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4 tips for researching a prospective employer

You just got off the phone with the manager of a local company, and you have a job interview set up for next week. Although you are excited about the possibility of full-time employment and steady income, you realize you’re not completely sure what the company does, who owns the business, and who their clients are.

As international recruiting firm, MRI Network notes, it’s definitely time to channel your inner Nancy Drew (or Hardy Boys) and do some detective work to find out more about your prospective employer. 

In addition to giving you a competitive edge by helping you competently answer questions during the interview like, “Why do you want to work for us?”, and "Tell me what you know about XYZ Corp.", researching a company ahead of time will help you evaluate any job offers that might be coming your way.

With this in mind, the following four tips can help you perform a thorough background check on the company:

Check out the company website

Since most businesses use their websites as a way to generate business, they are often chock-full of useful information about the company and what they do. 

Before you head to your interview, spend time on the company site reading about what services and products they offer, as well as browsing through any news articles and press releases that are posted to the company site. 

Many sites include “About Us” and/or “Meet the Staff” sections that feature biographies and photos of employees; this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the staff and maybe even get to know a bit about your interviewer ahead of time. 

Company websites may also have pages filled with helpful information for potential employees; for example, for people who are interested in working at LifeLock, the site lists the employee perks, current job openings and other great info.

Check out their social media pages

As HCareers notes, you should also check out the company’s LinkedIn page, which may give you more information about the key players in the business as well as their backgrounds. Knowing ahead of time where the managers worked may help you decide if you will get along well and will be a good fit at the company. Also, spend some time on the company’s Facebook page as well as any other social media sites; on Facebook you can read comments from customers as well as the company’s replies to them, and see what types of posts the employees make.

Check out Glassdoor.com

Since the company’s website and its social media pages will be controlled by the management and employees, the information may be overwhelmingly (unnaturally) positive. To get a more balanced view, spend time visiting review sites that offer more unbiased reviews. Glassdoor.com is a website that features more than 6 million company reviews, salary reports, CEO approval ratings, and much more. All of the information on the site is shared by employees or recent interviewees of the companies, which means you can get a great inside look at your potential employer by spending time researching the business on this site.

Check out Google

Another great way to learn more about a company is to simply visit Google and search for its name. This will probably bring up results like customer reviews and/or complaints, articles about the business, and other helpful information. The firm’s Better Business Bureau rating might also appear, which will provide you with valuable information about any customer complaints and how the company was able to handle them.

In conclusion, if you want to impress the hiring company, do your homework! 

Guest post by SocialMonsters.org

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