How Much Research You Should Be Doing to Prepare for an Interview

Before going to an interview, it’s good to spend a little time checking out the company and learning what you can about the organization overall. Most interviews offer you the opportunity to ask questions, and having a few in hand shows that you’re taking the interview seriously and respect their time enough to prepare for it. 

If you’re currently employed or caring for a child or family member or just have other things going on, finding the time to do this homework might be difficult. It’s just one more thing to cram into your busy schedule. 

To help you prepare without running out of time or feeling overwhelmed, here are a few things to look up to make things more efficient. 

  • What kind of experience and job skills are prioritized and valued?

    Go back and review the description of the job for which you’ve applied. Read it carefully and try to glean what they’re really looking for. Make notes for yourself on how your skills and experience match up, and prepare examples of times in which you’ve exhibited those talents. If you have time, look up the company on LinkedIn or other networks and see if you have any connections working there — if you do, try to pick their brains a little or see if they’ve left any feedback about where they work. 

  • Recent wins and losses.

    Do a quick news search for any recent stories and see whether the company has made any big gains or acquisitions lately or if they’re named for community efforts and contributions. Check the company’s website for a press or media tab and read some of the recent releases. Get a sense of what’s been the biggest stories for the company in the past few months to a year and see whether there’s an indication of growth or if things are holding steady. This can also set up a question for you to ask about the direction of the company and where it’s heading in the short- and long term. 

  • Learn the names of the key players.

    If you have only a few minutes, go to the organizations’ “About Us” page and learn the names of the top leadership. If you have more time, look into their backgrounds and tenure and see where they were before. Do a little more digging and see if there’s any commentary about them, their work, and how they treat employees on professional review organizations or social media. While it might not paint a complete picture, it can provide some insight into who these people are and how they operate. 

  • Who do they do business with?

    Learning about a company’s business partners and clients can show you a little about the company’s priorities and the type of corporate relationships it seeks out. If there are partnerships with non-profit organizations alongside major Fortune 500 companies, or the industry equivalent, it shows an interest in giving back while also moving up in the world. Do they work with small companies as much as bigger ones? Is this a local branch of an international conglomerate? Do a little research, and it will help guide your questions about the company’s health and future goals. 

  • Company culture and priorities.

    Every company will market itself as a place where people are welcomed and treated well. But is that true? Scroll through social media and search for the company’s name — not through the company’s profile, but see what matches. If you find a lot of complaints, what are they about — work/life balance? Demanding workloads with little opportunity to rest or be rewarded? Or are employees raving about how much they love their job and appreciate the chance to give back to their communities through volunteer work and service days? A corporate culture of sharing and helping others says a lot about an organization. 


Having a few informed questions in your pocket before an interview sets a good tone and example for your potential employer and shows you in a very good light. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a sense of the answers before you go in! 

If you’re looking to make a change and want to work for a company that aligns with your values, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We partner with great companies and can help find one that fits your priorities. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get to work!