As the year winds down, I’m thinking about jobs and interviews. I’ll admit, I just finished the process of interviewing with a company this week. While they didn’t give me an offer, I’m a big believer in constantly looking for a new job – though that’s a blog post for another time. As I interviewed with this company, I was reminded how important it is to do your research on a company. There are 5 things to research about a company that I always try to make sure I know and today I want to share why I always look up this information.
5 Things to Research About a Company
1. Current and Former Employees on Linkedin
Linkedin is a fantastic place to learn more about a company, and I recommend looking at both current and past employees to see where people have worked and where they work now. You can look up the person you’re interviewing so you can ask that person specific questions about his or her career path. Knowing specifics about people who work there will make you look prepared, and if you don’t move forward in the interview process – you’ll already know some similar places you can apply to based on past employees and their job history.
2. Who They Work With
When I interviewed with my political job, I told the story of how I found the company three times – through a Facebook ad about a very famous client. Being a political junkie, I knew most of the clients, but knowing one of the big ones definitely helped. While not every company is going to have a high-name client like that job did, take the time to look at the company’s website – see who they brag about working with. Knowing details about what they do with a few clients will come across as smart and thorough.
3. Their Competitors
Every company is going to have some kind of competitor, it’s the nature of the world we live in. But as much as you’re being interviewed for the position, you should also be interviewing the company. Why are they better than their competitor and why should you work with them instead? I keep saying this, but it is crucial that you do your homework before the interview. This includes the good and the bad….
4. The Glassdoor Interviews
When I was just about to accept the offer for my political job, I got curious and looked up the glassdoor reviews. For a company that prides itself (or used to, anyway) on creativity, there were some creative Glassdoor reviews, but most were not nice to the company. Some current review titles include one called “More Toxic Than a Britney Spears Single.”
There was a moment of hesitation, then the acceptance that maybe this job wasn’t for everyone. I didn’t ask during the job interviews, but now I always look at reviews before an interview. If I see a pattern, I want to ask about it. Companies need to be able to stand by their reputation and if they treat enough employees poorly, it’ll catch up.
5. The Company Values
I used to work for Apple and I think most people know Apple’s values, including the values about customer privacy. It wasn’t until my current job, where we did a workshop on personal values during the new hire orientation that I thought about a company’s values. The longer I’m in the workforce the more company values become important to me – I’m spending most of my waking hours at work, making money for you, you need to take care of me in some form or aspect, too. It’s a mutual-benfit situation. However, what are the company values? Does the company believe in treating people well? Does it donate to charities on a regular basis? My company now gives you two paid days off a year to go volunteer at a non-profit because giving back is important to the company.
A company worth working for will have some values, plain and simple as that. And if you work in marketing, they’ll want to make sure you know the values every few minutes.
Related Post: The Guide to Asking Smart Questions in Your Interview
When you interview for a company, especially one you really want to work for, it’s so important to know your stuff. Do your research, know your stuff, and impress them by how easily you understand the company. Being prepared ought to be the number one rule of interviews and knowing this information will help you be prepared.