There are so many job search how-to articles out there telling you to do your homework, but what exactly does that mean? What homework? What research into these companies you’re interviewing with is actually going to help you? What do you actually need to know to prepare for your job interview?
What you would be doing
This seems like an obvious place to start, and it is. But the most important research you can do before going in for an interview is to get a really good sense of what your position would entail on a day-to-day basis. What opportunities are there for growth? How long have people typically stayed in that role? What are the primary responsibilities and requisite qualifications? You can contact current employees on LinkedIn or try to chat with friends of friends that work there, if that helps. Or, sign up for the company newsletter. You’ll be much better prepared and your interviewer will be pleased to notice your keen interest.
Who the movers and shakers are
It’s always a shrewd idea to get an idea of the power players at any particular company. Start with the About page and see who the managers and executives are, then commence your Google stalking. You’ll get a great sense of what kind of talent the company values, and how you might fit in.
What it’s like to work there
Culture, culture, culture. Everyone is now officially obsessed with this word. But it’s a useful one. After all, you’ll be spending a massive amount of time in this one place. Best to get a good idea of what it’s like. It will save you a lot of adjustment time if you know what to expect going in. You’ll also get a better idea of what unique personality traits and skills or experiences to emphasize during your interview to net the job.