Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

Before job interview, research company on the Internet

You hear it all the time from career experts: "Research the company before you go into a job interview." But what does that mean, exactly? Here are some tips on using the Internet and tapping your network to gain information and insight that'll improve your interview answers — and help you ask the right questions.

The company's mission: Your prospective employer's website is a great place to see the company as it wants to be seen. Look for its mission statement — something that outlines the company's values (perhaps on an "About Us" or similar page). Then consider how the position you want relates to that mission. Also think about how your experience and background have prepared you to support the company's goals. Don't parrot a mission statement back word for word, but do let it inform your discussion.

Recent company achievements: While you're at the company's site, look for a "Press Room" or "Company News" page that links to recent news releases. (Or simply search the Web for news about the company.) Then think about the long-term implications of this news — not only for the company, but also for you when you get the job — and prepare some questions about the news if that makes sense. Your well-informed conversation may be a critical factor in your interview's success.

Your interviewers: If the company site has a search tool, use it to search for the names of the people you'll be meeting. You may find bio pages or press releases that give you insight into their most visible activities at the company. Then look to LinkedIn or do a general Web search to get some more background information about them. You might find some common ground (for instance, a shared alma mater) you can bring up in conversation, or a recent professional achievement for which you can pay a compliment.

What to wear: The company's Website can also help you determine how to dress for the interview. Are there pictures of the executive team? If they're all wearing dark business suits, you should probably dress very formally. If the CEO is pictured wearing a T-shirt, business casual is probably fine (though you'll rarely want to dress more casually than that).

The industry: Next, learn what general-interest publications, trade publications and blogs are saying about your employer and the industry as a whole. Search national publications for news on major corporations; use hometown newspapers to learn about small businesses or local industries. Depending on your field, you should be prepared to discuss your industry's financial prospects or other industry trends.

People on the inside: People who already work at the company are another great source of information — they can give you insight into business initiatives, corporate culture and even personality dynamics. Start on LinkedIn to see if you have any connections — but don't stop there. Look to professional organizations and alumni organizations you belong to, and ask friends and relations if they know anyone who might have information to share about your prospective employer.

Research yourself: Now that you've found out everything you can about the company and the people who'll be interviewing you, Google yourself — you can be sure the interviewers will be doing the same. (If you have a common name, use your name and city or your name and industry as the search term.) First, make sure that everything a Web search reveals about you presents you in a good light. Then prepare to discuss the search's top hits — they might just come up at your interview.

© 2012 — Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster.com. To see other career-related articles, visit http://career-advice.monster.com. For recruitment articles, visit http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices.aspx.

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18