Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017
This answer could be pages long, but I’ll do my best to give you some of the most common things to look for. First and foremost, do a little research on the industry in which the company falls into. Is it consulting? Retail? Finance? You get the picture, but knowing a bit about the industry will not only help you to understand if you can see a future in it, but also might introduce you to some great industry jargon, current events, key players, etc. You don’t have to be an industry expert, mind you, but knowing this overarching qualification can really help you to focus the areas of research I will include next. Granted, the next few suggestions are not exhaustive, but are certainly a great place to start!
o Company culture and values – What does the company value in its people and how it do you fit in with that? Does the company pride itself in one way or another in terms of either culture or values?
o Key Players – Who does the company work with, who do they compete against, etc.
o New/Current Events – Has there been a recent innovation they are excited about? Are they at the forefront of a new technology or way of going to market? News and current events can be as simple as a new office location or as complex as a ground breaking product that will change the face of mankind (I exaggerate…but it could be) and knowing about it and mentioning it opens a whole new avenue for conversation!
o What do they do!? – Even though this seems like a no brainer, know a bit more than their most popular product or service. Really look into what it is that differentiates this company from others and why.