Do Your Research

Interviews and Offers

Crush Your Interview
 

checkmark icon for get hired
 

You have applied, waited patiently to hear back, and now you have received an interview! This is a key stage of the hiring process that is often overlooked by applicants, yet integral to job offers.

Embrace your interview by preparing in advance, similar to how you prepare for a final exam. This is your chance to speak about aspects of the position that excite you, give concrete examples of your qualifications, and connect with people at the organization. Use this page to interview and respond to job offers with confidence.

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Position, Organization, and Industry Knowledge

Depending on how familiar you are with the opportunity you have applied to, this may require a little more research or a lot more research! Use these tips to research information about the opportunity for which you are interviewing.

Review the Job Description

Specifically, look at the required skills and qualifications. How have you already showcased each qualification? How would you take the initiative to learn it, if necessary? 

Study the Organization’s Website

Research the organization’s mission, goals, strategic plan, growth, future direction, values, clients, and products or services. Dig deeper to find annual reports or recent press published on the website.

Search Online for More About the Organization

Most organizations have a social media presence; scroll through their recent posts to get a sense of their brand, company culture, and communication that they convey. Larger organizations may have appeared in the news recently, so it can be worthwhile to conduct a Google News search with the organization’s name. You may also be able to find reviews about the organization from clients or past employees via websites like Yelp or Glassdoor or Handshake.

Research Hot Industry Topics

Industries are constantly evolving with new technological innovations, policy changes, and competition from startups. Browse Career Resources to learn about many of these topics (see below for IBISWorld and Vault). Look through relevant professional association websites, LinkedIn groups, or professionals’ LinkedIn posts to get a sense of a few issues that are currently impacting this industry. You may even try a Google Search using industry keywords to identify relevant resources with trustworthy information.

 

 

Talk to Relevant Peers or Professionals

In some instances, there may be enough time to set up a brief conversation with someone who has knowledge about the industry or organization you are applying within. This can be a delicate and time-sensitive situation, but with advanced planning and professional etiquette, you can gain valuable insider information. 

Additional Considerations

It is typically advantageous to cite your “sources” when stating information in an interview, so that you are not perceived as assuming any information. You may want to choose sources that maintain an upbeat tone, to keep the conversation moving in a positive direction.

There is never one perfect way to conduct research about the opportunity you are interviewing for, but if you scour the available resources you may be surprised by what you can find. 

 

Self-Knowledge

You may think that you already know yourself pretty well, however, when asked about past experiences, it can be challenging to remember all of the necessary details. Review your resume and be prepared to discuss the following topics, as related to the position: 

  • What led you to choose your field/major/discipline, and what you have gained from it
  • Specific courses or course projects that have prepared you well
  • Responsibilities and accomplishments from your past experiences
  • Transferable skills and knowledge that may be useful
     

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