Making the Most Out of your Resume. Do Job Research « Back

Just as you must know yourself before you go for an interview, so too must you know your prospective employer. Knowledge of the company helps you to engineer your responses to questions and gives you confidence before and during the interview. It shows the interviewer that you care about the company and want to make a well-informed decision, and it gives you opportunities and credibility to pose impressive questions to the interviewer. All of the information you gather will help you anticipate the company culture and gauge the expectations that they will have of you. Know thyself and the opposition and you will gain advantage in your endeavors.

Understanding you employment seeking mission

At a minimum, you need to discover the company's vision and mission statement. The employer will be convinced that you do not care about the job if you have to ask what they do. Look on the company website to discover how the company presents itself and notice any subject in particular which they pay special attention to. Make sure you can articulate what the company mission statement is. Memorizing the company tagline also makes your employer feel that you really want to part of the team. If applicable, request a copy of its annual report if your position applied would have linkage to it. For newsworthy companies, check media sources like newspapers and business magazines to find out where the company is going and what its challenges are as well as the condition of the company at the present moment. Discover if they have any specific goals for the near future, like the production of new products or new partnerships or franchising intentions. Talk with someone who works there or has worked there to find out whether the company fulfills its mission or has undertaken the steps to bring their visions to fruition.

Familiarize yourself with the company Market

You also must familiarize yourself with the company's market. Who are the targeted customers whom they sell their products or services. What is the nature of the products or services? These are the kinds of things you should be conversant in when you sit in for an interview. It is extremely useful to know who are the company's competitors. Is it a business a street name, a new or established company?

Company Structure and Organization

Find out what the structure and scope of the company is. Besides identifying whether the company is small, medium, large, or enormous, you need to know its organization structure. Whether it is a division of a larger company or owned by a parent company? Does it own other companies? Is it a local, national, or multi-national company? Also discover whether the company has other divisions and what they are. It is also useful to know at what stage of growth the company is currently at. Have they recently grown or retrenched/downsized employees? At what rate are they doing that?

Have they been paying their staff punctually or delaying salaries? Using your internet, media research, and personal sources, uncover as much as you can about the internal workings of the company.

Know the Customer

It is also useful to know who the company’s customers are, their origin of set up and their capital consolidation if applicable. Getting your hands on a share-holders report could be very illuminating as you determine what the company's earnings or losses are. Are their profits increasing or are they mired in debt? Is there another company funding them during the time they are making losses? Compiling this information will enable you to assess the financial stability of the company. This is of utmost importance.

Employee Relations within the company

Finally, you will benefit from knowing how the company treats its employees. Interviewing current or former employees will give you the information you need to determine whether you are likely to receive the kind of treatment you desire or require, or otherwise. How much of the company earnings are shared by employees? What are the salary ranges for various positions? Gaining this kind of information will help you assess a compensation packet that you can feasibly negotiate. Do it subtly. Do not forget to uncover the benefits package offered by the company when you consider the attractiveness of compensation. In addition to compensation, discover whether employees receive training or further on the job developmental programs, the employee’s working hours and work week. Look up also on the complaints have been filed against the company to understand the weaknesses of the company.

Interview Background

Since you need to connect with the person responsible for the interview, it is helpful to discover as much as you can about that person as well. In the course of the interview, identify common grounds between you and your prospective employer and gather information that will help you establish an easy rapport.

Your quest for information can seem elusive without the ability to conduct an audit of the company's previous and present financial statements or at least interview current employees of the company. With a bit of networking, the latter might be more achievable than you would initially perceive. Several other resources will help you:

  • The company website
  • Company statements and brochures
  • Newspaper and magazine articles
  • Reviews of best and worst companies
  • Employees of the company
  • Media write Ups and Internet write ups
  • Information held at local job search agencies and job sites

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