Everyone says you should do your research before going in to a job interview. But no one actually tells you what you’re supposed to find out. Obviously, you shouldn’t have to spend an entire day combing the web so you can write a thesis on every company that deigns to interview you. That would be a waste of your time.
Here’s the shortcut list of what you should know about a company before the interview:
1. The Company Culture
You should know this so that you can be sure you even want to work there. If you’re older and the place is filled with millennials who bring toys to work and ride skateboards at lunch, you might want to skip the interview altogether.
2. The Average Salary For Your Job
Again, if the company hires people with no experience so they can cheap out on salaries, you might decide it’s not worth your trouble. Look up the average salary they pay for the job you’re interviewing for. If it’s below what you’re expecting, take a hard pass.
3. How the Company Makes Money
You’ve got to understand the business model so you can sound intelligent in the interview. If you think they make money selling widgets but they really make their money from licensing, you could end up sounding very misinformed.
4. How Big They Are
Don’t sit in the interview all shell-shocked when the interviewer mentions that they have offices all over the world. Find out ahead of time how big they are and in what countries they operate in. If they’re a small business with one tiny office, find that out, too.
These four things are really all you need to know ahead of time. The rest you can learn from the interviewer.