Before an interview, or even before sending off an application, you should always ensure you research the company as thoroughly as possible. Not only will this increase your chances of getting hired, it can also help you to decide whether the company will be a good cultural fit for you.
Research the company
The company website is the best place to conduct your initial research, particularly the 'About Us' section. This should give you a good idea as to the size, scale and overall ethos of the organisation - how corporate, friendly, creative, or commercial it is.
The organisation's social media sites are another great way to see firstly, what they say about themselves, and secondly what others are saying about them!
Pay attention to the content and tone of their posts as this is another great indicator of the organisational culture.
Additionally, you may want to use sites like LinkedIn to find employees of the company and ask them about their experience. Remember – just because they love it, it doesn't mean you will. Work out what's important to you.
Utilise the knowledge of your recruitment agent/consultant
If you've applied for a job via an agency such as Reed, their experience working with the employer can really pay off. They'll have insight into the qualities hiring managers usually look for and the type of interview you can expect. You can also ask them about things like the office atmosphere and dress code to see if it really is the kind of place you can imagine yourself working. Your consultant is there to help you through the process, ask them as many questions as you like, they'll be happy to assist!
The interview: a two way-experience
People often forget, but your interview is just as much about you finding out about your potential employer as them finding out about you. In your interview, ask questions about the culture, the teams you'll be working with, and the values of the organisation as a whole.
While you're there, take a good look around if you can – see what other people are wearing, how they are interacting, and what the building is like.
The final question to ask yourself is: can you see yourself fitting in there?