“Hi Margaret. Thanks for hooking me up with that job interview. I’m a bit nervous though. Is there anything I should know beforehand to increase my chances of success? Like about the company? Please help.” Naomi, a job seeker, recently emailed to ask our Head of Recruitment, Margaret.
Prompted my Naomi’s email, we sat down with our recruitment specialist team to share a few insights with other job seekers on some of the things they should know about their potential employer before interviewing.
Although it’s entirely impossible to predict what kind of questions you’ll face in the interview, it doesn’t hurt to find out more about your potential employer. After all, there’s a chance you might succeed and actually work there.
How important is research?
Recours Four Kenya is always doing due diligence on its clients in order to find the perfect candidate who not only have the right skills for the job but are likely to fit in the organization.
That’s how important!
Researching before your interview enables you to get an insight into the company’s vision and culture and decide if they’re the right fit for you. You also don’t want to be caught off guard when a question about the company arises plus it’s a great place to start a conversation with your interviewer.
Interviewers interpret knowledge about their company as enthusiasm which can be the very thing that shoes you in but note no one’s asking you to go all FBI.
Not sure where to start?
Here are 3 things to get you started;
- The Company’s Product
Products are at the core of every business and every role, no matter how remote, contributes to the success of the product and overall the company’s. Basic knowledge about the company’s product at this stage is critical especially if you’re working in production or sales. So try to have a basic understanding of the product in terms of its process and if they’re ways you can add value to it.
Some of the questions you can try to answer are;
Who is the company’s target consumer? Do I have experience interacting with them?
What is the company’s product? Do I have technical knowledge about its production?
What’s the purpose of the product? Do I believe in it?
- Financial State & Market Share
You’re probably asking yourself, how this factors into your interview. But knowing about the financial state of your potential employer is important as it enables you to make a judgement about the job’s security and if a company is likely to retrench people in hard economic times.
In the short term, it aids you during salary negotiations as you’re in a position to tell if your potential employer can afford your salary. Remember though that other factors such as skills and experience count so it isn’t everything.
Private companies do not have to publish their financial statements by law so you can circumvent this little fact by doing research on the company’s market share and gain insight on the company’s competitive advantages.
- Working Environment
No one’s exactly asking you to go undercover but it helps to know where you might be working and if you’re likely to thrive in the environment. Factors to consider include working style, personality, motivations etc. The best source for this kind of information is usually employees but take their opinions with a pinch of salt since some of them might be disgruntled.
Social media is also a great way to get an insight into the company’s inner workings if they’re active and get a vibe about their working atmosphere. Though basic, take a look at the company’s career section and training opportunities because at the end of it all, you want a job that helps you progress in your career rather than slows you down.
Do you have any career related questions?
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