4 Things You Need to Know About an Employer Before Interviewing

company research interviewing

You got the call, and a potential employer will be interviewing you soon. So, how do you prepare? Here are four things to focus on when conducting your pre-interview company research.

Expecting to be asked questions you didn’t anticipate is, ironically, part of preparing for job interviews. Some interview questions are quite common, but others may be more tailored toward the specific position and company. To succeed, you’ll need to conduct more research on the company than you did when you applied.

As an administrative professional, you may not be devising business plans and financial strategies, but you’ll stand out among other candidates if you have a deeper knowledge of the employer. Here are four areas to concentrate on:

1. Financial fine points

It’s important to know the state of things at your prospective company. Has there been any recent restructuring? Expansion? How about a merger? A Google News search will turn up recent results on most companies and prevent you from being surprised when the interviewer mentions a new overseas branch or the company’s recent acquisition of a competitor. You can also turn to LinkedIn and other networking contacts to fill the gaps.

2. Corporate culture

One of the intangible aspects of working for a new company is its corporate culture. While it’s hard to know for sure without working there yourself, there are ways to get an idea of what an organization’s culture is like before your interview. Sites like Glassdoor provide insider reviews of corporations from actual employees, so even if you don’t know anyone internally, you can still get the scoop on what it’s like to work there. This makes it easier to avoid any embarrassing gaffes while interviewing. For example, if National Have Fun at Work Day is a revered annual event but a waste of time to you, you’ll be informed and can avoid expressing your dislike of silliness to your potential employer.

3. Executive elements

Administrative professionals at all levels can benefit from researching the executive team prior to interviewing, even if the CEO or owner isn’t going to be there to ask questions. But if you’re interviewing for an executive assistant position, you certainly want to know all about your potential boss, because you’ll be spending most of your time in his or her corner. Navigate to the appropriate page on the company’s website and read up on the executive team's backgrounds and philosophies.

4. Competitor concerns

Once you know about your potential employer, start looking into the competition. How does the firm stack up? Browse through the websites of other companies that serve the same customers. If appropriate during the interview, show your knowledge of the market challenges the business faces.

Interviewing well is essential to landing any administrative job, and being knowledgeable about a business will make you that much more impressive. Doing company research may feel like homework at times, but just like homework, doing it thoroughly and correctly can help you meet your ultimate goal, be it a good grade or a new job. 

What company research do you focus on when preparing for an interview? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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