Researching the Employer

Your knowledge of the organization or company will play a key role in the success of your interview. Thoroughly researching the company will:

  • Help you answer common questions such as: Why did you choose to apply for this position? Why do you want to work for this organization? What do you find interesting about our company? Why should we hire you? The more research you’ve done, the more sincere your interest in the position will sound.
  • Help you put other questions into the context of the work environment. For example, if you are asked to name your top strengths, you can say how your particular strengths will help the company in specific ways.
  • Help you ask thoughtful questions of the interviewer. You don’t want to ask questions you can easily find the answers to on your own. To show you have done your research, lead with a question about something you have learned.

What should you research?

Information about the industry: Is the company’s industry on the rise, or is it struggling? What major issues are impacting the industry today? Read news articles about forecasts, recent events, prominent leaders, trends, and history. You will come across as well-prepared and interested in the organization.

Information about the position: It has been a while since you applied for the position, but now is the time to revisit the original posting. Your interview answers should demonstrate that you thoroughly understand the educational requirements, skills, and duties required. You should also get familiar with typical career paths and salaries.

Information about the organization:

  • What are the company’s services and products?
  • Who owns it? Is it for-profit, nonprofit, or government?
  • Are there any big names you should know such as a famous CEO or board member?
  • What is the size and structure of the company?
  • What is its current financial status?
  • What is the history of the company and what recent events have had an impact on it?
  • Who are its biggest competitors and what is its status among them?
  • Who are the biggest clients/accounts?
  • Does the company have other locations?
  • What kind of public image does the company cultivate?

How should you conduct research?

Visit the company’s website, conduct informational interviews, access insider information on the Vault employer database and online library, and use additional resources on our website. See the list of online job search resources and Links by Major on the Career Center website.


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