Here at are-able, we always encourage job seekers to do a little background research before heading into a job interview. It demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job or industry. In today’s technological age, with tonnes of information online, you can do most of your digging from the comfort of your own home.
Just like employers Google prospective employees, you too should start by typing the company’s name into a search engine. Whether it’s good or bad, the nuggets of information are sure to be useful. Have they won awards for their services, or put their employees through an innovative training program? Or, perhaps they’ve topped the Google results for all the wrong reasons, like bad reviews, poor customer service or shaky finances. Read these articles carefully, and consider how they will guide the questions you ask in the job interview. A landslide of negative information may raise a few red flags, but remember – former employees and customers are far more likely to complain about a bad experience than a good one!
Head to their social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest) to see what’s making news in their world, as reported by them. YouTube is also invaluable for finding videos of staff presentations or company promotions.
Get to know their aims, strengths and values, so you can ask relevant questions and understand the context of the business. The ‘About Us’ section should have all the important details about their products, services and history, and you can put a face to the name by browsing staff photos, reading their recent blogs, newsletters, reports and media releases.
If the position you are applying for is in retail, hospitality or customer service, take the opportunity to be a mystery shopper. While there’s no need to go all cloak and dagger with a disguise and wig, you can still learn a lot about a company and its culture by walking into the workplace and experiencing it from a customer’s viewpoint. Do you really want to work somewhere that serves cold coffee, forgets your order and staff flinch every time the supervisor speaks to them? Or does the high level of happy, friendly people behind the desk or counter make you feel right at home?
Research the competitors
It never hurts to understand where your prospective employer is placed within the industry. Spend a little time seeing who’s their main competition, what they are offering, and how they present themselves online so you can compare them to the company you are being interviewed by, and have an idea of their different strengths and weaknesses.
A little bit of research before an interview will pay dividends later, allowing you to ask informed questions on the day, demonstrate your enthusiasm to learn and showcase how you’ll be an asset for their team.
For more ideas on ways to research your future employer, speak to our experienced team of Employment Consultants on 1800 566 066