Nothing beats the excitement you feel after receiving an invitation to an interview. Well, at least not until you’re hit by the realization that you know next to nothing about your potential employer.
Even if you may know a thing or two about a company, you’ll stand out more when you can demonstrate that your knowledge of the company goes beyond what every other candidate knows as well. When you can walk into the interview armed and ready with facts that go beyond the basics, you’ll knock the hiring manager off their feet, and stand in good stead of a follow-up interview, if not an immediate “You’re hired!”
Here’s everything you need to know:
Who the organization is made up of and what its place in the market is
Knowing the makeup of the company and what it does is information you should know off the back of your hand. Have a clear knowledge of the company’s main products, who the company leaders are and its location. Why the location too? Because knowing the other areas that the company is based will allow you to find out if you’ll have to work with the teams in these other settings.
To make a greater impression, learn about the company’s competitors. Take time to read websites of the competitors and get a good idea of how their products, strategies and services differ from the company you’re preparing for. Hiring managers are well known for posing those “What if” scenario questions, and having done the competitor analysis will allow you to answer the question with confidence.
What’s happening in the company’s industry
Of course there’s a lot to be learnt by visiting a company’s webpage. However, if you want to leave a lasting impression you need to go beyond and above the obvious. In your case this means going into the interview with a knowledge and understanding of the latest industry happenings. A simple Google search on the trends in the company’s industry will yield a string of results for you to show you know your stuff.
Just imagine the hiring manager‘s reaction during your MultichoiceNigeria’ interview when you ask how they’ve responded to the expansion of Satellite TV firms in the market?
Something like this?
What the company’s business strategy is
Or at least as much as you can gather from online research. Remember that the one reason the hiring manager is considering you is for your ability to help the company achieve its strategic goals. So it’ll be important to go into the interview with some knowledge of the company’s business strategy. Again, a Google search on “[company name’s] business strategy” will provide you with an assortment of articles to showcase your understanding of the company’s plan and your enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for.
What the company’s reputation in the market is
Any company that wants to stay afloat in this century needs to have some sort of social media presence, which is a great place for you to do some research about the company’s reputation. Scroll through the company’s social media feeds and pay close attention to how its followers respond to its updates. Is the public generally responsive? Or do complaints follow one after the other? If it’s the latter, during the interview, you can leverage that by demonstrating how you can help the company clean up its social media presence.
Also make an effort of checking out online company reviews for employee testimonials relating to things such as how employees feel about working for the company, its company culture and the leadership.
Going into an interview prepared with statistics, information and insights is the best thing you can do for yourself. It’ll allow you to speak confidently and intelligently about the company, while indirectly showing the hiring manager that you’ll be an asset to the company. More than that, the hiring manager will be impressed once he/she sees that you’ve done your homework.