Researching the Employer
In getting ready for your interview, it is vital to analyze how your specific qualifications best meet the employer's needs. Therefore, the goal is to become an expert regarding:
- The employing organization, including its mission, size, culture, strengths and weaknesses, competitors, and any available information on your interviewers;
- Information on trends and the 'big picture' in your career field;
- The duties and challenges of the job and its relevance to the employer's mission.
Once you gain substantial knowledge in these areas, you will be well-equipped to present during your interview how you can add value to the organization. In other words, you will demonstrate how your education, experience and technical and interpersonal skills make you the best candidate to meet the employer's specific hiring needs.
Regarding the 'nuts and bolts' of the interview process, there are a few basic steps to follow. When contacted for an interview, be sure to gather information about the names and titles of your interviewers, the specific location, how long the interview will last, and whether any additional documents are needed for the interview. Finally, find out if there is any additional information available about the job - such as a more detailed job description.
Next, conduct in-depth research of the employer. Go to their website. Read about their mission, goals, products, services, history, culture, financial status, organizational structure, competitors/peers, and locations. Google the organization and your interviewers and read journal and newspaper articles in your field.
There are numerous websites to research various types of employers in the public and private sectors. Review Research and also consult the Walden Library for more information. Additionally, you may uncover items of interest by searching by your employer's name on these sites, which feature information on the corporate, nonprofit, and federal, state and local government sectors.