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Career resources & Interview prep

This Research Guide will help students prepare for job or internship interviews.

Magnifying glass to represent research

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

First step: Go through the company's website

Do more than a surface sweep. Asking basic questions in an interview -- ones that are readily apparent if you have really looked into the website -- can be viewed unfavorably by the interviewer. 

Hardavella, Gagnat, Xhamalaj & Saad (2016) recommend that before the interview, you:

  • Do a thorough search and read the organization's website, social media profiles and key literature (e.g. business plan, financial reports, recent accomplishments/awards, etc.). 
  • Check the news, competitors, history and opportunities of the industry (more on how to do that below). Figure out which aspects the company is focusing on, what is important to the company, and how the company appears online.
  • Then revisit the job description and place this position into the bigger picture of the organization.

 

Second step: Investigate your company & industry

One of the most important parts of preparing for interviews is doing research on the company and industry beforehand. 

Industry knowledge will help you know the company's competitors, successes and fails. This research can help you craft well-rounded responses to questions you expect to answer or surface questions that you want to ask the interviewer.

Company profiles may include information about an organization's history, financial performance, market share, leadership changes, or trends facing the industry. 

Use your research to find a few interesting talking points to discuss with the interviewer. This lets the interviewer know that you are committed and serious about working for the company. 

Don't just recite facts or statistics! Put what you know in the context of a question: I see that the company has decreased its advertising budget the last 3 years. How are you targeting new customers differently now?