So... you were contacted for an interview of a lifetime? And you want to know more about the company and the employer but don't know where to start? This is the story of going from being headhunted to headhunting yourself into that dream job! Here are seven helpful research tips to get you there...
1. Go through the company's entire website:
The first place you should start your research is by reading the company’s website. Most companies in 2016 have a website. Their website is an open-book promoting the company online. Not only this, but it allows new employees to gain valuable information on the companies development up until that point and it's current positioning in the market. This should then lead you into thinking of improvements and changes with substantiated answers in your field of expertise, to later use in your interview, and hopefully, impress you interviewer with!
2. Read the company’s blog or White Paper section:
Definition: A White Paper is an authoritative report or guide that educates the audience on a complex issue and presents the different schools of thought on said issue.
There are more and more company blogs making it online, sharing industry opinions and comments on trends, giving a voice to the company culture, values and overall beliefs. Read over a couple of their blog posts, take notes on current views, trends and achievements. Subscribing to the blog is another good idea, especially in the time period before you interview.
NB: Not all companies have blogs etc. don't worry as there are more than enough options below to get enough an adequate amount of information on the company.
3. Skim through press releases and recent company news:
Search for company news or press releases that will help you understand the company’s projects, clients, announcements, community involvement, or global recognition. Larger, more popular companies will have articles published about them by different media sources. By reading company news, you’ll learn more about the company’s history and the progress it made during recent years. It’s likely the hiring manager could bring up questions relating to the company’s current projects, so learning this information can be very helpful.
4. Ask Quora:
Many people use Quora to find an answer to practically any question out there! In fact, people have used Quora to ask questions about what it’s like to work at companies like Apple and Google and have received responses from real employees. Use Quora to ask questions such as “What’s it like to work at ABC Company?” These answers can provide you with meaningful insight on the company’s culture.
5. Check out the companies Social Media accounts:
Social Media is a great way to learn more about the relationship-based culture of a company, what you see on their website opposed to their platforms on Social Media can differ drastically. Research the company’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram accounts to learn more about its recent announcements and what’s going on in the company, then explore other less popular sites such as Pinterest, which in itself gives a clear indication of the direction the company is aiming at. Pay close attention to the companies interactions on these platforms, and begin to understand the internal voice they use for external audiences, such as clients and partners.
6. Interview a previous or current employee:
The best way to research a company is to get firsthand accounts. from employees that either worked or are currently employed there. While this is a very helpful research tactic, it can be one of the most challenging steps of researching an employer. First, look for alumni relating to your old schools and colleges, this is probably the easiest way. Other options are friends and family. If that doesn’t work, search on LinkedIn for people who have a connection with the company. Once you find a connection, send a friendly email introducing yourself and find out if it would be alright if you asked them questions about their experience with the company.
Hint: Having a Premium account on LinkedIn can aid you in sending people who aren't your connections a direct message and speeding up the process.
7. Check them out on Glassdoor:
Last, but definitely not least, is Glassdoor. We've discussed this before in #BabelWrites. Glassdoor helps you find a job and company you love. It's the 'TripAdvisor of the working world'. It allows you to search for reviews, salaries and benefits from employees, interview questions from candidates, and overall scores of CEOs etc. This is the future of recruitment and human resources and allows for another level of transparency to be introduced to the overall job search and candidate search.
Research allows for a better interview. By following these tips, you’ll learn more about the company, this will allow you to be more at ease during the interview, and hopefully lead to you getting that dream job!