What to Know Before You Apply

CATEGORY: Interview tips
POSTED: February 6, 2014 at 11:07 am

The job search starts with having a polished and professionally written resume. Next comes writing a cover letter that specifically fits you the job. Next, do your research. Team fit and company fit is what can make or break an interview, so you need to be prepared. Here’s what you should know going into the interview. What is the latest company news?

Why do you want to work at this company? Is it the product or service, the team, a cause? Sometimes during interviews the recruiter will flat out ask what you know about the company. Make sure you have an answer other than “I want this job.” Do some research and see what latest newsworthy events are going on. Did they just win a big customer deal? Did a recent product upgrade not go as planned? Find out the buzz about the company and mention it during the interview or even in your cover letter to prove that you know the current events. It will make you stand out and the hiring manager will realize you really care about how the company is doing, and that as an employee you are self-motivated to influence it positively.

What are reasonable salary expectations?

There are many resources such as Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, and others to help you understand salary ranges before going in for an interview. You should know your worth and the seniority level at which your experience matches. Whether you are Accountant I or Senior Accountant III, a salary will have a very different range. By doing your research on how the specific company lists job titles you will be better prepared when applying for the right level of experience. Pro Tip: Give a ballpark range instead of a solid number to the recruiter.

Public or private?

You should be able to answer how the company is doing financially if they are a publically traded company. Did the stock price drop recently with quarterly earnings reports? Are they considering acquiring another company? Answers to these questions will help you realize how financially stable the company is and whether they will be doing a lot of new hiring or condensing layoffs soon.

Are they involved locally?

Most companies prefer to hire someone that is local so that they don’t have to pay relocation costs. If a company you are applying to is within driving distance then it means that you have probably heard of them before in your local newspaper, fellow colleagues or competitors, ads, or brand insignia. Because most companies are socially responsible, they like to donate to the community and give back to non-profit causes and organizations. Look on the website to see what the company cares about and see if it matches your own volunteering passions. Identifying something that you have in common with the company is a great way to connect with its employees that are interviewing you.

If you have the above information at the ready, you’re positioned to do great on your next interview!

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