Pre-Interview Company Research With A Buzz.
Had enough of me yet? If so, and you truly desire to have me out of your hair, then get about the business of lining up that interview. Good, now with that done, know that it is always advisable to do your homework on the prospective employer. You need to understand that this upcoming interview is a two-way street, and this is as good a time as any to ask questions of your next prospective employer. This researching process will also provide a sense of confidence walking in the door in that you will be able to mention some of the features of the company during the interview creating a good impression. Nothing like a little sucking up to get off on the right foot. Visiting the company’s Web site (among other things) will provide you important information about its products, recent changes, competitors and clients. Here are some guidelines on how to research a company online before your job interview.
- Enter the name of the company in a search engine such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to find the company’s Web site. . Once you’re in the company’s site, click on different sections such as About Us, Products, Services, Mission and Executive or Management Team. These sections will give you information about what the company is doing.
- Look specifically at the “About Us” section as it will give you the profile of the company. Remember the important points to mention in the interview.
- Prepare a list of the products and services the company offers. See what markets it targets and how your skills could fit in. Try to assess the job requirements.
- Locate the “News” and “Press Releases” sections if available. This will give you information on the new projects and other changes in the company. You can usually find an RSS feed in the section that you can subscribe to which will then allow for the company to push news to you.
- Search for information about the company’s competitors. This may help you answer questions about marketing strategies in the interview.
- Get all relevant information about your job profile. Such information is usually mentioned in the job posting that you may have responded to. For instance, if you applied through a job portal, the company and job profile will be mentioned. Knowing more about the company and the job you will be interviewed for will help you prepare better.
- Browse through blogs, especially business blogs such as Google Blogs. Many reputable companies and their employees post good information about these companies in such blogs. Blogs are a great way to get inside information about a company. Similarly, look at online job networking resources, groups and discussion forums. Now that we’ve signed you up with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, hit those search boxes with company name to see who might be worth following.
- If you are still in college or have recently graduated, approach your institution or its alumni association for more information about the company.
- Look at professional databases that develop company profiles. Hit these hard: Hoovers has a free trial. The EDGAR database is a US government database containing a wealth of information and financial filings. From the D&B Companies is a products that has a free trial called Selectory. One of my favorites is Jigsaw. Business Intelligence at Wikipedia is a bit of an oxymoron as a title, but does have good stuff. Another that is good is glassdoor. There are others out there, but that should get you started. Happy hunting.
Buzz Smith is SR Curmudgeon & VP Consulting Services OPI National Outplacement. OPI National Outplacement and Career Transition Located In Knoxville, Tennessee. 865-531-9154.