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How to Easily Research a Company for Interviews: 10 Steps

How are you preparing for the next phase of the hiring process? Start here by learning how to research a company for an interview.

Shannon Hodgen
Written by Shannon Hodgen
March 31, 2023
Contents
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Key takeaways

  1. Identify your top questions for the hiring manager and see if you can answer them through independent research.
  2. Your primary information sources will likely be the company’s website, LinkedIn, and review websites like Glassdoor.
  3. Make a new list of questions to ask the hiring manager based on your learning. This will demonstrate your interest in the company and  level of preparation.

The hiring process is a two-way street. During the interview stage, the hiring manager or recruiter evaluates you—but you also evaluate the company. 

Knowing how to research a company for an interview will help you find the information required to answer their questions effectively and determine if you want to work for them. This article provides the blueprint for your research, including the information you should look for, where you can find it, and relevant questions to consider.

Before you begin, review the job description and identify any questions you have about the company based on the information provided.

For example, if the job listing mentions reaching a funding round, look for company announcements on their blog or social media for more details. If they claim to offer healthy work-life balance and flexible hours, see what current and former employees say on the subject in their Glassdoor reviews or LinkedIn posts.

Identify the company’s mission and values

Where to look: Careers page on the company website

Like 56% of workers, you probably wouldn’t work for a company if you disagree with its values. A company’s values and mission can align with your personal or professional values (or both). 

For example, genuine client care is an excellent professional value to look for in a company. But if you’re also an environmental advocate, you may want to work for a company that values sustainability. Finding a company that prioritizes environmental sustainability will enhance your employee experience and make you feel more engaged in your work.

You can typically find a company’s mission statement and values on the company website—try the About Us page or the Careers page. The About Us page is generally more commercially focused and directed at clients and company history, whereas the Careers page showcases the company culture, team growth, and open positions.

Questions to consider:

  • What values do I want my future employer to hold and why?
  • What are the organization’s values?
  • Do those values align?
  • If not, is that a dealbreaker?

Read through the company’s latest news stories

Where to look: Press page on the company website and Google News

Read through the company website and search the company’s name on Google News to see how media outlets report on them. You’ll likely find press releases, company announcements, and articles about the company. This information will help you understand what the company has been up to and what it might be working on next. For example, if you come across news about upcoming expansions or mergers, you can ask the hiring manager how the process impacts your potential team or role.

Questions to consider:

  • What do these articles tell you about the company’s evolution and growth opportunities?
  • What questions can you form based on this information?

Read or watch interviews with the founders

Where to look: Founders’ LinkedIn profiles, Twitter, or the company website

The Press or Media pages on the company’s website will feature articles that quote company founders and employees, but they might not include every interview. Founders and members of leadership often share links to their podcast interviews, video interviews, and written interviews on their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. These interviews can give you an idea of their approach to work and other unique insights into the company that aren't shared elsewhere.

At Deel, we have an internal interview series called Meet Deel. Every month, we talk to different team members about their path to Deel, their take on the future of work, and their area of expertise.

Questions to consider:

  • What does the interview tell you about the founder’s leadership style?
  • What did you learn about the company’s upcoming products, launches, or growth plans?
  • What questions do you have based on this information?

Check out the company’s social media accounts

Where to look: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok 

Social media is a great way to look inside a company’s culture and values. When researching a potential employer, 60% of workers go to LinkedIn, followed by Glassdoor, Facebook, and other social media websites. You can also learn about a company’s industry and tone of voice through social media. 

Most companies have links to their social media profiles in their website footer at the bottom of the page. If not, check their Contact page or Menu.

Questions to consider:

  • Are current employees promoting the company as a good place to work? If so, what are they saying?
  • Are employees interacting with each other? What can you learn about their culture and team dynamics?
  • What can you learn from the resources and information shared by the company?

Research the company’s competition

Where to look: Company website, LinkedIn, G2

Understanding where the company stands in relation to its competitors is crucial for pre-interview preparation. This information can give you insights into the challenges and opportunities the company might be facing. By researching competitors, you can prove you know the company well and can explain why you want to work there over a competitor.

Some companies may display competitor information on their website, like our Deel vs. competitors page. On LinkedIn, go to “Other People View” and click on the recommended companies’ profiles. These companies will typically be in the same industry. If you’re applying at a business software or services company, you can use G2 to compare competitor information.

Questions to consider:

  • Who are their main competitors?
  • What advantages does the company have over the competitors?

Study the company’s products and services

Where to look: Company website

Candidates should be familiar with the company’s products or services before applying for a job. You don’t have to become an expert, but you should be able to explain the company’s purpose to the hiring manager or recruiter. 

When you’re familiar with the product or service, you can easily explain how your skills and experience fit in with the company’s offerings. If possible, try out the products or services yourself to speak more confidently about them.

Questions to consider:

  • What are their core offerings?
  • Who uses them?
  • Have you or someone you know used them? If so, what was their experience?

Learn about the company’s team structure

Where to look: Company website or LinkedIn

By understanding how the teams are structured within a company, you can identify potential teammates and managers. Take time to research how different teams work together and how many levels of management there are. You may find this information on their About Us page (depending on the size of the company) or on LinkedIn.

Reviewing current employees’ LinkedIn profiles can also give you a sense of the company’s internal mobility strategy by seeing when and if employees are promoted or change positions.

global-generic-light-bulb-earthWhat if you can’t find a clear breakdown of their team structure? Once you join the team, see if they use a plug-in like Deel’s Org Charts plug-in for Slack. It enables team members to clearly see their organizational structure and connect with peers across the organization.

Questions to consider:

  • Do employees regularly move up in seniority or to different departments?
  • What is their manager-to-direct-report ratio?
  • What other teams might you work with? 
  • Who is on the leadership team?

Read company reviews

Where to look: Careers page and Glassdoor

You can find company reviews from current and former employees on the company’s Career page or crowd-sourced review websites like Glassdoor. Reviews will give you insight into a company’s compensation strategy, work culture, and leadership.

It’s best to use reviews as an informational resource instead of a final deciding factor in your choice to interview with a company, as every worker’s experience is different. Consider that the average company rating on Glassdoor is 3.5 out of 5 and that half of workers who left a dishonest review did so to damage their former company’s reputation.

However, you can use reviews to spot good and bad feedback trends and address any concerns in your interview.

Questions to consider:

  • What red flags consistently arise?
  • How does the company respond to critical reviews?
  • What is the typical tenure for the position you’re applying for?

Research job interview questions

Where to look: Glassdoor 

The best way to prepare for an interview is to know which questions they’ll ask you. Visit Glassdoor to identify common interview questions. Define the company and location to bring up their company profile—you may need to sign up and contribute a company review or experience to unlock this content.

Questions to consider:

  • What are the standard interview questions?
  • How many interviews will you have to complete?
  • What tests or assignments are required?
  • Who will you be speaking to?
  • How long will the process take?

Get a read on their financial health

Where to look: Company website, Crunchbase, Google Finance

Understanding a company’s financial health is crucial to deciding whether you should pursue a career with them, especially if the company is a start-up. You can often learn about upcoming acquisitions, new products, and revenue, giving you insight into their longevity and financial stability.

Larger, publicly-traded companies will likely have an investor relations page on their website that includes annual reports on quarterly earnings, board of directors updates, and announcements. See Meta’s investor relations page as an example. Google Finance will also give you a glimpse into their stock performance, relevant news articles, income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow.

If you’re interviewing at a start-up, search the company’s name on a website like Crunchbase, where you’ll find information on funding rounds, total funding amounts, acquisitions, and press coverage. The most accurate and up-to-date information will come directly from the company, so only use Crunchbase and Google Finance as secondary sources.

Questions to consider:

  • Who are the investors backing the business?
  • How have the company's revenue and profits changed year-over-year?
  • What is their financial outlook for the next year?

Ace the hiring process with more tips and resources

Deel helps connect the best workers with the best talent worldwide. Whether you’re a direct employee, EOR employee, or independent contractor, we make working from wherever easy—and that starts with the job search.

In this content series, we share articles, templates, and guides to help job seekers and new hires navigate the world of work, including:

Stay tuned for more actionable career advice and tips on navigating the interview process.

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