How to conduct research on a prospective employer

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Well done to you! You have just been shortlisted for an interview at a prestigious global organisation. This really is that ‘dream job’ that you have always wanted and you want to make sure that you ace the first interview. What are your next steps? How do you go about preparing for the interview process?

Let me guess – your first port of call is the Internet – the oracle of all knowledge! I tend to agree that this would also be my first port of call. Most companies now have a social recruiting strategy so they have made it easy for candidates to prepare for interviews as there is so much information available to the public online.

Here are some pointers about how I would recommend that you prepare for this interview:

  • One of the first things you should do is to visit the company website. There should be heaps of information here. I would look at things like company success stories; organograms and mission statement. You then need to make sure you align your answers to the company’s mission statement as this will show that your values and ethics are in line with the companies. This will show that you are a good culture fit for the organisation.
  • My next step would be have a look at the company’s social media footprint. This could reflect good and bad news about the company. Most companies these days have a Facebook and LinkedIn Page as well as a Twitter feed. I would monitor these platforms as this is where you will find the most up to date news about the company. You may also find some complaints about the company that could be a warning about where their pain points are and you could mention how you would fix these issues during your interview.
  • I would also go to Google and type in the company name. There may be some websites that you have not thought to check. Were there lots of complaints or compliments on Hello Peter for example? There may also be some articles in the News about the company that you missed – News 24 is always a good site to check as they are often the first to break any news.
  • If you know the title of the role you are interviewing for, but have not seen a job spec for the role, you can always double check for a job description online. I would have a look at some of the larger career portals – like Pnet or Careers24 as the role may have been advertised there previously. This should give you a high level understanding of the job requirements. You will be able to align your current role with your new role so you could name instances where you have carried out these duties previously.

Hopefully this has given you some good tips on how to prepare for your important interview with your dream company! Now go forth and impress the socks off that interview panel!

Originally Posted here http://www.itsaboutpeople.co.za/Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=128

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