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Three Tips to Research a Future Employer Prior to That Interview

suitWe know the deal. You’re pressed for time with that upcoming job interview. So pressed, in fact, that you barely have time to get your suit dry cleaned and ready to go but aside from rocking out to your appearance, there’s one area you simply shouldn’t overlook: Research.

If you don’t come prepared, it could be game over before it already began. For starters, what media company would want to hire someone who didn’t do their homework? This is your shot to do some digging, really snoop around in the spirit of not only landing the job but seeing any potential red flags sooner rather than later.

1. Look online in the press room. Yes, this is so trite to tell you to Google the company so we won’t even do that. You’re smarter than that and we know that, too. Smile. But what you can do is check out the press page on the company’s web site. Why have they been in the news lately? Are they expanding one area of business? Are they being sued by anyone? Any new product launches?

The media page with current press releases can provide a lot of insight to the company. Plus, when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, not only is it helpful to have this information in your back pocket, it will look oh-so-good when you ask a relevant question. You can say something like, “I noticed on your website there’s a news release last month that indicated xyz. How will that impact your department?”

2. Check out Glassdoor. When you’re on the interview you probably know how important it is to check out the corporate culture while you’re there. Again, keep that journalism hat firmly intact and poke around. Do people look happy or unhappy? Is it a loud or quiet office? Better yet, is there free food? (Kidding on the last one but if you do walk by the water cooler, you can see if people stop to chat or if their heads are buried in the sand.)

Anyway, Glassdoor is yet another online method to do your homework. Employees rate their satisfaction, among other things, on the site. Are you going to make judgments on an entire company based on feedback from strangers? Probably not but it can help provide insight to the company if there are common threads like not promoting from within or the opposite of having strong management with an open door policy. Win.

3. Check out your interviewers on LinkedIn. Yes, they’ll know you viewed their profile but who cares? Don’t you want to check out their backgrounds and career paths, even out of curiosity? Insert it into the conversation like, “I noticed on LinkedIn that you’ve worked here for six years. Why do you enjoy working here?” Check out their responses.

This is your chance to do your due diligence and people love talking about themselves anyway so you can kill two birds with one stone. And by checking out their profile, you may notice they have something in common with you like the same alma mater or professional networking group.

And hey, remember they’re checking out your LinkedIn profile and social media footprint as well. Just as they’re interviewing you, you should be interviewing them to see if it’s a good fit on both ends.

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