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How To Research a Company

When you get an interview request how do you go about understanding the company and how you fit into the organization?

Before You Begin

The concepts we have highlighted require you to be intentional about your career aspirations and be prepared as you go through the job finding process. Review these core concepts here:

We have given you a few key concepts and questions in the links above, but let’s dive deeper into researching the company as you prepare.

Company Research 101

Some of the basic questions you should ask are:

· How does the company make money?

· Is the company facing any reputational or legal problems?

· Is the company in a good financial position?

Sounds easy enough, but where do you go to find basic information?

Start with a simple Google search of the company’s name. You can see recent articles and with a little effort you can begin to gather data points as you prepare for your conversations.

The next stop on your company research should be LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has tons of information about the company, open jobs at the company, and importantly who in your network works at the company. Use this information to understand the key leaders in the organization and learn as much as possible about the hiring manager, future team members, and interviewers.

Spend as much time as needed reviewing LinkedIn information as this will most certainly help you in the interview.

Glassdoor says it “offers insights into the employee experience powered by millions of company ratings and reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more, combined with the latest jobs.”

Again, Glassdoor can give helpful data points, but it is just one of many sources of information so be careful about reviews that may be coming from disgruntled employees.

You may not think about the Better Business Bureau as a source of information, but you can gain valuable insight into the company and the public reputation the company maintains.

Company Research 201

The basics of researching a company are fairly simple, but there are a few other searches you can perform to improve your chances of landing that next amazing role.

If the company is publicly listed on a trading exchange you can find detailed information on the stock price, recent news articles, earnings, and even executives who have recently bought or sold company stock.

If the company is public, they will also give quarterly earnings calls so that investors are informed about the positive actions the leadership team is taking to create profits thus creating a good opportunity for you to understand what is going on inside the company.

You can largely skip the boring parts where they read out data from the income statement and balance sheet, but there are large chunks of time dedicated in the earnings calls to talking about the company’s strategy and answering wall street analysts’ questions that can be very helpful as you prepare your questions for the interview and as you seek to understand how you will fit into the companies larger strategy.

💡 Pro Tip: Go to the companies “investor relations” site or use to hear the latest corporate earnings call.

Know The Hiring Manager And Interviewers

Understanding the hiring manager’s and interviewer’s careers and backgrounds can help you connect on a personal level, understand their frame of reference, help you present yourself in a way that improves your chance of getting the job offer, and ultimately help you decide if you want to work with this team.

Make sure you understand:

· Where did they go to school and where are they from?

· Have they worked at other companies or just this one?

· How long have they been a manager; if applicable?

· Do they have experience in this role or are they new to the job?

· Do you know anyone who knows the hiring manager or interviewers?

💡 Pro Tip: If you do know someone who also knows the hiring manager consider reaching out to the shared contact. If you know the shared contact well, you can ask about the character and style of the hiring manager.

If you only know the shared contact as an acquaintance, you can still softly ask the shared contact about their point of view on the hiring manager, but be careful as the shared contact may be best friends with the hiring manager.

Know The Leadership Team

Knowing the leadership team at a company is often overlooked, but these are the people who set the strategy for the company, which determines profitability, which ultimately determines your income.

If you see red flags or positive attributes about the leadership team then you should use this as a data point when making your decision about taking an offer or not taking an offer.

Take time to understand the leadership team. It will not be difficult to find this information as it is usually posted all over the company’s website.

Talk To Someone At The Company

We have already shared that as you prepare for an interview you should talk to someone who works at the company.

Whether you know someone at the company directly or one of your other network contacts knows someone who works at the company you should make every attempt to speak to these people.

Even if you do not have a direct network connection, you may have gone to the same university, or been in the same branch of the military, or have some other common intertest with someone who does work at the company.

Use the power of common shared experience to send a message to that person on LinkedIn asking them for a little time and help with your interview preparation. If you send 10 requests, then it is almost a certainty you will find one person willing to help you out.

A few questions to ask when you connect are:

· What do you like about the company?

· Why did you join the company?

· What was your interview process like?

· What steps for improvement do you see the company taking?

· What, if anything, do you know about the hiring team?

· What else should someone looking to join the company understand?

Remember, keep a positive tone as you use the power of your network.


The process of researching the company in order to accelerate your career will most certainly take time, but it is well worth the investment you will make in yourself.

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