Three for Thursday: Research Strategies

Researching the company, its products, and its industry should be a significant part of your preparation. The company’s website will often be your most valuable source of information, but a good candidate will dive deeper than that. We’ve highlighted three additional sources to utilize while doing your research.

Media Coverage

While the company’s website is the most important source, any media coverage you can find is a close second. Look for any news about the company in local business journals (either in your city or where the company HQ is located). You can often find articles that provide insight into the company’s culture, leadership, and even strategic direction. Industry trade publications are another media source worth exploring.

LinkedIn

Think it makes you a stalker to look up the profiles of the people interviewing you? Don’t, because you better believe the employer will be checking out your profile. First, make sure your profile is looking sharp, then take a look at who you’ll be interviewing with. Take note of how long they’ve been with the company, whether they’ve been promoted there, previous companies they’ve worked at, and any personal info (family, hobbies, causes). This gives you some info you can apply to your interview and help you better understand where the interviewer is coming from. If nothing else, the interviewer will see that you looked at their profile and know that you’re being thorough in your research.

Wikipedia

It’s not just for last minute essays anymore. Wikipedia can be an excellent resource to learn about a company’s history, including acquisitions, mergers, awards, and other recognition.  This will be most beneficial for large companies, as they are the most likely to have detailed pages. Smaller companies don’t commonly have Wikipedia pages unless they have a uniquely innovative product or business model that has garnered news coverage.

In this competitive job market you need to take advantage of any edge you can gain on the competition. By diving deeper into your research you gain unique insights that can be applied to better questions, stronger answers, and a more informed understanding of the job.