Researching Companies

Yes, it's a "job" looking for a job! But, being PROACTIVE can increase your chances of landing the job you want.

It is important to THOROUGHLY research companies AND positions before the job interview. Use the information you obtain to demonstrate your knowledge and interest to the interviewer.

Not only does the employer expect you to be familiar with their organization and the positions for which you are interviewing, but your confidence level will also increase when you have done your homework. The more information you have on the company and position, the better prepared you will be. 

Information to Have on the Employer Prior to the Interview

  • Relative size of firm in the industry/potential growth of the industry/mission statement

  • Types/numbers of customers/clients; number of plants, stores, or sales outlets; company history

  • Whether publicly or privately owned; geographical locations

  • Organization structure - by services, product lines, functions, etc.

  • Methods of training, evaluation, and promotion

  • Recent items in news; present price of stock (if relevant)

  • Names and job titles of key contacts - name of recruiter/interviewer

  • If possible, your positive personal experience with company: products, services, customer relations, etc.

  • You should also note the company's culture - as described on their web site or through any contacts you have at the company - to gain insight into YOUR potential happiness on the job, an important concept that may be easy to overlook!

  • Research the company's overall mission and values. Are they aligned with yours? 

Resources for Researching Companies

  • Company websites - The first place you should look for information is the website of the company for which you are applying/interviewing.

  • Dun & Bradstreet

  • Business Week's 100 best small U.S. companies

  • Inc's 500 fastest growing companies

  • Industry/trade journals; trade shows; professional conferences

  • Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors, and Executives

  • Networking with current or former employees of company

  • Hoover's Online

  • LexisNexis

  • Fortune's 500 largest U.S. companies

  • Forbes' 100 best small U.S. companies 

IMPORTANT:  Research positions on company web sites or via SIGI3, Occupational Outlook Handbook, and O*NET (Occupational Information Network). Also, if possible, research the interviewer using biographies on the company website showcasing accomplishments.