This post is part 2 of a two-part series about doing your research before an interview.
In addition to using social media sites to research a company prior to a phone or on-site interview, there are other online resources available to you. These sites help you form your first impressions of a company and decide if that organization is a good match for your knowledge, skills and abilities. Use the information provided in these four sites to form insightful questions for your interview and improve your chances of a successful interview.
Source #1: Company Website
The first site you should always visit is the company’s website. Learn about the organization’s history, the leadership, and the products and services the company provides. Develop a thorough understanding of what problems the company solves for its customers and the identity of those customers. Read the annual reports to determine the status of the company’s financial management.
If there is a blog, read it to understand current events, news updates, and new products or services. A blog reveals the company’s personality, whether that personality is humorous, fun-loving or instructional.
Source #2: Business Journals
Information on mergers, acquisitions and new company developments can be found via journals or other publications that cover business news. There may also be stories on senior executives who are recent arrivals and what they expect to contribute to the company. Consider subscribing to a local business journal to stay aware of your prospective company, its competitors and the business environment in your area.
Source #3: Job-Hunting Sites
Sites designed for job hunters, such as Monster and Indeed, contain background information that is handy for you as a job hunter. On Monster, for example, read company profiles to get a general overview of the company. Indeed provides you with reviews to help you understand the internal environment of your potential employer.
Source #4: Company Review Sites
Glassdoor.com is a company review site that provides information about an organization’s benefits, salaries, interviewing style and internal environment. While some Glassdoor information is only available if you sign up via Facebook, Google+ or email, this site is a good way to gauge how a company behaves with job candidates and current employees.
Vault.com offers information about an organization’s operations, geographic reach, financial performance, strategy and competitors. It also contains guides to different industries and blogs with career-related advice.
Ideally, any company you interview with should fit you and your career goals, just like you fit their requirements for the job position. By thorough research and gaining more understanding of the company during your interview, you increase your chances of finding a compatible place to work.