Do Your Homework - Understand The Company, Before The Interview

In the rush of exams, study break and application season. It can be easy to forget that each application and (hopefully) interview you complete will individually require a tailored approach.

Standing out from the crowd really isn’t that difficult, show you care and that you’ve done the necessary homework on who’s interviewing you and the company they are from.

Understanding the company means not only the employer, but also those in the room with you.

It’s incredibly important to know as much as you possibly can about your interviewers before you step into that room. It's not impolite to ask your recruitment contact at the firm if they are aware of who will be conducting the interview, get this information off them and begin your research.

  • What team do these people work in? (that's right, your interviewer for a campus hire will not always be from the team you have elected)

  • Have they been associated with any notable projects recently?

  • What’s their background from their LinkedIn profile?

Start to build up a picture on who these people are and what they stand for, so when the time comes to ask questions of them, its tailored, personal and relevant. The exact recipe to stand out from the crowd.

Ok so you have a solid understanding on your interviewers, and you’re ready to have a relevant and insightful conversation with them, (because that’s all campus interviews will be, a conversation).

Now it’s time to turn your attention to the company. The secret to success here...construct the link between the company and the team you have applied for.

Never underestimate the value of information on their website. Dive deep and navigate your way from the highest possible level, to the team you are interested in. This will give you an idea of where this team sits in the bigger picture. Then begin to really target what this team is all about and what they offer their clients, that their competitors don’t.

Most companies will have links in their capability statements for recent engagements they’ve had in the market. If you can find that, just google the team and go from there. Put your investigators hat on and dig out the information you need to come across as a candidate that has put in the effort to research the team.

I’d have no problem hearing from you in the interview that you “tried to understand the engagement on ABC co, where xyz occurred, but unfortunately could only go so far with what was publicly available”. This shows a level of commitment to understanding the team and how they work that will make you stand out.

Showing that you made the effort to conduct research says a lot.

A final hack for you to consider, take a look at what content team members for the team you are interested in are posting, sharing and liking on LinkedIn. More often that not you will notice they publicise the closing of a deal they worked on, or like a post for a transaction they had involvement with.

It really doesn't take too much effort to dive into the company and individuals who are interviewing you, make the effort to build a clearer picture of who will be sitting opposite you come interview day, it will pay dividends.