Before your first interview at a company or organization you should research your potential employer and be fully prepared. You don’t want to miss out on a job because you didn’t research your prospective employer. But do you know where to look for important information regarding your potential employer or even what to look for?
Most of the company’s information is readily available to you. First, check out the employer’s website and their competitors’ sites to learn about the industry. Read the About Us, Facts, and Media Center sections. Find journals, magazines, and newspapers that contain articles about the company, and learn as much as you can so that you will be familiar with the company’s successes and latest ventures. You can search the Internet or visit your local library to access these resources. This will show the interviewer that you care enough about the company to familiarize yourself about it ahead of time.
If you know someone at the company, give them a call and ask them a few questions before your interview. They can give you a personal view on the company, its culture and employees, but make sure to double-check their information. You don’t want to look unprepared by misquoting a fact during your interview.
Here are some key items to research:
• The year the company was established
• Products or services provided
• Mission statement and goals
• Business Model
• Profitability of the company and potential for growth
• Corporate culture
• Organizational structure
• Key employees
• Locations, if more than one
Are you going to be prepared with an answer if an interviewer asks, “What do you know about my company?” or “Why are you interested in this position?” These are popular questions, so make sure you know your facts. Remember, research can be time consuming and should not be put off until the night before the interview. Collect as much information as you can about the company, prepare a few questions for the interviewer, and don’t be afraid to ask the questions you prepared. Asking thoughtful questions will show that you have done your research.
Researching the company before your interview can mean the difference between getting the job and not receiving an offer. Research is an important step to increase your chances of landing the job you want. So, take the time to research the company, and you will be ready to tackle your next interview.
Are you prepared for your next interview? What tips or suggestions do you have for others preparing for their first interview?