STEP 9 - Get Hired
March 01, 2008
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Do your homework before the big interview
-by John Rossheim, Monster contributing writer
With employers in more control of the labor market, candidates feel compelled to give it their all when preparing for interviews. And that includes mounting a broad, deep search for relevant information about the position, the company, the industry and even the interviewer. For HR candidates in particular, it is critical to demonstrate understanding of what the company does, its organizational structure, and even its corporate culture. Here is a list of diverse resources that will let you achieve a competitive edge.
1. Employers’ Web Sites: Your prospective employer’s corporate Web site is the best place to see the company as it wants to be seen. Do check out that annual report, but also look for a “press room” or “company news” page that links to recent news releases. As you mull all this information, consider how the open position, as detailed in the job posting, relates to the company’s mission.
2. Research Employers: Next, get some vital statistics and independent perspectives on your prospective employer. Hoover’s Online, for one, provides capsule descriptions, financial data and a list of competitors for thousands of large corporations.
3.News Sources: Now broaden your perspective and see what general-interest and business publications and Web sites are writing about the employer and its industry. Search national publications for news on major corporations; use hometown newspapers to learn about small businesses and how big businesses interact with their local communities. Refdesk and bizjournals also offer gateways to journalism on companies and industries.
4. Trade Journals: Taking cues from your research so far, drill down into your target company and its place in the industry by looking at trade journals and other specialized publications to find out about new products and what the trade is saying about the company.
5. Industry Directories: By now, you’ve probably got some very specific questions regarding the employer and your potential role there. Go directly to the grapevine by making contact with other workers at your target company or elsewhere in the industry. You can also use networking services to get in touch with people inside the company.
6. Google: Finally, if you hope to have a company ogling you, try Googling them first. You just might come up with a nugget you would have missed otherwise. While you’re at it, Google yourself to make sure you and the interviewer are on the same page. Because if he’s savvy, he’s doing unto you as you’ve just done unto him and his company.
For more job, interview and resume tips, go to the HRPeople Jobs & Careers section.