step Three: Research the company’s competitors
One of the best strategies to get to know more about the company is by researching their competitors and getting a better understanding of where they stand in comparison. Demonstrating your awareness to the company’s competitors will not only impress your interviewee, but will help you stand out among the pool of candidates. *Important Note: be sure to know enough information in case they ask further questions. You want to seem knowledgeable and sincerely interested, because you are, instead of getting yourself stuck in a situation and having it turn for the worst.

Step Four: Research the position itself, again
In the midst of all the elaborate research on the company, it is best to revisit the description of the available position again using the background knowledge you just recently acquired from your entire search. With a greater understanding of the company and how it works, followed with your developed opinions, going through the daily tasks and necessary skills listed in the description may have a slightly different meaning than before. For example, leverage your computer school experience when applying for a technical position. Be sure that you are confident in your abilities to excel in this position, write them down, and have them ready for your interview.

This research process may seem tedious, but if you really want the position this is the next step in the right direction. Another benefit from all this is during your research you should develop questions to ask in the interview. When the question “Do you have any questions for me?” comes up, it’s never a good idea to be empty handed. Remember to stay confident in your interview and be personable so that the interviewee feels comfortable. Demonstrating your sincere interest in the position with background knowledge in the company will put you a step ahead of your competition.

About Debbie:
Debbie Lawrence is a content editor for an online schooling blog at OnlineSchools.com. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Spanish at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A year out of college and six months into her career path, she continues to learn the ins and out of the corporate world. You can find her on Twitter here.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Interview Mastermind

Debbie Lawrence

Debbie Lawrence is a content editor for an online schooling blog at OnlineSchools.com. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Spanish at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A year out of college and six months into her career path, she continues to learn the ins and out of the corporate world. You can find her on Twitter here.