The first step in preparing for your interview is to learn about the organization with which you are interviewing. Knowing about the organization ahead of time will show the interviewer that you are informed and serious about the job. It will also help you decide if this is a company for which you want to work.
Here are four questions to research when learning about the organization:
- What does the organization do?
- Who are their customers?
- What is their mission?
- What is the company’s culture like?
It is important that you use all resources, or helpful tools, available to you when researching these four questions. For example, you may look up the company’s website on the internet, use networking sites or ask a current employee of the company your questions.
Let’s go into more detail about the four questions to research before your interview:
1. What does the organization do?
The most important thing you will want to know about the company before you interview is what it does. You will want to know, both for the interview and for yourself, what the company is like. You will also seem more prepared in the interview if you bring up what the company does, and why it is important to you.
For example, The Conover Company creates training programs to help you succeed in the future. At an interview, you could state this mission, and also how it relates to you. You could say, “I know that The Conover Company’s mission is to help people by providing training programs, and it is important to me to help others plan for future success”.
2. Who are their customers?
Another thing to know about the company is who it serves–its customers. Does it serve a specific group of people or the general public? This is something you may bring up in the interview to share how you will relate with the customers. After all, companies exist to serve and provide specific services or goods to their customers, and you will want to say how you will help the company serve its specific customers.
3. What is the mission of the company?
The company’s mission is its purpose or main goal. Knowing the company’s mission before you interview will give you some talking points during the interview. You can bring up what the company wants and its goals and tell how they relate to your own goals. This will set you apart from others who interview without knowing the company’s mission.
Knowing the mission will also help you consider if you will be a good fit for the job. If the company has values that you believe in, and your skills can help the company, you may be a better fit than someone who does not share the same values or goals and skills.
4. What is the company’s culture like?
A company’s culture is similar to its personality. It is a combination of its mission, values, beliefs, goals, and work environment. The culture is important to research so you have a feel for what it would be like to work at the company. For example, if the culture is very friendly and employee-focused, you may say that you are a friendly person and therefore a good fit for the company. You need to know the culture of a company so you can say specifically how you can add to it.
Again, make sure that you use all resources available to you when researching these four parts of a company. The company website, other professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, and employees of the company should be able to answer the four questions about the company so you are informed and prepared to discuss the company at your interview.
Stay tuned for our next post in this series where we will look at getting an interview. Want to learn more about teaching workplace readiness to your students? Click the free trial link below.