Congratulations on reaching the interview stage of the selection process!
Consider yourself very lucky if you have gotten this far without doing any research on the company you are interested in. Even if you haven’t gotten to the interview stage yet, know that researching your potential employer can give you many advantages over other applicants.
Importance of Research
As an applicant, you must give your potential employer a solid reason to hire you. What can be a better reason than showing them that you already know so much about them that it won’t be too difficult for you to fit in? This gives you a distinct advantage over a candidate who walks in completely clueless.
Apart from showing that you know about the company, there is another huge advantage of research.
By knowing the ins and outs of the company you will have a clear idea of their strengths and weaknesses. It will help you position your skills and qualifications in a manner that clearly lays out the value proposition. You can tell them how you can help the organization overcome its challenges and the interviewer will be able to see a clear reason to hire you.
How-To: Researching Prospective Company
The million-dollar question is – What to research?
Values and Vision – Start with a broader perspective and read about their mission, vision, philosophy, culture, and goals. This broader picture will help you determine how your expertise and goals align with theirs and whether both the entities can serve to benefit each other in the long run.
Diversity – Research the company’s diversity and equal opportunities programs. A seemingly good organization from the outside might be averse to equal opportunities and could have an environment plagued by discrimination against race, gender or sexual orientation.
Financial Stability – The reputation of the company you work for is important and speaks to your personal inclinations, but an important facet is their financial stability. Most of us work primarily to foot our bills and ensure that consumerism lives on.
If you want to be able to buy the upcoming PlayStation 5 through your savings over the next few months, then you need to make sure that the revenue stream is uninterrupted. Working for an organization that is barely able to pay its current employees and faces a constant decline in stock prices is a very risky proposition. My colleague Mark actually quit his job to join a start-up, but ended up without a job within a few months, clueless and stuck with his poor decisions.
Spend hours if you must on your computer. Learn all you can – from the address and the story of the organization to the latest news releases and PR material shared by it.
A very basic tip in case you are already scheduled for an interview is to visit the premises beforehand. Talk to the receptionist if you have to.
If possible, visit the establishment as a customer or a client and get hands-on experience of the service the company is providing. You won’t be able to convince them about the value you can bring to the table unless you know how you can do it in the first place.
Remember, you need the job, but you also deserve to be happy with the work you do.
Research well and make sure it is a company you want to work for before convincing them that you are the person they want to hire.