These days simply getting past the phone interview stage is tough – which is why it is very important that you research enough about the company, so that you make a great first impression, during your first stage face-to-face job interview.
Research shouldn’t just be a quick search on Google, and a quick browse across the company website. Instead it is important that you gather as much information as possible to help you see why you are going to be a benefit to the company – this is going to help you sell yourself better during the interview.
Below are a few tips to help you research the company in more detail:
Take time to see what employees you may already know.
Utilise LinkedIn to find out if you are currently connected to anybody already employed by the company. Contact them beforehand and don’t be shy to ask some questions about the company, expectations and any other questions that you may find helpful. Then during the interview you could let the employer know that you have connections with that person within the company.
Researching the company too much can go against you. So don’t feel the need to present all of the information that you have learnt, otherwise you may find yourself questioning the company during the interview. You don’t want to come across as though you have researched the company in a negative way. Also be careful not to get too wrapped up in any negative information about the company that you may come across – take any negative information as hearsay – try to assume the best of the company at this stage and try not to bring anything up that may come across poorly to the interviewer.
The best way that you can present how you have researched the company is by sounding out anything that you have learnt using a positive tone – such as ‘I saw this and I love it’ or ‘I love how you achieved this.’ Researching the company can be a great way to find out how your own skills and experience are a positive attribute to the company.
Should you Google the person conducting the interview to learn about their background? Not necessarily. Although it seems tempting to use any useful information that you find during your interview – it’s wasting time. The interviewer’s background may be very different to your own. It’s best not to make assumptions here and attempt to make any connections that don’t exist. For example: If you both worked at the same company previously, they will notice this on your CV and bring up the matter themselves. It could come across intimidating and unprofessional if you look as though you have researched the interviewer more than the company itself.
What to do if you are interviewing at a smaller company that may not have a website. If you have tried to research the company as much as possible utilising, Google, LinkedIn, social media pages etc. then you could take the approach ‘I am fascinated by this company and I am really keen to learn more’ – try and turn it around in a positive way. Sometimes you could just say ‘I normally like to research the company first, but haven’t been able to find a website or information on LinkedIn / social media’ – it can be a great conversation starter, and in most cases the interviewer will describe the company in more detail – helping you to use your own skills / expertise as a selling point as to why would be a great match for the role.
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Have a great weekend!
The Agricultural and Farming Jobs Team