Interview questions and structured interviewing
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Research the Company Before You Interview


Why is it Relevant?

An informed interviewee stands out from those less informed when it comes to having a successful job interview. It is very important before you interview with a company, that you thoroughly research the company and industry. The Internet can assist you in doing this. Research can make you more desirable for the position if you know what it is you will be doing, and with whom. You will want to know what the company’s growth strategies and/or problems are and who’s who within the company. Professional interviewers judge an applicant’s knowledge and intelligence by the type of questions asked. If you want to appear desirable, ask smart, informative questions.

Have you ever gone into an interview and you were totally lost when it came to what the company actually did outside of having positions open? In an interview, the more you know about the company, the more at ease you will be when it comes to discussing why you are interested in a position with them. Many people measure one’s intelligence and knowledge by the questions they ask.

Knowing details about the company also assists you in deciding if you’d be interested in working for them. As you know, employer/employee relationships are a two-way street. Yes, the company makes the final decision as to whether to hire you or not, but as a jobseeker, you also have the power to decide whether or not you want to work for the company.

Researching the company can also allow you to find and read news stories, press releases, good news and bad news about that particular company—that inside information that the interviewer may not be very comfortable sharing with you. It goes without saying that the more you know, the better informed your decisions will be.


The Solution

Researching the Company
At Hoover’s Online (, you can research companies or industries of interest from the homepage by browsing various directories. You can find companies alphabetically by browsing the A–Z company index, or by browsing through lists of companies in a particular country or state. Hoover’s also has a list of companies sorted by industry in their Industry Directory. You can even refine your industry list by going to sub-industries.

On Hoover’s, some of the information is free for us to view, and other more in-depth information requires us to have a subscription.

Research is very important for jobseekers because it gives them insight into:

  • Changes in the industry
  • Information about the company they may be interested in
  • Positions available, including detailed responsibilities and duties

For a smaller company that isn’t listed with Hoover’s, you may need to use a Search Engine to find the company Web site. A great Search Engine to use is Google ( From their home page, simply type in the name of the company you are looking for into the search box and click on Search. You can perform searches for the Web site address or even news stories pertaining to that company.

Researching the Position

Another thing you need to have before your interview is a full understanding of that position and what your responsibilities will be. At Princeton Review ( you can view Career Profiles that include a history of that occupation, wages, the number of people in the occupation field, and your career development path in two years, five years, and even ten years. They even give you a list of books you can read pertaining to that occupation as well as movies or videos that you can view that describe that specific occupation.

For KSA’s (knowledge, skills and abilities) of various occupations you can refer to O*NET Online ( There you can find occupations by keyword search, use a list of skills to find occupations, or use other classifications to find occupations like DOT codes.