Rule number 1: Research:

Congratulations! You have been invited for the interview. Now what do you do?


The first step is beginning to research the company. Once you have done this you will be ready to prep for the interview questions, learn how to improve your interviewing skills and begin to think about what you’re going to wear to the interview.


In order to succeed in the interview you need to do your homework on the company. There is no set of rules to how to do your research but preparing yourself as much as possible will greatly enhance your chances of getting hired.


Make sure you use every available resource to help you with your preparation. By doing a basic Google on the company you can easily learn important facts about the company. Publically listed companies are easier to prepare your background research than privately listed companies as public companies are legally required to make certain information available. In the 21st century the Internet has made a lot of the pre interview research more available and easier to find. Don’t forget that you can also use other sources of information like public libraries or bookstores. Many magazines and journals can provide important and up to date information on your company and also provide you with information that your competitors who are also applying for the same job won’t know.


A true story…

A candidate of mine was applying for a job at one of the large investment banks. Out of 150 candidates the hiring manager had selected the top 10 best resumes to perform first round interviews. Every interview was 15-20 minutes long. The final question the hiring manager asked to each of the candidates was “Tell me something about the company.” Nine out of ten of the candidates rattled off information they had read from the company’s “about us page”, but one candidate stood out. After reading about the company’s strategic purchase of a new acquisition, the candidate was able to impress the hiring manager with his (somewhat different) knowledge.


The hiring manager later offered this candidate the role not because he was the smartest candidate, but because he showed his dedication by going the extra step in his interview preparation.

Your research for the job interview preparation should give you a better insight on:


  • The history of the business
  • How old the business is
  • The types of services the business offers
  • The hierarchy structure
  • How many offices/locations the business has
  • Number of employees
  • Career progression
  • The business culture
  • Competitors
  • Benefits


Check out the Competitors websites as well – they are also a good source of information for your job preparation. 


© RedStarResume Publications –


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Views: 1313

Comment by Terence on August 26, 2011 at 10:39am

All good info interview prep is where a consultant can really make their candidate stand out at interview.  When I'm preparing salespeople for interview I always recommend they carry out a mystery shop it's a great talking point at interview and clients are usually pretty impressed.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 26, 2011 at 1:57pm
Thanks for this - I am SHOCKED at how many times during an interview I'll ask a candidate what they know about my company and the answer is "not much".
Comment by StaffingStarr on August 26, 2011 at 2:23pm
Great article! I read a few things that I will add to my current interview prep sessions with my candidates.  In a job market where there are at least 6 people for each open position, it's critical that candidates step their game up. Researching a company and finding interesting points to discuss during an interview,is no longer optional.  It can mean the difference between being forgotten or standing out from the pack.
Comment by Bill Ward on August 26, 2011 at 3:05pm

Doesn't anyone ever read the MD&A section of a company 10k besides Finance professionals? There's a wealth of information there for recruiters and candidates alike. If their not public, it's very easy to Google search press releases on the founders, product launches etc.

People that aren't prepared usually aren't very motivated. They may have the skills, but you have to question how motivated they are to do the work.

Comment by Kirk Baumann on August 30, 2011 at 11:58am



You're absolutely right!! Research, research, research! That's where it all starts (and could potentially end for a candidate).  Thanks for hitting this point home.  People just don't do the homework, even in the current economy.  Keep spreading the good word!

Kirk Baumann


Comment by Gavin Redelman on August 30, 2011 at 7:55pm

Thanks Kirk and everyone for your responses.

With the current state of the economy (all over the world) it just doesn’t make sense that people feel they can just show up for the interview and that will be good enough to get the job. To make the shortlist for an interview is an achievement in itself. To let yourself down by not adequately preparing is just a waste of time! If you’re not driven enough to research and prepare for the interview than the question must be asked - Why bother applying for the job in the first place!!


Comment by Helen Burbank (Appleby) on August 31, 2011 at 1:12pm
Really great article Gavin. I interviewed someone today and the 'not much' was pretty much what I got out of her when I asked her what she knew about our company. In addition to that, her phone went off. Not once, but twice. Terrible first impression.
Comment by Gavin Redelman on August 31, 2011 at 6:37pm

Got to love when the phone goes off in the interview ... and not once but twice!


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