Researching Before the Interview

By: Abby

Congratulations! You got an interview. Your resume did the trick, and you have won some face-to-face time. This is your time to shine. This is your opportunity to convince the hiring manager that you are the right candidate for the job. But how do you do that…?


It is all about being prepared. The more prepared you are, the more engaged and interested in the position you will appear. So how do you get prepared? What exactly should you be researching? And where do you find this information? Keep reading, and I will tell you!


The following is a list of things that you should research. Not all of these will be available for every organization, but try to find as much as you can.

  • History of organization
  • Complete product line and/or services
  • Organizational structure
  • Size of organization
  • Prospects for growth or change
  • Potential new products or services
  • Annual sales growth for past five years
  • Business methods and philosophy
  • Core company values
  • Reputation
  • Competitors
  • Number of plants, stores and outlets
  • Geographical locations
  • Location of corporate headquarters
  • Type of training program(s)
  • Promotional path(s)
  • Typical career path in your field
  • Information about top management and their backgrounds
  • Corporate culture
  • Prepare answers to the generic questions: why do you want to work here, tell me about yourself, and why should I hire you
  • Know the person who is interviewing you
  • Know the interview process
  • Prepare good questions to ask the employer
  • Know what you are looking for and what you have to offer

The UMD Career Handbook says, “Recruiters expect and are impressed with candidates who research and have knowledge about their companies. A favorite question asked is, ‘Why are you interested in our organization?’ To answer the question effectively, you need to know the organization. By researching the organization, you can learn whether your goals will fit the organizational structure defined by the employer. For example, there are some employers who have a reputation for being conservative; if you know that you do not fit in with this type of environment, talking to the recruiter would be a waste of time.”

The following are options on where to find this information:

  • Employers’ websites
  • Employer profile pages on LinkedIn and other social media platforms
  • Direct contact with the organization
  • Contacts at career fairs
  • Company information presentations
  • Career Services staff, professors, family, friends, alumni
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Annual reports and employment brochures
  • Business periodicals, newspapers and directories

If you are fully prepared for an interview, you’ll feel much more confident, and it will show. The employers will know that you took the time and that you care.

Now that you’re mentally prepared, get physically prepared with all of our professional dress blog posts!

Read Abby’s other posts

Photo source: GabrielaP93

8 thoughts on “Researching Before the Interview

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