Interview Investigation: Get to Know the Interviewer in Advance
The most successful job seekers approach the process of interviewing like an entrepreneur. To do that, they realize they are a product that is for sale and that they must sell themselves.
This means that in your interview you need to demonstrate to the employer how you can meet the goals and needs of their organization. To do this, you have to know about the company before you go to the interview.
Some of the key information you should know includes:
- Company goals and mission
- Products and/or services they offer
- Recent changes in the organization such as emerging technology, new products, expansions, mergers, etc.
- Company history
Also, for your own information, it is a good idea to check financials on the company to ensure their stability and solvency.
By researching into these areas, you can gain a knowledgeable edge on positioning yourself during the interview.
As a matter of fact, this extra work will increase your confidence and will keep you from walking blind into your interview!
This process does not have to be difficult.
Sometimes, you won’t have to go to such lengths in your research. You might not have the time between scheduling and attending your interview, or the level of the position may not require truly in-depth research. Mark my words though, even at an entry-level, research can truly set you apart from the competition.
We are currently living in a world of information availability. For a tiny, local company you may have to look no further than their yellow pages for their advertisement. But, many companies, both big and small, have a website. That website will most likely have much of the information you are seeking about their products, service, history, and goals.
Be sure to look through all the pages including their press announcements as those represent their big announcements.
It is also a good idea to use a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo to perform a search on the company. In this way you can find articles written about them, press announcements about them, complaints and lawsuits, and more.
You should also use your network of contacts to find information about the company (and even the interviewer). LinkedIn.com, a social network, is a great place for finding information about the company because you can find people who have worked there, read their profiles and job descriptions, and even contact them.
Other sites and resources that can be helpful for finding additional information include:
- Local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and area newspapers.
- Reference librarian at your local library who can guide you to resources on companies.
- Websites such as Dunn & Bradstreet, business.com and vault.com.
Once you have your research completed, you will be much more educated about the company – what their goals are, what products and services they offer, and potentially what challenges they face. You will then be able to use this information in your interview to show your knowledge and interest. Instead of entering the interview blind you will be informed and ready to show your commitment to the company, which will make you shine!
© Copyright Laura DeCarlo 2009. Used with permission.
About this author: Laura DeCarlo is recognized as the career industry’s ‘career hero’ making a difference to both job seekers and career professionals as the founder of Career Directors International. She possesses 11 top-level certifications in resume writing, career coaching, and career management; 7 first place resume and job placement awards; and has written three books on interviewing and job search including Interview Pocket RX, Interviewing: The Gold Standard, and Job Search Bloopers. Follow Laura on Twitter; @careerhero.