On average, one job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those resumes, an average of 6 candidates will get called for an interview.
If you have been called for an interview, congratulations! You stood out from a huge group of applicants. However, you still need to beat out an average of five other people that the hiring manager thought were just as suitable for the position as you.
Your resume proved that you are qualified, but the interview is your chance to prove that you are more excited and more prepared to take on the role than any of the other candidate.
How are you supposed to do that? Research.
How to Research Pre-Interview
Carefully re-read the Job Description
The best place to begin your interview research is right at the source–the job posting. Read up on the job requirements, expectations and responsibilities. All of this information will help focus your conversation and show the hiring manager that you are serious about the job.
Use the Product
Try out the company’s product, even if it’s just a free demo. If there is no free version available, at the very least, do plenty of research. This is the product you will be expected to represent, promote, or improve.
When it comes to onboarding and getting a new employee up to speed, learning the product can be a time-consuming process. Your interviewer will take notice if you’re already a step ahead of other candidates.
Scour the Company Website
The company website holds troves of valuable information for the interviewee. Specifically, check out the About page as well as any blog posts that are made available.
What beliefs is the company built upon? What issues were the founders originally hoping to solve? Not only will this help inform you of the type of answers you should be providing, but it will help you decide whether your values align with those of your potential new employer.
Stalk them on Social Media
Social media is another useful resource for reading up pre-interview. The company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all fair game. Keep your eye out for anything that gives you a look into company culture or influencers and partners connected with the company. Are any common interests revealed? For example, is an influencer partnered with the company also a personal role model of yours? If so, that’s great information to share with your interviewer.
Get creative with your research. Check out photos of employees in the workplace to help gauge dress code and better inform your interview attire. Take a look at the interviewer’s LinkedIn page to find out if you have any shared connections. Read customer reviews on Facebook to get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the company. After all, you may be expected to improve upon those weaknesses if hired.
Preparing for an interview is a lot like preparing for an exam. If you show up knowing little about the subject, your chances of failing are much higher. All the knowledge you need to ace the interview is right at your fingertips, but it is up to you to study, research, and become an expert on the company and job for which you are interviewing.