Careers

7 Ways to Get the Scoop on Employers Before You Interview

By Jennifer Mansell, Career Advisor

Have you ever struggled to explain why you were interested in working for an employer during an interview? Not only is this embarrassing, but it also reduces your chances of progressing to the next level.

Candidates who clearly articulate WHY they see themselves with the organization and HOW they can contribute to the strategic plan often receive the job offer instead of a similarly qualified candidate. Preparing for your interview requires a small investment in time compared to the dividends it provides.

Below are several resources to assist you in assessing the values, culture and role you are interviewing for.

  1. Handshake: At Augusta University, we use Handshake, an app that connects students with employers. Through this app, students can access tools to source students who have worked for various employers, follow employers via their profile, review interview feedback from students and interact via messaging.
  2. Employer Website: Be familiar with the mission and vision statements. These statements drive the company and identify its heartbeat. If the purpose of the organization aligns with your values, be able to weave this into your interview with well-crafted examples. View their press releases to know the latest initiatives and learn about their products, clients, services and competitors.
  3. Social Media: Organizations utilize social media to promote opportunities, source candidates and build their brand. LinkedIn is a great resource to connect professionally. However, social media sources such as Instagram and Facebook also provide insight into their culture and values based on activities they sponsor or participate in.
  4. Internet Search: A quick internet search provides community engagement, recognition, growth/expansion and other pertinent information you can reference during your interview. This brings you up to speed on current events that are relevant to the industry and organization. Glassdoor.com is a popular site for employee and candidate feedback regarding employers.
  5. Network: Individuals in your network who currently or previously worked there can provide insight to the overall work environment and culture. This information allows you to ascertain how well you will fit in.
  6. Investor Reports: Publicly traded organizations provide investor reports indicating the health of the company. You can also identify the business model and strategy using these resources. This information is not something everyone will be interested in. However, fully understanding the challenges of an industry and the organization will better position you to stand out in an interview.
  7. Reference Librarian: Access the reference librarian at your campus library to research the company in depth through specialized directories and guides.

Employee turnover, replacing talent and training new hires is costly. For this reason, recruiters and hiring managers assess how well of a fit you are for the position and the company. You should take this opportunity to do the same as it relates to your values and career goals.

Remember, you should also be able to explain how you will provide value to the company. It is imperative that you demonstrate your knowledge of their goals, challenges and that YOU are the best candidate.