We know how important it is to know about the company where we are going for an interview, but how many of us really do proper research about the company? Hardly few, will be the answer. Your research about the company will help you in coming up with the perfect answer for any question asked. When the interviewer will see that you are actually providing them with relevant information and have done your homework well, then it will enhance your chances of getting hired as well. So, your research is going to help you at the end. It is not a hard task; instead you just need to take out time to collate all the relevant information from a website and have it stored in your mind, so that you come up with the correct figure when required.
But, yes, one important question that you need to ask yourself before going on the searching spree is what you are looking for? Are you looking for the people who are holding the top position of the company and what their background is? Will that help you or are you looking for the figures that the company has earned during this financial year? Now, these entire questions will be answered depending on what position you are applying for! If you are applying for some position in the sales or marketing department, then it is important that you know the numbers as well, but that doesn’t mean it is ok to ignore the names of the honchos of the company. You need to memorize the numbers and figure out the names as well. When you do your research well, it shows and helps in building a good impression too. But, all of these will only be made possible when you do not just have a quick glance at the information available online at their official websites; instead dig in deep to see what exactly is happening out there.
What you are looking for?
When you are doing your research, you must know what you are looking for. So, here are some of the points that you need to note down –
- Company’s age
- Company’s size
- Products and services that the company produces
- Company goals
- Industry standing
- Training programs that are being offered
- Problem solving techniques of the company
- Do they believe in employee layoffs?
- Biggest rivals
- Headquarters of the company
Doing your research well – how and why!
So, by now we have some sort of idea that why we should do our research well and come prepared for an interview. But, now the big question is how to go about the process? Will it be ok, if you do your research only through the official website of the company or is it important that you look through another avenue as well. All your questions will be answered here, so just read on and we will guide you through all the questions that you have in your mind regarding exploring the right kind of information for your job interview.
First, let’s start with the WHY’s:
1. Helps in understanding the requirements of the job:
You have applied for a job, but are not sure what you have to do exactly. If this is the situation, then some research on the company will help you in accumulating the information regarding the responsibilities and the requirements of the particular job. If researched well, then you will also come to know about whom you are replacing as well. Just go through the information that is given there and it will definitely help you gain confidence which will help you sail through the interview pretty easily.
2. How fast the company is growing:
If you know how fast the company is growing, then you will know how much scope you have for your growth as well. Its total turnover and whether it’s a hike from the previous year’s number or has it gone down? Financial stability of the company is important for you because you definitely wouldn’t want to step in a sinking boat!
3. Honest feedback:
You will definitely bump into one or the other social account of the company. Just hang in there and interact with them, so that you get a clear picture about what to expect out of the company and whether you will be able to fit the culture of the company or not! Most of your questions will be answered here and yes, it will be an honest feedback.
4. Get a sneak peek into the organization:
In order to have a better understanding of the organization, you can also go through the newspaper reports about the company, if it is a big company or an uprising company.
5. What’s in store:
You will know the future plan of the company when you do your research well and that will give you a clearer picture about the company that will help you in deciding what your future will be in the company.
Now, it is time for the HOW’s:
1. Start with the basics:
Obvious things first. Let’s get started with the official website of the company. It is the best platform to collate all relevant and correct information. So, dig in deep and go through all the tabs that are present there. Keep a pen and paper handy, so that you can jot down the details which will help you later in the interview process. In any interview, there is a section where you are required to ask interviewer some questions. So, if you prepare well, then you will be able to ask any relevant questions.
2. Search the rival’s website:
There are high chances that you will get some comparative figures in the competitor’s website as well. Not only that, it will also give you information about the sector’s development.
3. Public library:
You will be surprised to see some very good resources out there in terms business journals and trade magazines along with business publications. Don’t skip this useful huge information bank.
4. Other internet sites:
In case you do not find any official website of the company you have applied for, then don’t be disheartened, instead search up the sites where you will get extensive information about the company and the industry it is in. Try different search engines and enter the company name and look for materials that will help you find information about the industry.
5. Alumni Association:
You can connect with people who have been working in the same industry. It is definitely one of the best resources because your friends will be opening their heart in front of you about the company without worrying about anything and that will definitely help you in gaining inside information about the company.
6. Google it:
Yes, we need to go online and look of the information related to it. Google is the popular search engine and will find you any information on the face of the earth. So, if you need any information about the company, then you can definitely type in the name of the company in the Google and see a whole bunch of results coming up.
7. Blogs are a great source too:
Nowadays, if you are giving the blogs a miss while doing your research about the company you are going to work for, then you are definitely missing out on many things. There are corporate blogs that you can sift through to get the relevant information and note down the name of the writer because it might happen that you are being interviewed by one of them. It will come in handy at that time.
8. Social networking sites:
There are several social networking sites out there. You will have to just go there and look into the LinkedIn profiles or the twitter handle or the Facebook page. They will have several important things on the company page for you to dive in and hunt down the treasure from there.
9. About Us page:
When you want to know in detail about the company, then the About Us page is the place you must place your bets on.
10. Business Wire:
This is another place where you can collate the data and information that you require. Here you will find the press release as well as the disclosure targets of the company you are appearing for an interview.
11. Some other sites:
Forbes Lists of Best Companies, Hoover’s Online, Wright Research Center, Annual Reports Library etc are some of the websites that are safe bets and will provide you with all the relevant information regarding the companies.
12. Message boards of the company:
The message board of the company will give you with the current employee’s opinion, including the opinion of the former employee as well. This will ensure that you get a different perspective of the company altogether. Go through numbers of the postings to verify whether the information is valid or not.
13. Mission and vision of the company:
The Mission and vision of any company will give you an insight to the company and you will know what the culture of the company is. When your interviewer will ask you that why the company should hire you then you can frame your answer incorporating the mission and vision of the company. It is one of the common questions asked in any interview, so you can go through it beforehand and prepare your answer well in advance.
14. New developments and projects:
These are the kind of information you must be aware of because these types of information will help you prepare questions that you can ask in the interview. Asking questions in an interview is an integral part and you will also get a direction.
15. Take the notepad:
What if, there is nothing up there?
It might happen that you are not able to find out any information about the company because it is a small setup, then what? It is very common with the start-up concerns. They are just starting up, so you will hardly get any information about them on any website. Moreover, the start-up companies will also not have any official websites as well. So, at that point of time, what do you do? You can ask the interviewer about the company and what you can expect out of it. There is nothing wrong in doing that, instead you will get all the information right from the horse’s mouth.
If you have anything else to add, please feel free to share your views here.