What does it mean to “do your research” before a job interview?

What does it mean to “do your research” before a job interview?

Do your research. It’s one of the most important pieces of advice I give candidates who are prepping for a job interview. But what does it mean?

Recruiters have plenty of advice to lend on the job search process, and we also have established relationships with all of the restaurants that hire us to find talent for them. I provide candidates with interview tips based on my experience in the industry and additional insight on particular questions or angles I know are important to individual restaurants and hiring managers.

But it’s up to you to dig deeper. Show the interviewer you’re serious about your job search. Let them know you’re as picky about who you want to work for as they are about who they want to hire.  And then wow them by going the extra mile (your competition likely is) to:

  • Get to know the company online. Each restaurant EHS works with – even smaller, independent locations – has left its mark on the local (and sometimes, national) market. You can’t Google a single one of them without finding links to company websites, social media pages, reviews, and news articles. Note any interesting findings on the company’s origins, key stakeholders, any plans it has to expand, recognition or awards its received, or anything else unique and noteworthy.
  • Know your interviewer.  A huge advantage to working with a recruiter is the ability to know and to gain insight on who you’ll meet during the interview stage. Once you know who you’ll be interviewing with, head to sites such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn more about their professional backgrounds. Stand out from other candidates by mentioning anything you may have in common, by congratulating them on an award, or by calling out any other noteworthy tidbit you find online.
  • Visit the restaurant. If at all possible, go to the restaurant. Order some food.  Even if you’ve been there before, visit with a more observant eye for the atmosphere, the ambiance, the service style, and the menu. Interviewers are far more impressed with candidates who have come in for a meal and are able to comment on their impression of the restaurant and how it operates.
  • Review your network.  Do you know anyone who works or has worked for the company? Reach out to them. Get an insider’s view of the company’s culture, its focus areas, its strengths and its challenges.  Wow your interviewer by talking about your skills and experience in the context of that specific restaurant.

Taking these steps shows the interviewer that you’re serious about the company and the opportunity. Each one will give you valuable insight to use when you’re responding to questions and useful fodder for posing some questions of your own.

It may be a candidates’ market out there, but the best jobs are still competitive. Taking the time to do some research could mean the difference between getting the job you want and getting passed over for a more informed candidate.

For more tips or to started on your job search, feel free to reach out to me. I'm here to help!


Paul Broberg, Partner and Recruiter

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