How to Begin
Preparing for Interviews

Preparing for interviews is key to your success as a job seeker. Start with conducting good background research on the company. Know the company information you need and how to use it to get the job you want.

Candidates who demonstrate that they have done their homework and found out what they can about the employer stand out from the competition. Use this information to prepare good and relevant interview answers to typical job interview questions.

Draw up a list of insightful questions to ask in your interview based on your background research. Impress as a professional and well prepared candidate for the job opportunity.

Research information

Company Information Checklist

Research before a job interview should include the following information:

  • Company size in terms of employees, locations and assets. This will help determine criteria such as your growth prospects at the company, promotion possibilities and company stability.
  • Length of time the company has been established helps establish company reputation and possible job security.
  • Company's products and services to prepare interview answers that are relevant to the company requirements.
  • Interviewers often ask the question, “Why do you want to work for this company?” If you don’t have a good answer, something more comprehensive than "I know you are an excellent company” you will come across as unprepared and uninformed. Provide a detailed answer that shows you have done your homework.
  • Target market, market share and main competitors. When preparing for interviews you need to know the role the company plays in the marketplace. Develop some powerful questions around this information to ask at the interview. For example, "I noted on the website that the company is currently enjoying a 12 percent market share. Where do you see this company in a year's time?"
  • Company mission, vision and value statements to understand how the organization views itself. When preparing for interviews you can use this information to customize your interview answers. Demonstrate a fit with the company culture when answering "What interests you most about this job?"
  • Current special projects, new developments and strategic goals. Are there any new areas or projects which you can specifically contribute to? A typical interview question is "Why should we hire you?". Use your research to demonstrate how you can add value to the company.

When preparing for interviews, use your research information to prepare some insightful questions to ask the interviewer such as "I read on the company website that your company is planning to move into new markets this year. How will the successful candidate contribute to this plan?"

Find out the main challenges facing the company and show how you can help meet them.

Good Interview Questions To Ask

  • Organizational structure helps you to see where the position you are interviewing for fits in. It also indicates any possible career paths and advancement opportunities.
  • Community involvement. How do your interests align with the company's community involvement projects? Refer to this when asked why you want to work for the company.
  • Industry information to know the current industry issues that impact on the company. How do they influence the position you are interviewing for? Prepare a question around this to ask in the interview.
  • Any information on the person interviewing you. Find out the full name and job title and any biographical information. What is the interviewer's role within the company? This information can be used to develop rapport with the interviewer.

Preparing for an Interview

How to find out about the employer

Online research resources

Resources for company information

Interview preparation checklist


Your preparation and research will help you to respond to typical interview questions with relevant  and well-considered answers.

Tips for Preparing for Interviews

Job Interviews > Preparing for a Job Interview > Research Before Job Interview

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