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Career Guide : Interview Prep

How to do company research in 30 minutes or less

Prepare for your interview

Just have a few minutes to prepare for your interview?

Visit: Business Career Guide: Job Hunting Resources 

Gather four things:

  1. company profile
  2. analyst report
  3. industry profile
  4. current news

You should be able to do all that in less than 30 minutes.  Reading and digesting the content will take you longer.

1. Company Profile

Capital IQ   (Register)

Why CapIQ? It has really deep content on public companies, and also includes private companies.


  • Tearsheet – the basics
  • Financials – Key Stats
  • Named competitors (Company Summary) or Quick Comps (Peer Analysis)
  • M&A/Private Placements 
  • Customers, Suppliers
  • Key Professionals
  • Transcripts of earnings calls and company presentations (written or audio)
  • Research – No equity research, use Refinitiv

Report Builder (below other functions) – Create your own report  


D&B Hoovers

Why D&B Hoovers?  Broader coverage, including smaller businesses. Lots of searchable contacts. Often includes a SWOT analysis (see where the business’s challenges are, helping you ask better questions).


  • Contacts - Lots of people with contact info/emails. Filter for specific roles.
  • SWOT  (see where the tensions are, ask better questions about the company)

One Stop Report  - Create your own downloadable report



Create your own log-in using your email address

Why PrivCo? Specializes in US private companies. Includes hard to find data for companies not required to share.  Depth of content varies greatly.


  • Financials – Income & employees
  • Organization – Growth rates, year founded, C suite contacts   
  • Funding – Funding rounds & investors
  • Deals – M&A Activity, IPO Activity

Need more?  For start-ups try PitchBook, for international businesses try ORBIS, for nonprofits use GuideStar Pro, for another SWOT try Marketline Advantage

2. Analyst Reports

See what the investment world has to say about your company/industry. 


Refinitiv Workspace (Register)

Why Refinitiv? Many, many analyst reports


Use the Research tab, select Company Research:

  • Choose a date range
  • Limit to "initiation" in the Subjects field – First look by a bank, likely to be most in-depth
  • Limit by certain contributors or analysts
  • Use a keyword to find reports with specific topics

3. Industry Profile

So many sources!  Ask for help finding the best for your industry


IBISWorld: Industry

Why IBISWorld? Contains US, Global and Chinese industry reports. Covers all types of industries, from Pizza Restaurants to Semiconductor Manufacturing. Search by company name or product/service.


  • Industry at a Glance – Key Trends, Industry SWOT
  • Industry Outlook – Forecasts
  • Products & Markets – Supply chain, demand, major markets
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Major Companies
  • iExpert Summaries (click on the lightbulb in the left menu) – Industry summary and Role Specific, External Impacts and Internal Issues Questions: use these sample questions to inform the questions you ask your interviewer!


Technavio Global

Why Technavio? Market research reports on global industries including, communication, consumer services/discretionary/staples, energy, financials, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, and utilities. Gets more specific than IBISWorld, ie "Global Recruitment Software Market," "Global Snow Sports Apparel Market" or "Global Gene Therapy for Inherited Genetic Disorders Market."


Marketline Advantage  

Why Marketline?  Wide industry coverage, including international country-specific reports. Includes Five Forces Analysis


BCC Research

Why BCC? Covers major economic, scientific, and technological developments in industrial, pharmaceutical, and high technology industries. Company analysts create in-depth (100-200 page) reports.


Need more?  Try Mintel for consumer markets, Bizminer for regional data, eMarketer for digital topics

4. Current News

Do a last minute check for important updates!



Why Factiva? Comprehensive newspaper, press release and web news coverage 


  • By company name in the free text search or in the Company field
  • Limit by date – In the last day, week, year, custom range
  • Limit your search results to Dow Jones Publications, Web News (selected by the editors, better than a Google search)
  • Look for spikes in the Date range graph, did something major happen during that period?
  • Use Examples link for advanced search strategies, like the following:
    • atleast6 Microsoft will find articles with at least 6 mentions of Microsoft
    • Netflix near5 subscri* looks for Netflix within 5 words of any word starting with subscri, like subscribers, or subscriptions, etc.