Research - The Key to Interview Success
12/10/2011

You spend weeks (months maybe) trawling through job sites, and due to the increasing, and somewhat irrational, fear of facing eternal unemployment, you have applied for any and every role that you believe you're remotely suitable for.

You then spend weeks (months maybe) checking through your emails, only to be faced with "You have no mail", or if you're lucky, a couple of "After careful consideration" rejection emails. It appears your notion of eternal damnation was not so irrational after all...

But, after commendable persistence and the unshifting feeling that you've become "keen", you finally get offered an interview. Here it is; your chance to prove to someone that you're existence is worth more than Jeremy Kyle re-runs and breakfast from The Golden Star. And to do this, you need to research.

Not wanting to insult your intelligence by informing you of the basics (not to wear jeans, not to swear, not to cry), we will focus solely on how to thoroughly research for your long-awaited interview.

Here's a list of questions you should answer before entering that interview room:

The Market


How does the industry work?

What are the latest industry news and trends? (This is vital when applying for a position within the digital sector, as it is a notoriously fast-paced and ever-changing industry)

The Company


Have you paid close attention to all information provided on their website?

What is the structure of the company?

What is the formation of the team you are aspiring to join?

Are there any recent press releases involving the company?

Have they won any new clients?

Have they been nominated for any awards recently?

Have they undergone any recent developments (e.g. expansion, relocation) of late?

What is the company's background? (i.e. success rate and turnover over recent years)

Have you visited the company's Linkedin profile? Is there any information available regarding new hires or company statistics?

Are you following the company on Twitter?

Are you a fan of the company on Facebook?

Have you kept up-to-date with the company's Facebook, Twitter and blog?

The Interviewer


What is the name and title of your interviewer?

Have you checked if they use various social media platforms?

Do they have their own personal blog?

The Interviewee ...yes, that would be you


Do you know your entire career history (including dates) in enough depth to talk through it?

Are you aware of areas of potential scrutiny within your CV? (e.g. gaps in CV or short stints of employment)

Do you now how to address these potential areas of scrutiny?

Now it's your turn to the ask the questions...


Prepare at least ten questions to avoid all of your questions being answered before you even get to ask them.
Here are some staple questions to ask at the end of your interview, but make sure you also formulate personal questions that relate directly to the company. If you have answered all of the above questions, you should have no difficulty in drafting these questions.

How does this role relate to the overall structure of the organisation?

What clients are you currently targeting to work with?

What is your own personal background in this industry?


Good luck! And if all else fails, rest-assured Jeremy will be awaiting your return to the sofa.

By Holleh Nowrouz


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