In “Job Interview: How to Win It (1)” it was discussed that preparing for an interview (before the interview) is one of the most important things that determine our success or failure in the fight for the vacant job.
Now it’s time to see how to prepare for the interview, and more specifically, what sources we can use in gathering information about the employer.
Below you will see the Top 10 sources of information, not in order of importance, i.e. it is good to use several sources, preferably almost all or all.
So here are the sources of employer information:
Top 10 sources of information about the employer before the interview
1. Company website
If we do not know well the company or organization in which we have been invited for a job interview, one of the first sources of information about our potential employer is its website.
Nowadays, a large number of Bulgarian companies have their own company websites. Good or bad, beautiful or ugly, functional or non-functional – it doesn’t matter if they allow us to collect enough information.before the interview
You can find out what the website address is either by reading it from the job ad (if it is posted there), or by looking at the domain of the email address that is placed in the job ad, or by searching the internet for the company name .
If all three don’t help, just pick up the phone, call the company and ask for their website address. They will tell you, and if you have to explain why you are asking (who knows?) – just say that you will apply for a position with them.
In Preparing for an interview through the employer’s company website, you can see in more detail what information you should collect about your potential employer from their company website before you meet them during the job interview.
2. Advertising materials
Often times, from the advertising materials of a company, we can get a lot of information that will be useful to us during the interview.
The difficulty for you may stem from the fact that, unlike the company site, which is easy to find and visit, advertising materials are not always available at the right time. Still, there are ways.
For example, yesterday I was in the branch of 3 banks on different occasions. Two of them had advertising materials placed on the table/counter. They described the products of the respective banks, and one advertising material was designed as a booklet and contained detailed information about the bank’s socially responsible activities – sponsorships, patronage of various events, etc. before the interview
Well, if I am applying for the marketing or PR department of the respective bank, this information will be useful for me to have a competent conversation every year about the bank’s endeavors in the field that interests me.
You get my point – whenever you can, get the promotional materials of the companies you’re applying to. In them you can find interesting details and information that will do you a great job during the interview.
3. Internet forums
Internet forums are a useful source of information for employers. All kinds of people enter them and they often talk with numbers and facts about their various former and current employers.
Most often, in the forums you will come across negative information – how little they pay, how badly they treated the staff, how some manager was incompetent, etc. I advise you to read all of this with a critical eye. before the interview
Certainly there are many cases of improper or bad treatment of employees by employer representatives, but it is also true that if people were better prepared before accepting the job (this is precisely the preparation we are talking about here as well), they would not make the mistake of starting at the respective firm, nor would they criticize bitterly afterwards.
Look for those forums that are not “trash bins” full of negativity and bitterness, but give you an opportunity to get an idea of both the cons and the pros of a company, the inner life there, the perspectives, the way of thinking. before the interview
And once you gather enough serious information from internet forums, you’ll be much more prepared to have a serious conversation during the job interview.
Blogs can also be a source of information about specific employers or jobs, but they are not the same as forums.
The difference with blogs is that they speak in the first person singular in the largest percentage of cases, and not anonymously. The author of a blog has usually written his name, he belongs to the so-called “blogger commonality” where things like reputation, candor, honesty, truth are held. before the interview
If you come across a blog comment about a potential employer of yours, give it the attention it deserves. A comment like this can have much more value to you as a candidate in the course of a job interview than 100 anonymous messages on forums (which we talked about above).
Apart from the “quick” Internet sources such as the company website, forums and blogs, you can also prepare for your job interview by gathering data from the press – newspapers and magazines.
In the “paper” press, you can find more serious materials about the companies, reflecting their development, their plans for the future, problems, achievements. All this can only be useful for your interview.
Keep in mind, however, that a very large percentage of the materials in the press are the so-called “press releases” submitted by the company itself or by its PR agency to newspapers and magazines. Usually, in these press releases (press releases) you can only find nice, “beautiful” things about the companies.
I am also aware of cases in which articles were published in certain media to the detriment of specific companies. Journalist friends have shared with me that they had to write commissioned articles against someone.
I mention this because it’s a good thing to keep in mind when evaluating whether or not information about a company is presented objectively and truthfully.
Specialized, branch publications can be especially useful to you. In them you could find more in-depth information, analysis of trends in the industry, interviews with managers. before the interview
If you are interested in working for certain positions or companies, then you know better than I what specialist publications to read.
6. Job Sites
Yes, job search and job sites can be a useful source of information for an employer.
Specifically, in them you can see what other vacancies the company that invited you for an interview has advertised, what compensation it offers in the announcements, what additional incentives and bonuses, etc.
If you are looking for information about your employer through this source, you can familiarize yourself.
7. Past and present employees
This source of information is probably one of the most prioritized for you.
If you know former or current employees of the company where you intend to go for an interview – talk to them urgently. In just 10 minutes, you will gather much more and more reliable information than any company website, forum or newspaper article.
The employees will give you a quick overview of what is happening in the company, whether it is growing or rather stagnant/declining, what the microclimate is like, what the problems are. This will make you more prepared and confident in your personal presentation at the interview.
In What interview information can we get from company employees, you can see in more detail what information you could gather about your potential employer from current and former employees.
8. Friends and acquaintances
Even if you do not personally know current or former employees of the company you will be interviewing for, you may still have friends or acquaintances who have friends or acquaintances who are or have been employees of the company in question.
A few quick phone calls and a reference to 5-6 people – your friends or acquaintances can help you reach useful information about the employer that would otherwise remain hidden from you.
One of the most accurate channels of information for a company is its customers. Therefore, it is good to hear what they think about your possible future employer.
Such information can be gathered if you contact acquaintances who are (were) clients of the company, explain to them that you will apply there and ask for their opinion. before the interview
Another possibility is to look for customer opinions in specialized places – forums or sites where the customer’s word is given. In Dir.bg, for example, there are so-called “blacklists” of companies that have stood out with poor service. At Client.bg, customers are given the opportunity to make a compliment or complain to a certain company.
Whichever option you choose, remember – customers are external to the company, who can orient you very well about the problems and peculiarities in a company, which will help you when you appear for the job interview.
In What interview information can we get from the firm’s clients, you can see in more detail what information you could gather about your potential employer from the firm’s clients.
Suppliers can also be a useful source of information for an employer.
From a supplier (if you know one), you can find out, for example, whether the company is correct in its commercial relationships, whether it pays on time, whether it increases the volumes of purchased goods, raw materials or materials, etc.
From one supplier you can also find out the names of important figures in a company – middle and senior managers. They know this because they have to deal with these managers. before the interview
For you, this information can be useful in many ways, at the very least you can mention (allegedly by the way) a specific name during the interview, which will make an impression and, in addition to showing that you have thoroughly prepared for the interview, will give you help them remember you.
These were the Top 10 main sources of information about an employer before you meet them face to face for a job interview. Make the most of them whenever possible.
We recommend you to see our articles in the how to make category that we have prepared for you.