Preparing for a job interview starts well before you sit in front of your prospective employer. If you plan on outlasting your competition, you should begin the interview process a few weeks in advance.

Just like when you were learning how to write your resume, the first step to acing your interview is to research your prospective company, industry and potentially, your interviewer.

topics to research.

  • Current challenges in your target industry and company 
  • Job opening trends within your target industry and company 
  • Industry standard programs or required certifications for your potential role 
  • KPIs that will determine success in your new role 
  • Your prospective employer’s main competition and how they differentiate themselves

how to research the company and industry.

  • Company websites:
    Look for a section titled About Us, Who We Are or something similar. You’ll find basic information about the organization’s history, mission and culture, as well as links to relevant news releases. 
  • Paid services:
    For a fee, these websites will search the internet and return relevant information about a company’s finances, executives, press releases and more. Most will offer a limited free trial. Hoovers and ZoomInfo are two of the more popular options.
  • Rating websites:
    These pages allow employees to anonymously detail experiences at current and former employers. This is a great resource to determine what workers really feel about their companies. Check out Glassdoor. 
  • News reports and industry publications:
    These resources will provide an outsider’s opinion (which may be biased) regarding an organization or news events involving them. Just use a normal google search and filter by News.

why research your interviewer?

  • The reason for face-to-face interviews in a world of digital technology is to determine personal compatibility. No matter how qualified you may be, people tend to hire people that they like. 
  • It is much easier to create a connection with your interviewer if you know the relevant details about the person, such as career highlights, accomplishments within the company and even educational history.

researching your interviewer on linkedin.

  • Boasting hundreds of millions of users, you will definitely have a great chance of finding your interviewer's professional profile on LinkedIn by using a simple Google search.
  • LinkedIn lists past jobs and career highlights as well as personal interests for each profile. 
  • Some individuals may even run a blog that can give you valuable insights into that person's personal tastes and the industry.

researching your interviewer on twitter.

  • Twitter may not seem like a place for professional insights, but it is actually a medium that is often used in professional circles. 
  • The platform allows people to quickly detail thoughts and publicize events without a need for huge production value. 
  • See what type of topics your interviewer posts about or shares. Often times it will be relevant to your prospective industry or company. 
  • You may even be able to directly connect with your interviewer before sitting down face to face. 

Next step: study your resume