Researching the Company
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Before you apply for a job,
and definitely before you interview, you must take steps to understand
the position and the company or agency for whom you would work. Even
though this is the most important task for a successful interview, it is
the one that most people either skimp on or neglect. At a minimum, you
a copy of the job description and study it.
If you are interviewing on campus, most of our company descriptions
contain a short job description. You can often obtain more complete
descriptions by visiting the company's web page (also available from our
site), or by calling the company's Human Resource Department. Our office
maintains a career library with job descriptions for many occupations,
California Occupational Guide has excellent descriptions for a
variety of occupations, which include salary ranges, employment outlook,
and skills required.
yourself with your prospective employer's products and services,
organizational size, subsidiaries, profit, credit rating, and issues.
You must read the employer's web page! Most of this information,
along with career paths for employees, will be available there. If our
website does not have employer information, search the internet or
connect to the library's
e-commerce site. The Chronicle
ranks the top 200 businesses each year and links to the companies'
web sites for more information you can use. If the organization does not
have a web page, try researching the company through the library at the
company information page. This has links to company annual reports,
financial and stock information, and magazine articles about the
companies. Many of the magazine articles available through the library
have summaries that provide basic information on the contents, so you
can quickly decide if you should read the complete article. Nothing
is more impressive to a recruiter than evidence in the interview that
you have cared enough about the position to do the extra research about
company issues. The library web site also has a section on how
to research a company for your job interview.
you cannot find information through these sources because the company is
too new, or it is a small non-profit agency, call the employer and
ask a human resource professional for a copy of their annual report and
goals statement. If those are unavailable, think carefully before
interviewing or accepting a job with that organization. The job could be
a wonderful adventure with a start-up company, or it could be with a
company that is trying to improve their practices. Either way risk is
involved; it's up to you.
Practicing for the Interview