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Fail to plan, plan to fail. You are certain to be asked specific questions about your potential employer, so make sure you’ve done your homework on things like their last year's profits and latest product launches. Nothing is as disappointing as when a candidate oozes enthusiasm and then doesn’t even know the most basic facts and figures about a company.

Here are a few places you can find some useful information:

An online search
The company’s website is the best place to start. It shows the company as it would like to be seen and the products and services they offer. You’ll get a feel for the corporate style, culture and tone of voice. Check out the annual report and look for a press or company news page.

As you filter all this information, consider how the role you’re applying for relates to the company’s mission. You may also be able to use the site’s search facility to discover more about the person or people who will be interviewing you.

You should spend some time looking online for any other information you can find about the company. Put their name into Google News to see if they’ve had any recent interesting stories written about them. You could also discover some information written by their current employees on what it’s like to work there.

It’s also worth searching for your own name to see what crops up – your potential employer may be doing the same thing.

Industry sources
It’s not just information about the company you need – you should also have a good background knowledge of the industry so you can impress at the interview. Browse through business publications and websites to see what they are writing about your potential employer and their industry. Have a look on the newsstands at the big magazine retailers - there’s an amazing list of publications out there.

You may find back issues of trade publications at university or public libraries, or you might be able to access them online. Some journals are even available for free or by subscription through their own websites.

If you’re already in the same industry as your potential employer, it may be possible to discreetly ask colleagues or your suppliers if they know anything about the company you’re interested in.

 

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