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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Williams

What do I research about a company before interviewing?

Interviews for great jobs in inclusive companies are always going to be competitive. Therefore, interview preparation is invaluable, but it can be hard to know where to start.

I’ve put together five preparation areas to help you focus your efforts. I hope you will gain additional understanding and insight that should lead to you giving more robust answers and asking more thoughtful questions.

If you’re not applying for a business role (e.g. engineer, customer service), some of these questions may feel out of your comfort zone, but I recommend them to everyone. Thinking commercially is a trait that will help you stand out, and even 30–60 minutes will be invaluable preparation.

What is the company's mission or vision?

You’re likely to find this on the company blog, in early press coverage or in interviews with the company's leadership. This will provide context for where the company is heading, equip you with the language used to describe the market/problem/customers, and hopefully get you excited about the company! Companies thrive when employees are 100% behind the mission, and it’s helpful to display how you'd fit right in.

What are the company’s values?

Most companies have values, so you’ll often find mention of values on a blog or the careers page. The values will likely feature at some point during your interviews. I recommend considering a solid example of how you embody each value so you’re ready to demonstrate your suitability for the company.

Alternatively, if you find there are quite a few values that don’t resonate, it’s definitely worth asking a few questions about them in your interview if you decide to go ahead. When you experience values clashes at work, it can be very unsettling.

Think deeply about the customers.

This topic is simple on the surface, for example, Nested is an estate agency startup with customers who want to sell their homes. The key to this part of the preparation is to ask, “Why?” e.g. “Why are customers going to use [company] versus the available alternatives?”.

The best starting point is the company’s website, as they’ll have a section trying to explain their benefits to potential customers. If you want to dig deeper, I recommend the questions “What are the pains the customers are facing?” and “How does [company] find its customers?”

Recognise the competitors.

I’m always impressed by candidates when they appreciate the market dynamics. It can be a quick win to know the competitors and where they differ from the company you’re interviewing for. Don’t be afraid to take a stance, for example, why you think Deliveroo is better than Uber Eats.

Understand how the company makes money.

This is often not easy, but it’s worthwhile as showing your commercial side will set you apart. An excellent place to start is the customer’s journey, as that should spark ideas for revenues and costs. (E.g. When you use Google, you see normal search results alongside adverts. These adverts provide revenues.) Then think through any behind-the-scenes work that the customer doesn’t see. (E.g. Google has to hire a sales team to sell adverts to companies and pay for servers to run the search engine).

This is a brief tour of things you could be thinking about now. Preparing for an interview is a skill in itself, and there are a lot of nuances when applying to different types of companies.

If you need more help with preparation, please email me at


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