You Got the Interview – Now it’s Time to Learn More About Your Prospective Employer

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 by: Jeanette Hannan

Congratulations are in order. An employer has invited you for interview. The hard work starts now. In preparation for the interview it is vital that you understand more about the organisation you could be working for. This will help you deal with common job interview questions and shows that you really want the role. So how do you research the employer effectively?

Review the company website

The company website could be a rich source of background information. But where do you start? There are a number of key sections to focus on. Review recent financial results. This helps you understand how the company is performing and will normally set out the company’s strategic objectives for the next year. Look for the corporate social responsibility section too. This will outline those areas where the business is considering the broader community. Finally, look at the careers section. This will normally give you more information about what it is like to work for the company.

Read the news

Even small businesses can sometimes feature in the news. That does not mean that they are doing something wrong. It can sometimes be a good indication of how a business interacts with the community. For larger organisations, national news pages can give you an insight into any recent stories (negative or otherwise) that give you real-time knowledge of the business today. Do not be drawn into controversial conversations but make sure you have a rough idea of what is happening so that you can avoid asking awkward questions.

Reach out to employees

It is now quite common for employees to share their insights about what it is like to work for a company. Glassdoor.com.au is a web site that enables employees to share insights about what it is ‘really’ like to work for a company. Similarly, do a search on LinkedIn for the senior managers of the organisation to see what they are saying. These sites can give you invaluable information about career prospects, salaries and development opportunities. Remember, however, that people may not be willing to be completely truthful in this particular environment…

Talk to your network

The broader your network, the more likely it is that you will know somebody who works for the company, directly or indirectly. Reach out to as many people as you can to find out what they can tell you. An introduction through your network can be a very powerful and personal way to get the low-down on a potential employer. If you are able to meet with somebody in person, make sure that you treat the meeting as formally as a real interview. You never know how your paths may later cross.

Sample the product or service

As a customer, you have a unique insight into any business. What better opportunity is there to learn about the business than to embark on the customer experience? Buy a product. Try a service. Soak up everything that happens and analyse every interaction that you have. You may well find yourself with very powerful insight that could be the difference between being a good candidate and being a great candidate.

Always remember that a job interview is a two-way process. It is as much about you deciding whether you want to work for the company as it is about them wanting to have you. Do your research and make sure that you choose the employer just as much as they decide to choose you.

If you would like some assistance with Interview Preparation [click here] to learn more about how the Career Consultants at Resumes for Results can work with you.

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