In today’s hyper-competitive job market, it is not enough to go into an interview without a thorough understanding of the company you’re interviewing with or without a gigabyte of knowledge about the type of job you’re interviewing for.
As I’ve said time and again, in prepping for a job, you should be working 40+ hours per week. That prep time should include, among other things, writing and rewriting your resume, practicing your interviews, and performing job and company research.
Today I’m going to tell you how to research a company in a way that’ll make you an amazingly hot commodity.
How does it make you hot?
Knowledge is power baby. The most confident people are often those who know their subject matter best. If I know what I am talking about, who I am talking to, I feel more at ease. That ease or confidence communicates loud and super clear! Knowing your company inside out and backwards will win more arguments than it will lose! …and in this case, the argument is “should we hire you or not?”
Knowing your company can make you really persuasive. It’ll also help you think up creative ways you can assist the company. If you know much about the company, you can see solutions. Not that they’ll like your solutions, but they will like your passion.
Bottomline: knowing your company can make you hot Hot HOT!
So what does someone who’s hot know about a company?
They tend to know about seven different areas. They tend to know about a companies:
- Competitive profile—how are they positioned in the marketplace? How hard competitors are fighting against them.
- Size and Growth Patterns—How big the company is? .
- Direction—can be difficult to find, but worth the chase.
- Products or services—what does it do?
- Culture and Reputation—though often subjective, still important.
- History—it’s future might be influenced by it’s past.
- Net Worth—finances are hard to get a hold of sometimes, but again…worth it. You want to know if the company is in trouble.
How do I get the knowledge?
The key to doing brilliant research is having good questions! Ask a good question, get a good answer. Ask a poor question, get a poor answer. Today I’m going to give you some questions you can use to ask when doing your research. But first….
Where can we find knowledge?
(I want to you readers to write some good research sites in the comments box. Pass on the knowledge. Also feel free to pass on some research tips.)
The internet, baby! Some great sites for Korean business—in English or Korean: company’s direct website, or Korchambiz.net (Korean Chamber of Commerce has great information), Yahoo Finance—English, KoDart.or.kr (executive & industry information) These are free. One pay site that I know of includes people.joins.com. Offers awesome information about managers and CEO’s of companies.
But what do you do if the company is small?
Open up the Yellow Pages and give a company a call. Informational interviews. Some people think this is rude? I don’t think so. I think you can call people and ask. Remember your intention. When doing an informational interview, you’re not looking for a job. You’re collecting information. Ask them for ONLY 10-15 minutes of their time. (Keep your Promise, don’t go over 15 mins.) Be very polite. Stay away from salary questions. Keep it business related. Also, keep away from financial information. Say thank you for your time, and hang up.
If you are interested in applying, a few weeks later, you can write and tell them that you were interested. Tell then that if they are ever looking for a new employee, consider you for a specific position.
But I also know that there are a tremendous amount of web boards, blogs etc. that are available. So readers, send some information. Share the love, people!
Once you find some good places to gather information, you break your search up. As I said, there are seven key areas you’ll want to find answers to. (Check out books by Joyce Lain Kennedy for more questions. She helped me write this today!)
Let’s start with Competitive Profile:
- Who are the company’s competitors?
- What are the company’s current projects?
- What’s the industry like? Growing?
- What technologies does it use?
Size and Growth Patterns:
- What does the company do?
- Has it expanded globally?
- What are the divisions or subsidiaries?
- How many clients? Employees?
Direction: Can be found in newspapers, trade pubs, annual report.
- What’s the mission?
- What are it’s current problems?
- Initiating any new products?
- Current priorities?
Products or Services?: Absolutely necessary you know this!
- What services or products does the company provide?
- What are it’s areas of expertise?
- What’s it’s production standards? Quality profile??
Culture and Reputation: Subjective, but can tell you if you’ll fit in well.
- What’s the company’s business philosophy?
- What’s it’s reputation?
- What kind of employees does it usually hire? (Don’t guess…call if necessary)
- Management style?
- Woman friendly?
- Family friendly?
- Drink Friendly?
- How does it treat it’s employees?
- Work time?
- Known for change?
- Stayed the same over the years?
- How quickly has it grown?
- When was it established?
- Who started it?
- What are the companies sales?
- How stable is it’s base?
- Profit trend?
- Do employees receive earnings benefits?
I’ve just given you a brick of questions to guide you in your search for the kind of information that can help you become knowledge filled. With all the knowledge you gain from this, you’re sure to be amazingly hot! Now get to work!
See you next week!