Navigating frontend interviews in 2022: how to research your company
By Mike Chen
Effective company research prior to your interview process will elevate you above your competition as a passionate and knowledgeable candidate. In this post, we’ll talk specifically about what aspects to research and where to look.
This is the second post in a series about what to expect from the frontend interview process in 2022. Here’s where we are in this series:
- Overview and reverse interviewing
- Researching your company
- Informational phone screen
- The onsite interview — live coding challenge
- The onsite interview — behavioral
- The onsite interview — systems design
- Offer and negotiation
Here are the key areas you’ll want to research in your research about a prospective company:
- The interview process itself
- Salary data
- Recent news and finances
- Engineering blogs
The interview process itself
Glassdoor is one of the only sites that has information about the interview process itself from people that have gone through it.
You may be able to find reviews or details about the specific questions that the company asks. If a question has been leaked on Glassdoor, it’s less likely you’ll be asked that specific question, but knowing what types of questions are asked is incredibly valuable.
If you're lucky enough for your company to be on levels.fyi, it has the most accurate salary data for companies broken out by level. As of now though, levels.fyi primarily lists public tech companies and prominent Silicon Valley startups.
As an alternative, Stack Overflow developer surveys give salary overviews by location.
As a last resort, check Indeed and Glassdoor. These tend to have outdated and inaccurate data but will at least give you a baseline.
Recent news and finances
Search Google News to see if your company has had any major wins recently, e.g. awards, new product launches, etc.
Crunchbase will have information about your company’s fundraising rounds. This is especially important if you’re going to a startup. As an example of what to look out for here: if your company has raised a large fundraising round recently, they might be growing quickly, which is something to be aware of. They’ll also be unlikely to run out of money in the near future.
It’s helpful to hear how current and former employees are talking about the company. You may be able to find opinions about your company and its interview process on Blind, an anonymous social network app.
Note: Blind opinions skew negative, but it can still be a valuable resource. Get what you need and close the app immediately if possible.
In rare cases, your company might maintain an engineering blog. These blogs are a goldmine of information about what technical problems your company is solving and how.
You’ll often find information about major architectural decisions your company has made. These are great talking points for your interview.
The blog's existence is also a positive sign your company prioritizes its engineering department.
Lastly, it’s important to understand where the company fits among its competitors.
Search your company on LinkedIn and check out the companies in the "People also viewed" sidebar. Try and look at those companies' landing pages to see what makes your company unique in its competitive space.
Look for opportunities to surface all this research organically during your interview process. Some example questions during the interview of when to bring up this information:
- “Tell me about what you’re looking for in your next role”: talk about how your goals fit into the company’s history and where it’s going
- “Do you have any questions for me?”: ask about news that you’re interested in (e.g. "I heard you recently adopted React Native, would love to hear more about that decision").
In short, you want to come off as someone who cares about the company and will accept an offer if you receive one!
In the next post, we’ll explore what to expect from your first phone screen. Follow @frontendeval and stay tuned for more!