5 things you need to know about a company before you apply for a job

It’s kind of obvious that you need to know what the company you’re hoping to work for does. There’s a 100% chance that they’re going to ask you why you want to work for them specifically. However, you also need to know about the company for your own personal reasons. Is the company really the right fit for you? This is what you should know about a company before an interview.


1. Company size

A firm’s size is an important thing to understand because it can seriously affect your experience at the company. While very large, international corporations offer a certain job stability, competitive pay, corporate perks and opportunities to grow, smaller companies can be more flexible, allowing you to take on different kinds of tasks within a variety of departments. Small companies can feel more personal and more like family, though they tend to pay less.


2. Company culture

You spend 40 hours a week or more at the office. It’s one of the most important places you go to each week. That’s why it’s important to work in a positive and encouraging office environment, where company culture inspires and uplifts its employees.


what you should know about a company before an interview


3. Competitors

Knowing who your company is up against is vital information whenever you’re considering a position. By accepting one employer over another, you’re essentially picking a team. To make an informed decision, do some research about the similar employers in your market so you can be sure where you would want to work. Knowing competitors and the salaries they offer can also help your salary negotiations.


4. Values

Company values shape the culture of the company. These values keep everyone on the same page and working towards common ideals and goals, no matter which specific job you’re working on. It’s important to work for a company that cares about its values. It’s also vital to check whether the company’s values coincide with yours.


what you should know about a company before an interview


5. Potential for growth

Ideally any job you apply for is just a stepping stone for another position that will offer more money, opportunity and additional responsibilities. If you can apply for a job where you know there is opportunity to grow within the company and learn more about your industry, you’re in a very good place. If a company is stagnate or shutting down certain offices or positions, making it more difficult to find a potential promotion, it might end up being a frustrating place to work in the long term.



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1. by The Intern Group

2. based on I hate this job, by Yasser Alghofily, CC-by-2.0

3. based on Jessica at the office, by
Jeremy Keith, CC-by-2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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