Man doing research on a Mac computer.

A job interview is more than just answering questions. It’s an assessment of who you are as an employee, and how you would fit into the company’s overall structure. Likewise, it’s also a chance for you to assess if the company meets your needs as an employee. To best prepare for an interview, you have to do some research. This has the dual benefit of showcasing how knowledgeable you are, while also informing your decision to take a job offer, should it be put on the table. You may be wondering though, where should I do research? Most people just think to go to the company’s website and social media to click around. However, there are much better places to find valuable knowledge. We’ll be discussing those places in today’s blog!

Glassdoor

Glassdoor has been gaining popularity recently, so this may not be the first you’ve heard of it. It’s one of the fastest growing jobs and recruiting sites. It is also a huge resource to any job seeker. Most companies have company profiles, which in turn have reviews by employees. These reviews provide a lot of insight into what goes on within the organization. Since they are protected by anonymity, reviewers are honest and straightforward. It doesn’t end there however. Glassdoor also gives a percentage of CEO approval. A lower percentage could indicate a rift between management and workers which would be valuable to know.

Beyond the corporate culture, you can also look at the salary figures that have been posted by employees with certain job titles. This could help you gauge the wage you may be looking at if an offer is made. Furthermore, people even post reviews on their interview experience, and sometimes even describe specific questions asked. It’s important to be natural in the interview, but it doesn’t hurt to know what questions may be asked ahead of time. Finally, some companies have a benefits breakdown. This is one of the less fleshed out categories, so it may just be best to look in the reviews to find out how they are. Either way, Glassdoor stands above most sites as an incredibly helpful resource for job interview research.

LinkedIn

Next stop, LinkedIn! If you utilize LinkedIn for your job search, you’ve probably connected with many professionals. It’s also a great tool to research with before an interview. You can use it to find information on your interviewer, and they position they hold within the company. Knowing this will help you better understand their perspective. You should also click over to the company’s LinkedIn page- here you can view any connections you have at the company. If it’s someone you are comfortable with, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to them for some insider knowledge. They may even be able to put in a good word in for you!

If you have LinkedIn Premium (a paid service) going onto a company page will give you a lot of information. You can find out employee count, employee distribution by department, and the trend of hiring. Whether you’re free or paid on LinkedIn, it’s a smart place to check in.

Company Blogs

As mentioned previously, most candidates think to research a company’s website. However, the same can’t be said for blogs. Blogs may be harder to find, or obscured towards the bottom of their page. It may even be completely separate from the main website, as this blog is. Despite being more challenging to find, they typically offer more valuable information. A company blog shows you what they are interested in and currently working on, or at least what type of customer they are looking to draw in. Seeing what type of blog posts they are writing says a lot about their priorities and interests. These blogs also may use examples and information from within the company, which provides valuable insight.

Google News

While it may be fun to go Google crazy with a company you apply to, but you will probably end up wasting a lot of time. Instead of searching aimlessly, try checking Google News for anything related to the company. This will show new and newsworthy tidbits on your company that will help you understand their current situation. It also may be information you can reference in the interview- if it’s positive. You may want to additionally search for the company’s CEO or owner, to see if they’ve been mentioned recently as well.

Instagram

You may think it’s odd to list Instagram despite saying that most job seekers think to check social media. However, this typically means Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is unique in that it is used more than any other social media platform to push ‘behind the scenes’ content. If you’re looking for a true glimpse behind the curtain of a company, Instagram is your best bet. Wondering if the company participates in #bringyourdogtoworkday? This is the place to find out.

That’s it for the 5 best places to research a company! It is important to think about how you will use the information. Some will be good for your own personal reference, and won’t be brought up. For instance, any salary information you uncover should be kept to yourself. You also don’t want to bring up anything negative about the company you’ve seen. This could easily alienate you from the interviewer and cost you the job. You should bring up any big news, or initiatives you’ve learned about. Better yet, talk about how your presence at the company would help! At the end of the day, a well researched interview is typically a successful one. Best of luck!