Knowing the Company You’re Applying To

How research and personal experience can help land you the job

Applying to a new company is an exciting and anxious time for many job seekers. A tough job market means the competition is hungry, too. It’s no secret that researching the company you’re applying at is a must these days, but what exactly are you supposed to research? What are you supposed to know about the company prior to the interview, and where do you find this information?

The first place to go is the company’s website. Check out the “About Us” page to find out more about the company’s history, what exactly they do, and what their core values are. Research it thoroughly and k now the information prior to your interview.

Next, check out consumer reviews of the company, particularly retail or service-oriented companies. Learning what customers have to say can also help you in your interview process – in more than one way. If customers love the company, chances are you’re applying at a worker-friendly venue with a smooth operation. However, you’re likely to find some negative reviews when researching any company. Knowing the negative reviews can give you leverage in an interview when you have effective and realistic ideas on how to fix the issues.

Next, visit the company (if it’s a public, walk-in environment like retail). Shop there or look around. Familiarize yourself with the product(s) and research them to know more about them. If it is not a public or walk-in company, check out the website again to familiarize with the products or services offered. Knowing this allows you to speak more confidently about how you are a good fit for the company and is always impressive to hiring managers.

When your interviewer asks you why you think you’re a good fit for the company (which is a standard question for in-person interviews), speak about the services or products offered, what you know about them, and which of your skills are going to be the most effective for the position. Researching the company always pays off for interviews; it also gives you a head-start on your position because you’re not going in completely blind.

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