How to Research a Company Before the Interview

May 11th, 2009 by lewis

The Wall Street Journal has an article on how to research a company before an interview. I love the interview tips, and here are my two favorite points from the article:

  • Talk to somebody at the company before the interview. Using LinkedIn, see if you or your friends know anyone at the company. Do a quick informational interview and get an insider’s perspective on the position, company culture, and the hiring process. Hiring managers love it when they hear you took an extra effort to research the company, so do point that out during the interview. It shows you really want the job.
  • Focus on the positive not the negative. During the interview, stay away from unflattering topics such as, “I heard your company just laid off 200 people.  What’s morale like?” Or “I did some research on your leading product, and here are 10 reasons why you are not #1 in your industry.” These questions put an interviewer on the defensive and increases the likelihood your interview will become confrontational. There’s a time and place for these types of questions, and an interview is not it.

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