Researching organisations prior to job interviews

Man on computer researching an organisation to prepare for his job interview

It has been said numerous times: preparation is the first essential step towards a successful job interview. The better prepared you are, the more confident you'll be.

There are many things that job seekers should make sure to know prior to a job interview: the name and title of who they are meeting, information regarding the job description, their CV from top to bottom... Researching organisations is one of the best ways to become a stand-out candidate during the hiring process and in our experience, something often overlooked by most job seekers.

What’s in it for you

Having a successful job interview depends on many factors but thorough research can help you get an edge. Company research is the best way to learn about what the company does and what they look for in a candidate. By addressing the specific qualities related to the job and company you’ll be able to better demonstrate why you are particularly suited for the role.

What you need to know

Researching a company can take time, but you must be prepared to invest the time needed if you want to perform well. It’s really important that you can talk intelligently about what your potential employer does. Look for company brochures and financial updates, allowing you to find out as much information as possible for your interview.

You should know specific facts about the organisation, including:

  • Their clients, products, and services
  • Their culture, mission, and values
  • Their history and financial position
  • The market in which they operate
  • Their main competitors

The importance of thoroughly researching an organisation

Having a general overview about the organisation will also give you confidence during the first interview so that you can refer to your research when asking questions. For example: "I saw from your latest press release that you are opening offices in Asia."

Rather than asking a basic question e.g. how many employees are in the company, which you could have found out yourself, the above question implies you have taken time and effort to prepare for the interview. The interviewer will take this as a sure sign that you're serious about the company, job and your future career.

Need more interview advice?

Read through our best interview tips and tricks.

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