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How to effectively research a prospect employer

men and women

One of our core values here at Peritus is ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’, we strongly believe as a business that by implementing this method of employer research before either applying or latest, having an interview, you will drastically improve your chances of interview progression.


When you choose to research a company is entirely up to you. We encourage all our applicant partners to do this before they apply as to not waste time later down the line for both yourself and the businesses, but as the very latest you could implement this research method a few days before your first interview (a few days, not a few hours).


You may be wondering why you need to research every company in detail, especially when not all companies provide you with detailed feedback. Or why should you invest heavily in the process so early on at the application / first interview stage.


Put simply, effectively researching a prospected employer and bringing up your findings in the right way during an interview will not only make you stand out from the crowd but it will increase your own knowledge of the business, helping you personally decide if it is the right career move for you (as always, consult with your career roadmap if you have completed one!).


What should we actually research?

This is entirely up to you, no one can force you to conduct in-depth research but the more you look into, the better the picture of that organisation you will build. Throughout this article, we will discuss researching: current employees; mission statements / values; blogs / news; your interviewer and review sites to help peel back the enigma that is the prospected employer.


Current Employees

Using tools such as LinkedIn and Xing will help you identify who already works for the prospected organisation, you may wish to also check out the ‘team’ page usually found on their website.


Focus on looking into the areas that are most important to you, but areas we advise on are around knowledge, diversity, backgrounds and interests.


These will help you identify what you can learn from this team, how strongly (or not) they focus on diversity and inclusion, how the team has developed themselves throughout their careers and if you have common ground to build long term relationships.


All these points can be developed throughout the interview process, but by looking into the current team, you can start a process with a base line knowledge to build on.


Mission Statement and Values

A recent study by Betterup found that 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work.


We certainly see this a lot when speaking with our applicant partners. The closer the values and mission of an organisation is aligned to their personal goals, the more intense the relationship is from day one and the better chance they have for a healthy and long-term working relationship.


Many mission statements and value sets can be found in the ‘About us’ section on a company’s website, or if the organisation is big enough you can simply search ‘company name mission statement’ on a search engine of your choosing.


Once you know what these two aspects are, you can subtly drop them into conversation during the interview process to highlight your personal alignment to the business. 


Blogs and News

Reviewing blogs and news about a company that is recent is a great way to highlight the research you have conducted pre-interview. We recommend reading several across a few months, that way you can really understand what the company likes to share externally.


Example #1

If they are posting a lot about new client acquisitions and not a lot about their internal team, you can guess that they value client acquisitions above internal culture and as a result you could ask deeper questions around culture to test this theory during the interview.


Also, if you mention a blog post from a few months back, you could bring it up during the interview and ask how they are progressing since then to showcase you haven’t just looked at the first page.



Example #2

Maybe they wrote about a new product release or country launch, you could ask how the launch has gone and what challenges they have faced since then.


Blogs can teach you a lot and help really show your research into a company, so try not to miss this step and remember, companies also share links on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram so check all social tools for this type of research.



You might have already researched your interviewer(s) during the current employees’ section, but if not, we highly recommend you purposefully research them individually.


Understanding who you are speaking with is all you need to dive deep into research, if you are not sure then simply ask the person who set the interview up for you (a recruiter should always tell you).


With a name, use social tools to understand what their position within the business is, what their interests might be and what common grounds you may have. Similar to everything else in this article, the research will help you build rapport during the interview quicker, aiding a positive outcome.


Review Sites

Our recommendation is to look at review sites like ‘Glassdoor’ or ‘Indeed’ to help see past all the deliberate marketing imagery and wording to see real reviews from real people (for the most part… we know companies that have ran competitions for internal employees to write good reviews on their social for a prize!).


Review sites are interesting, you will often hear that if reviews are bad, it was disgruntled employees. This is simply a sales trick, try and see past that and make a decision based on how you feel. If there are a few ‘disgruntled’ employees saying the same thing, that becomes a trend and not a one off.


Feel free to make note of these reviews (especially the bad), and don’t be shy in bringing them up during an interview. You can use your research to see how they have handled this feedback and what has changed, if anything.


Once you get the hang of researching companies it becomes a relatively quick task, but we do appreciate at the beginning it might take some time. However, remember ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’. It is worth noting, if you discover something during your research phase that makes you question the company then bring this up during the interview, an interview is just as much for you as it is for the company.



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