Before you appear for your job interview, it’s important to know a few things about your potential employers and assess them. It’s true that they will size you up during the application and interview process, but it doesn’t mean you should have no clue about who they are. Taking some time to research and find a few things about your employer indicates that you’re intelligent, really care about the job, and have invested time to study your potential employers to find if they are the right fit for you. Additionally, it will also help you ask relevant questions during an interview to impress your interviewers.
Here are the top four ways to find more about your potential employers:
1. Check social media
Though social media is a less-reliable source of information and often won’t tell you the whole story, it can still be an easy place to get some information about a company. Unlike Glassdoor, where you can get to know about your potential employer’s salary structure, work environment, etc., social media accounts of companies are controlled pretty tightly. But you can find what present and past employers are saying about the company.
For instance, a company may run multiple training programs on the books, while in reality, just a handful could be organized regularly. What type of training programs are run by it, the time or other facilities it gives its employees to attend such programs, the results the completion of such programs have on employees’ salary or other perks, etc., could be found by browsing the social media. Again, if you see people saying the same things (good or bad) consistently about a company or its work culture, chances are there’s some truth to it.
2. Tap into your own networks
Your friends, family, neighbours, college alumni, or others in your network who know the company can act as good sources of information. Whether these people have worked in the company themselves or know someone in their circles who have, they can give you useful insider information about the company and what you can expect.
Since many educational institutions work closely with the corporate world and other potential employers, who can absorb their students once they pass out, your professors too can be an extremely important source of information. From giving you advice about preparing for your typical HR interview to telling you a thing or two about your potential employers, your professors can offer crucial nuggets of information.
3. Scrutinize the company website
Your potential employer’s website should be a good place to look for indicators if it’s committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion programs that go beyond a financial pledge or mission statement. You should browse their website to note what they have done and if their actions or online materials reflect diversity and inclusion. Try to find if the company’s leadership team is homogeneous and whether they reveal what percentage of their employees are in different demographic categories. If available on their website, you should study the company’s most recent quarterly or annual report, as it can indicate where it’s heading to, in the future. Studying a company’s website may also help you find the available benefits, which would be useful to know as a potential employee.
Other things to check on the website are the emphasis placed on opportunities for career growth, community engagement, and giving back to society, among others. Be it facilities offered for career growth, volunteering programs and social welfare drives, or awards or accolades conferred by community groups, all indicate a company that would be a good place to work in.
You could even check customer feedback, such as product and service reviews, to get some useful insight into the company.
4. Check work-flexibility attitude
Since remote work and work from home (WFH) are touted as the future most professionals will have to get used to, it pays to find out what your potential employer’s stance is on remote work. Check what their website, social media accounts, press releases, news coverage, or employees are saying. If they’re saying nothing, it’s a bad sign as keeping employees in the dark about its plans, opinions, or preparations about accommodating remote work or hybrid work may trigger frustration and even a lot of gossip.
You should take note of how the company has worded its job description to detect if remote work is an option. However, as a new employee, negotiating a remote-work option is typically difficult since many employers prefer their new recruits to be onsite, as they believe it’ll give them a better opportunity to learn the company culture. If WFH is important or non-negotiable for you (say, for reasons like being a single parent with a young child or having ailing parents), you should be upfront about it during the interview.
With the above steps, you should be able to size up your potential employers and decide if they’re worth sitting for an interview, and finally, joining if given an offer of employment.
Thank you for reading,
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