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Company Research

Where to Conduct Company Research before Interviews

If you're a college or trade-school student, or a recent alumni of either, check with the career center at your school. Many maintain libraries of company research resources. Also check at the campus library for same.

Public libraries stock company research resources too, such as the Thomas Register. If you don't know where to look, just ask a librarian for help.

The Web is an excellent place to research a company for interviews. Many companies know that you might be visiting their Web sites for exactly that reason; for example, Intel and Microsoft are very accommodating, as are many.

Even if Web sites don't provide company research information specifically for interviewees, most provide information for customers or the media that might also be useful to you. To find a company's Web site, try typing the following into your browser; replace [company_name] with that of the company.

http://[company_name].com
or
http://www.[company_name].com

If that doesn't work, search on the company name at a major search engine or right here at TechnicalJobSearch.com.

Study information on the site about the company. Also study the description of the job for which you are to interview. Get the job description from the employment section of the company's site or from the job ad you read, whichever is more descriptive. Alternately, look on the site for contact information to ask the human resources (HR) department for a copy of the job description.

Speaking of the HR department, one of the best places to research a company is at the source; it won't hurt to contact the HR department to ask about company literature that you may research for an upcoming interview. In fact, the HR department, which likely has a say in whether or not you're to be hired, might be impressed that you took the time to research the company.

See also best companies lists; with luck, the company at which you're to interview will be profiled.

Conduct further company research by looking for good or bad news about the company, at sites that publish business or financial news; good sources include Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Fortune, Business Week, MSNBC, and the business sections of online newspapers.

To try to save time, conduct a general search on the full company name at a major search engine or right here at TechnicalJobSearch.com, which will conveniently list links to any recent good- or bad-news articles it finds, all in one place.

If you really want to get down to the nitty-gritty, scope out the company's annual report from an investor's point of view. After all, if you wouldn't risk investing your money in a financially-iffy company, would you want to risk investing your blood, sweat and tears?

Company Research
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