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Are You Interviewing Potential Employers?... Well, You Should Be!

When you are a job seeker, it is very important to understand the company and the actual position the company is currently looking to fill. Throughout the process you, the candidate, should be researching. This research should be a combination of online research and first-hand research through asking direct questions when you have the opportunity. 
Here are a few things to keep in mind. 

1. Research the Company Online Before Applying. 
  • Job Description - Read this more than once to get an idea of the company, the duties of the role and the needed and preferred qualifications. (Please keep in mind that you do not need to have ALL of the qualifications to apply in most cases, however the more qualifications you do hold, the better.)
  • Know the Business - Understand what the company actually does to make profits. At the end of the day, employers want employees that will be able to see the big picture. This means understanding and helping the company reach business goals. 
  • Get the Scoop on What Current Employees Think - Research sites like Glassdoor.com or Indeed.com to find reviews on the company. When looking at these reviews, search for trends and please keep in mind that not all reviews can be taken seriously. If see trends mentioned about the company good/bad there is a greater chance the information being provided should be noted. Also, you will want to find reviews from those working in the department you'd potentially work in. Doing this research will give you a better idea of the company culture. You will see things like the environment, dress, training opportunities, management, etc. 
  • Network - Search a site like LinkedIn.com or even research the background/bio of your pass professors/colleagues. The idea is to find out if you know someone that has worked or currently works at the company  you're interested in. This can help in two ways: 
    • It will give you a better idea of what the company is like and what they look for in candidates and possibly the types of people that excel there. 
    • Second, this may give you another way of getting your resume in front of a hiring manager. At this point you should know whether you will want to pursue the job so if you know someone who can refer you, your chances of an snagging interview are going to increase. I cannot emphasize enough how great referrals are to getting a candidate in the door at a company. 
2. Ask Questions During the Interview
Okay, now that you know this is a good opportunity to pursue and you have applied, you should get a response if you are a good fit for the role. Once you get the interview, do not stop researching!
  • Show You've Done Research - Ask questions about the company/job that you weren't able to find in your research. And when you ask these questions, be sure to show you have done research. Example: "During my research I learned that your company prides itself on maintaining a very open environment, can you tell me more about the company culture?"
  • Ask Follow Up Questions - There is no way that an employer has completely answered ALL of your questions and you have absolutely no follow up questions. Do not hold in those lingering questions. It is your job to leave an interview with a good understanding of the role/company so you can decide whether the move will be a good fit for you. 
3. Recognize the Interviewers Time
  • Say Thank You - Remember to thanks the person(s) answering your questions. It shows that you really appreciate gaining the insights the interviewer is providing. 
Well there you have it! I hope this helps someone who is job searching. Remember, if this is a job that you are wanting to hold for a while, you want to be sure that it will be the right step for you and your future career. It is easy to think that an interview is just time for us to get the third-degree from an employer, but please know that you should also be interviewing the company!

Jess


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