A Guide to Researching a Company
31 January 2019 by Justin Rush
A Guide to Researching a Company:
Your CV has made it past the recruiter and has landed you an interview for your dream job. So, what do you do next? You need to prepare yourself for your interview. To help prepare yourself you need to do your company research. Ask any recruiter and they will tell you that this is essential. Knowing information about the company such as corporate social responsibility schemes (CSR) or their set goals or missions could help differentiate you from the other candidates.
There are a number of methods you can use to research your chosen company. This could range from online research to insider contacts.
When do you start your company research?
When job searching there are three main times when you would want to research a company. The first is at the beginning when you are applying for jobs. This is when you are looking to identify what companies operate in your profession or the sector you are interested in getting into.
The second time that you would want to research companies is when you are applying to a role, they have active. This would help you tailor your CV to match what your chosen company is looking for. Such as skillset, education history and employment record.
The third time in which you would want to carry out some research would be if you have been invited to interview. This is where you would want to demonstrate your knowledge of the company you have applied for.
What information are you looking for?
When researching a company, you would usually look for three different types of information.
The first set of information you would be looking for would be general information about the company. Such as, the products and services that they provide, company history and culture, their missions and goals, financial information and location.
The second set of information would deal with information around career progression and learning & development opportunities. You may also what to research the company benefits and initiatives such as diversity and gender equality etc.
The third set of information to look for would be their key competitors and the industry that they operate in.
Where can you find this information?
The best place to start when beginning your research is the company’s website or their LinkedIn. You will find the majority of the information that you need in this one location. Most websites will have background information on the company and what product/services that they provide. If you know the name(s) of the interview(ers) you will nine times out of ten be able to find a profile of them on the website usually under the ‘Team’ or ‘Meet the team’ section. This will allow you to know what department they work in and what they deal with within the company.
Gathering Industry Information
Having knowledge of the industry and competitors that the company you are applying for is beneficial for your interview. Knowing this information allows you to reference it in any questions that are asked by the interviewers and could help strengthen your answers. Knowing about the company’s CSR is always beneficial as it shows that you are aware or what they are doing that is different from their competitors.
Knowing the competitive environment could give you an advantage over other candidates as they may not have researched the company as thoroughly as you did.
Conducting research can help you stand out in your interview over other candidates as it proves that you have taken the time to learn the industry and the information about the company you are applying for.
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