Why Research the Company Before an Interview?
Facts to Gather Before the Interview
- General questions, such as "What do you know about our company?" or "Why do you want to work for us?" often can make or break an interview. Knowing a bit about the company beforehand can help to answer these general, open-ended questions intelligently.
- Knowing about the company first allows you to judge whether you really want to work for them! Is the company a good match for you? Does it have a sound business record? Is it the kind of work environment, corporate culture that you want to be a part of?
- It might prompt you to ask relevant questions during the interview, allowing you to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and industry. Asking relevant questions impresses potential employers!
- Company's mission and values
- Key people in the organization
- Organizational structure of the company
- Qualities company seeks in employees
- Major products or services
- Major competitors
- Size in terms of sales and employees
- View of the company by clients, suppliers, and competition
- Corporate Culture (i.e. interactions between employees formal or informal; dress code; standards)
- Developments or changes the company is planning
- Latest news reports on the company or reviews
Step 1: Visit the company's website.
- Look for announcements, news, financial information.
- Check whether the company's annual report is available via the website. If it is, read the Executive Summary to learn the highlights of the previous year.
Step 2: Check Directories of Companies
- Confirm spelling and determine if company is public, private or a subsidiary
- Obtain telephone number so you can call company and have it send you information
- Learn basic corporate information like number of employees, sales, founding date; key officers.
- Resources available at the Statler Library include:
Step 3: Gain Background Information
- International Directory of Company Histories
Rosenberg Ref HD2721 .D36
This reference source is especially good for large corporations, such as Hilton, McDonald's, Marriott, Olive Garden, Tyson, etc.
- Hoover's Online
Browse by company name, geography, industry, or ticker symbol.
Select the Business and Company Resource Center,a fully integrated resource bringing together company profiles, brand information, rankings, investment reports,
company histories, chronologies and periodicals. Conduct a Company Search to retrieve information on a particular company.
Step 4: Search Local News Sources
Step 5: Research Industry Information
- Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys
Statler Ref HG 4057 A1 S727
- Lodging and Gaming
- Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages
- Trends in the Hotel Industry - Northern California [monthly]
Statler Ref TX 909 A1 T7464
- Restaurant Economic Trends
Statler Periodical stacks
Select the Business and Company Resource Center. Conduct an Industry Search to retrieve current information on a specific industry.