Research the Company

 

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What do you know about the company that just contacted you to schedule an interview? Before you go on a job interview, it's important to find out as much as you can about the company. That way you'll be prepared both to answer interview questions and to ask the interviewer questions.
 
You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you. Use the Internet to discover as much information as you can about the company. Tap into your network to see who you know who can help give you an interview edge over the other candidates.
 
All the information you need is available online. Here are tips on how to research a company, get the inside scoop on the company culture and use connections who can help you get an interview advantage.
 
Specific Suggested Steps:

1.  The company website is usually the single best resource. Scroll through the whole website. Note down details that you can use to develop good interview questions to ask in your interview as well as prepare relevant answers to interview questions.

2.  If the company does not have its own website, go to other Internet sites that provide extensive information about companies and industries.  Visit your preferred search engine, type in the company name and go to any sites that refer to the company.

3.  Utilize competitor websites to get information on developments in the company's industry or sector.

4.  Visit company specific message boards to read opinions of current and former employees and get a different perspective on the company, although it is wise to check a number of postings rather than taking just one posting as valid information.

5.  Public libraries are another good resource for company information. Look up the company in the business periodical index to find articles in business publications and industry trade magazines. Often you can read journals and other peridicals at the public library for free rather than paying for them online. 

6.  Research details on the company products and services.  Answer typical interview questions such as "Why should we employ you?" intelligently and thoroughly by emphasizing why the company's products and services interest you and how you can add value to them.

7.  Find out the company's strategic goals, special projects and new developments.  Use this information to prepare insightful questions about the direction of the company to ask in your interview. Note down the company mission, vision and values statements. This tells you about the company culture. Use this information to highlight why you are a good fit in your job interview.

8.  Take your research with you to the interview. Let the interviewer see that you have taken the time and trouble to find out about the company beforehand.

 

Other Resources:

Visit the Company Website - Visit the company web site; review the company mission statement and company history; products and services; management; as well as information about the company culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.

Use LinkedIn - Company profiles on LinkedIn are a good way to find general information on a company you're interested in. You'll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. Take a look at your interviewer's profile to get insight into their job and their background.

Get an Interview Edge - Glassdoor's interview questions and reviews section has a goldmine of information for job seekers. For many positions, you can find out what candidates were asked and get advice on how tough their interview was.

Use Social Media - Check Facebook and Twitter. Become a Fan of the company on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. You'll find information you may not have found otherwise.

Google and Google News - Search GoogleGoogle Finance and Google News for the company name.

Tap Your Connections - If you have a connection that will help you find inside information, use it. Do you know someone who works there? Ask them if they can help. If you're a college grad ask your Career Office if they can give you a list of alumni who work there. Then email, send a message, or call and ask for assistance.

By researching the company before your job interview, you'll know what information you need to ask about and how to use it to win in your job interview!