Doing the right research on your potential employer and their industry is one of the best ways to be the first choice candidate during the interview process.

It needn’t take a huge amount of your time but research is the best way to learn about what the work of the company, their values and how you could fit in. It will also allow you to answer questions with confidence and to relate your skills and experience closely to what they need.

Here’s what you need to look at:

  1. The person specification for the role and how you meet it

Read both the job description for the role you’ve applied for and some others on the employer’s website. It’s also worth looking on LinkedIn for some current employees and getting a feel for the sort of people they are. How do you think you’ll fit in?

  1. The management team

Take a look at the company’s “about us” page and look at some of the leadership team’s bios – what sort of values do they display and how might you complement their skills and expertise with your own? If they have a blog, make sure you read it so you can refer back to it or use it to influence your answers.

  1. Their recent media activity

When you go into a job interview, it’s always a good idea to be knowledgeable about the company’s latest news and updates. Most companies have a page on their website dedicated to press releases and events. If you’ve seen them in the news independently of this, it’s worth mentioning it at interview as it shows you’re already invested in the organisation.

  1. Culture, mission, vision and values

Being a good fit in terms of the company’s culture and values is increasingly important to recruiters.

The mission, vision and values are often listed on the company website, so make sure that you’re familiar with this as it often shapes interview questions. Being aware of company values can even help you to second-guess the line of questioning you’re likely to get. You can also learn more about the company culture taking a look at how they present themselves on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

  1. Clients, products, and services

You will need to be able to demonstrate that you know what sort of work you’ll be doing, what you’ll be dealing with and who you might need to build relationships with. The company’s website should be your first point of call for this information but it’s always worth digging around on Google to see what their suppliers or customers have to say about them – can you help to improve this?

———————————–

Working through these five steps will help get you the edge when it comes to delivering a memorable – and hireable – interview. It will also help you to feel more confident that you can provide the answers they really want to hear. Remember, it’s fine to bring notes with you to refer to if your memory isn’t perfect!