You've got an interview and you need to prepare.

The word 'research' is highlighted in a dictionary

Doing your research on the company could be the key to standing out.

‘A candidate with stellar qualifications but an apathetic attitude to the job will be overlooked if other applicants – who may have less impressive grades – arrive at interview with obvious enthusiasm about the role, and demonstrable interest in the company,’ says Terence Perrin, chairman of the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

Graduate or not, the same applies to any interviewee.

How research helps

‘Understanding your potential employer’s business will help you to show them how you and your skills meet their needs,’ Terence adds.

‘Many companies are now taking to Twitter – this can be a good way to make sure you go into the interview aware of their most up-to-date news.' Terence Perrin

‘It can also be useful to find out a bit about your interviewers. This will put you at ease because you’ll know a little about who you’ll be meeting.’

Ready to research? Here’s where to look.

The employer’s website

This should be your first stop. Pay particular attention to information about products and services, the ‘About Us’ section and anything related to the job you’re applying for. Check the recruitment section – companies often provide a brief description of the type of people they’re looking for.

Social Media

A Twitter or Facebook account can give you a good insight into company culture. It’s also worth looking up your interviewer/s on LinkedIn to get an idea of their work history and see if you share any common ground.

Other websites

Sites such as Glassdoor, Milkround, The Job Crowd, Grad Jobs Uncovered and Inside Buzz feature company profiles, and often have reviews or ‘day in the life’ accounts by current employees which can tell you a bit more about what a company is like. You can also find out more about the industry you're interested in or check out video profiles of different jobs here on My World of Work.

Real people

Do you know someone who works in the same industry? Quiz them on what their job is like.

News articles

Look for any stories on TV, in newspapers and online and make sure you're up to date with recent business developments and the financial health of the organisation or industry. However, be wary of bringing up any negative news stories during your interview.

Related products and services

It may be hard to find information on small companies, but you can still research the products or services they offer. For example, if you’re going for a job with a catering company you can research food preparation.

The competition

It’s good to get an idea of who the organisation’s direct competitors are. It will help you to understand the market better and it might come in handy if you don’t get the job!

What next?

Visit the graduate portal and apply youself section for more advice.

Read the top 10 tips for interview success.

Visit My Interview for a taste of the kind of questions you might expect.

Find out what advice HR manager Ana McCabe had about competency-based interviews in the video below: