Before your job interview, you can and should research the company for which you are interviewing. It is likely the interviewer will be looking to fully understand why you want to work for his/her organization and having some knowledge about the company and its products or services can go a long way towards proving your motivation is in the right place. Furthermore, some of the interview questions you are asked may be designed to assess whether you've done your homework when it comes to learning about your potential employer. Imagine your embarrassment when the interviewer asks you to comment on a company achievement recently in the news and you are unable to respond because you were not aware of the event. In addition to learning about the company, you should also be "in the know" as it relates to recent industry trends and hot topics. For example, if you are interviewing for a position at a large banking institution, you should probably be aware of how the recent economic issues have impacted the banking industry. Advanced preparation and research will ensure you feel confident during the interview process and answer in a way that demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of your field.
When it comes to learning about a company, one of the best places for information is the company website. If you don't know their web address, you can easily locate it by conducting an online search. Once you are on the company website, you'll likely see the same types of information displayed, regardless of the company. Commonly posted information includes a general company overview, a description of products or services (how the company makes money), recent news or press releases, the company mission and vision statement and a description of company values. A close review of the company website allows you to gather information directly from the source. Once you've absorbed this information, take some time to see what else you can find on the internet. For example, what are the business journals and other trade publications saying about the company for which you plan to interview? Has the company been in the news lately and if so, why? Who are the company's competitors? What is the latest industry news?
During the interview, let the interviewer see the hard work you put into learning about the company by integrating your research into your answers. This demonstrates that you've invested time in preparing for the interview. Also, it shows that you have sufficient interest in the company and can apply your skills in a way that fits with the company's products, services, culture or strategy. When determining which candidate to hire, you can be sure the interviewer will factor in your ability to see the big picture within industry and your knowledge of the company's role in the marketplace.