research a potential employer

The importance of researching a company before applying for a job

You’ve successfully got through the application stage and landed that all-important job interview – so what’s the next step to landing that dream job?

Apart from preparing for general interview questions and ironing your best shirt, an essential part of getting ready for any job interview is finding out about the company involved. Start researching the employer – somthing that should be high on every interviewee’s to-do list.

Go online

The first place to go, naturally, is the firm’s website if they have one (and most do these days). There you can find out more about what the company does, what services it provides and even who works there. There may be information about the firm’s culture and structure, and maybe even employee benefits. Dig deep into the website to find out what you can.

It is wise to familiarise yourself with the website’s content before heading off to the interview, as it will help you get a company overview – essential if you want to converse intelligently with the people carrying out the interview. It will let you tailor your answers to ensure you fulfil the criteria they have.

But aside from the firm’s own website – some of which will be severely limited in terms of information – how can you find out more? A quick Google search is often not enough to gain the valuable insight you need.

One way you can discover more about a company is through social media. LinkedIn, geared towards businesses and links between colleagues, is the ideal place to start. It lets you connect with people who may have already worked in the company you are looking to work for. If you know someone who works there, it is quite all right to contact them beforehand to get some behind-the-scenes knowledge or to ask about potential interview questions.

Do your research

Another important factor to consider, especially in these economically unstable times, is how the firm is currently performing in its particular industry. Finding out how stable the company is, and how well it is performing compared to its competitors, will give you an essential company overview and indicate how long term the position is likely to be.

Job stability is naturally an important consideration when looking for work. If the company you go to work for is struggling, or its industry is in decline, you may want to reconsider accepting the position. An unstable business may be considering redundancies in a year’s time – and if you’re last to be employed, you’re often first to lose your job.

This is where websites such as WorkAdvisor come in. An important resource for job seekers, they can provide you with in-depth company reviews and overviews, enabling you to find more information about a company as well as what its employees think – all of which enables you to make informed decisions and give good impressions.

So remember – don’t just use Google. Use the internet wisely and you can go to that interview armed with all the information you need.