Job interview preparation, if done properly, can instill in you a proper level of confidence and make a positive impression on the interviewer.
With larger organizations there is usually a wealth of information to help you in your research and interview preparation. Researching smaller or privately held companies can be more difficult and time-consuming. With an all important job interview just around the corner you normally do not have a great deal of time to do the necessary research.
Here are some ideas to help you in researching the smaller sized prospective employer.
When you are discussing the scheduling of the job interview ask to be sent some company literature. Product brochures, press releases, annual reports if available are all important.
Study their website. You’ll now have information about company background, recent developments, products and services, locations and industry. In the employment section you’ll learn if other jobs are open. An excellent question in the job interview is to inquire if the posted jobs are newly created or filling open positions.
Search the internet and look at the websites of competitors. How do they compare, not so much in flashy graphics but content? What questions are raised by this additional information? Where will you find the answers?
Go through your network of contacts and ask if they know of anyone who is currently working for the company or recently left their employ. Perhaps they know of the company through vendors or one of its competitors. Use your contacts to learn about things not found in more formal sources. Things like company reputation, standing in the industry, corporate culture, competitive strength and results from new initiatives are all important information to learn.
Use the resources in LinkedIn to further research the company. Can you find anyone who recently left the company? They could provide a wealth of information. You can check the profiles of individuals currently working for the company. There may be a possible connection where you can uncover additional information, or they may be able to put in a good word regarding your application.
Your local library could be a valuable source of information. Ask the reference librarian for assistance. They can find the latest newspaper articles and relevant articles in local business journals. If you feel you do not have enough information on the company (It’s closely held or very small) learn what you can about competitors. At least you’ll be well aware of the challenges facing the company.
Now write out 30 or more facts you learned about the company. From this list what additional information would you like to learn about the company? This list of questions will be the basis of the questions you will ask during the job interview.
With this aspect of your job interview preparation behind you your next step will be the actual preparation for the interview. Taken together, you’ll approach the interview with confidence, be relaxed and with a positive attitude. All are vital requirements for a successful job interview.