Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Interview Prep: 3 Ways to Study Your Potential Employer

As you undergo job interview preparation, you no doubt have prepared answers to every question you could possibly receive. Thankfully, that preparation will certainly pay off. However, there is one facet of the question and answer portion of the interview that you shouldn’t skimp out on when it comes to interview prep.

Undoubtedly, the tables will be turned on you, and the interviewer will ask you what questions you have. This is your chance to show you’ve researched the job as well as the company. By asking thought provoking questions about your potential employer, you demonstrate your interest and preparedness.

Recordonline.com has a great list of factors you can read up on before your big interview:

History and position. First, check the company’s website for their history and mission statement. Get a grasp of who they were when they started and how they’ve evolved to become who and what they are today. Also, make sure your professional standards align with their mission and values for the company.

Second, gather all of the information you can on the position. Talk to anyone you may know at the company about the realistic responsibilities and expectations. Additionally, find out who the manager is for this particular position. Research them as well to get an idea of where they started and how they got to where they are today.

Issues. Read what you can about the company to discover its strengths and weaknesses. Jot these down, and give them some thought before your interview. Think of your skills and talents; make a note of what you can add personally to help in these areas.

While it’s easy to talk about a company’s strengths in an interview, it may not be as easy to broach the topic of weaknesses. You can move the interview in this direction by simply asking, “I read about [blank]. What does your company think about this? Is anything being done to address this?”

Competition. Now, competitors may not come up in the interview, but researching a company’s competitors provides you with some context for the company you’re applying to and the industry at large. Studying competitors will also help you determine a company’s strength and weaknesses. You’ll be able to identify what they’re doing well and what they need to work on.

Just steer clear of suggesting improvements that mimic another company’s practices. Just like you want to stand out from other candidates, so does this company from their competition. They’re on the lookout for candidates who are innovative and will ultimately help their bottom line.

Be that candidate. Demonstrate your capability to efficiently contribute by showing you know this company, the position and what it takes to help them thrive.

Have you utilized any of these tips for an interview? How did it go? Share your experience in the comments below!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.