“Fortune favors the prepared mind.”– Louis Pasteur
by Maureen Koenen, Co-Chair, Marketing Committee
I don’t know if Mr. Pasteur was ever unemployed but his philosophy certainly supports the theory that you have to go into every interview prepared. Not only do you need to have energy, exude confidence and communicate effectively, you must also do your due diligence in researching the company for your potential new position.
So even though you’ve done a ton of work in writing your resume and networking till you think you know everyone who lives and works within a 15-mile radius, once you get an interview, the work really begins. Unfortunately, many times there is a very short window between being asked for an interview and being able to accurately profile the company.
Listed below are resources that may be used to quickly and easily gather great “background” on your potential new employer. It may also provide insights that would let you know if you are interviewing for just a “job” or if this company can provide the “career” opportunities you can use to highlight your talent and develop more relevant skills.
1. Use the company’s own website. Start with your preference of search engines, i.e., Google, Yahoo, etc., and input company name. Remember when reading the proprietary information on the company’s site; you will find nothing derogatory or anything that hints at any internal business challenges. The home website is a great starting point but there is much more to research.
2. Research the current stock values and see “real” time updates on companies: Three helpful sites might be: www.NASDAQ.com, www.MARKETwatch.com and http://finance.yahoo.com
3. The website, www.quintcareers.com established as an extension of the book “The Quintessential Career” by Randall S. Hansen, PhD, offers the following as research engines according to business sector:
- a. For Publicly Held Companies use Business Week Online: Company Research or Hoovers Online
- b. For Privately Held Companies use Forbes Largest Private Companies or The Inc. 500
- c. For Non Profit use Volunteering and Non Profit Career Resources or General Professional Organizations and Associations
Everything listed above is easily accessed from your home computer but remember the library has a plethora of periodicals, reference guides and staff that would be more than happy to assist you in your research.