Developing Your Career

Tips for Conducting Thorough Research Before an Interview

By Greg Simpson on June 27, 2012

Most job seekers know that hiring managers will be checking them out on LinkedIn and conducting an Internet search prior to scheduling an interview.  But are you using these same tools to research potential employers before agreeing to an interview?  What do you know about a company’s short- and long-term business prospects?  What do you know about its reputation?

A recent article in Marketing Charts reports that “just 22% of Americans have a positive perception” of corporate America.  With that unsettling statistic, it makes sense for candidates to thoroughly research a targeted company to gain a broader view of what it would be like to work for the company.

There are many channels available to quickly conduct research.  Here are some tips:

  • Visit the company’s website to learn about products and services and to see what the organization is touting.  Check out the media relations page to read about recent announcements.  Then examine the company’s financial performance in its annual report.  
  • Google the company to get smart on what’s being reported in the news.
  • GlassDoor.com is a free website that provides an inside look at the company, including reviews and information about corporate culture, interview questions, salaries, etc. — all posted anonymously by current and former employees.
  • Ask networking contacts what they know about the company (benefits, culture, leadership, etc.).
  • Search LinkedIn and contact people who work/worked for the company.  
  • eHow Money suggests searching Google with the letter “v” before the company name to retrieve various court filings.  Also check class-action-lawsuits.com for a searchable database of past/present suits. 

Occasionally you’ll run across a disgruntled former employee or an unflattering news story, but if the general consensus is negative, consider it a huge red flag.  

You can be sure that companies will do their homework. Make sure you do yours as part of the interviewing process.

2 Responses to “Tips for Conducting Thorough Research Before an Interview”

  1. Ernie Perez

    Well presented – succinct and focused. This is an area many job seekers dont fully grasp.

    Reply
  2. Sandra Baird

    Excellent reminder of how important it is to be a “savy” interviewee. With all the information that is readily available through the many social media avenues, no one should accept or participate in a interview without thoroughly researching a company.

    Reply

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