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Emotionally, getting the news you’ve secured an interview can be a double edged sword. Obviously you’re elated. You’re one step closer to getting back into work and all the effort you put in the early stages paid off to get you to this point.
Conversely, those feelings are married to a heightened sense of anxiety and feelings of increasing pressure to close the role. While not overly helpful, those feelings are natural. Instead of falling foul to your inner critic, harness that energy and channel it into the next stage of preparation!
Remember that phrase ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’? The reason it’s so enduring is because it’s true.
As we described in early stages of this toolkit, preparation is key for a number of reasons. Feeling prepared increases your confidence by removing some of that uncertainty which inevitably translates into nerves. Additionally, you’re able to show your best self to the interviewer – a proactive individual with the foresight to plan ahead.
There are several key resources you can utilise when researching the business.
The company website
An organisation’s website acts as a 24/7 brochure of their business. It’s likely chocablock with valuable information you can use to build up an accurate picture of what they do, the products and services they have and their mission and values as a business. You can use this information to discern who their competitors are and market challenges they face.
If it’s a sizable company, it’s likely there’s a wealth of information across their blog, FAQs and ‘About Us’ pages. When practicing a response to ‘What do you know about our business?”, this is a great place to start.
As we’ve seen with the rise of LinkedIn, social media is no longer restricted to social interactions – it means business!
The vast majority of organisations are now harnessing social media as a means to build credibility and brand trust, reach new audiences, drive revenue and even attract new employees. Check out what platforms they’re on, see what kind of content they’re posting and how regularly.
If the business has had any positive press recently; big customer acquisitions, high profile hires or award wins, it’s likely they’ll be shouted about here. These can make great talking points and are a solid foundation on which to build insightful questions to ask at the end of your interview.
Depending on their sector, product or service, the business is likely going to appear on one or more review sites. Whether it’s reviews on Google, Trustpilot or an industry specific review sites, these can give you an insight into how their customers view the business and their experience of it.
This is a good place to spot red flags for unethical behaviour or pick up on challenges you might face in the role. Again, all good talking points and a great way to generate questions you might want to ask the interviewer.
Glassdoor is an employer review website which provides anonymous, and therefore largely unbiased reviews of the business from an employees perspective. You can see how many staff approve of the CEO and get an honest appraisal of management styles and employee benefits to get a feel for the company culture.
This is also a fantastic tool for getting an insight into the interview process from past participants. If reviews mention multiple stage interviews, group tasks or whether it was just an informal chat you’ll have more of an idea of how the process is likely to pan out on the day if you haven’t already been told.
Companies House is the UK’s registrar of companies which collects business information on limited companies, such as accounts and named directors and makes it available to the public. This makes it a great place to go if you want to check out their financial solvency or find out who runs the business.
In the news
Casually tapping in the company name into a search engine will quickly tell you if they’ve made the news – either good or bad. Again, this might not affect how you feel about the interview but you’ll be ahead of the game if something gets mentioned, or might be a great reference for a passing comment to show you’ve done your homework.
Ready to take the next step? View the next chapter in our #GetHired Skills Toolkit.