Researching a prospective employer is fundamental throughout the recruitment process. Not only so you can tailor your presentation, but also because you need to know if you want to work for that organisation.

At the very least your research should arm you with the knowledge of the organisation’s history, major competitors and where each are positioned in the market, their product and services offered, key customers and any other recent newsworthy items. Obtaining the information may simply involve a thorough search of the company website though other informative channels may include the annual report, social media postings, trade journals, Google and your industry connections.

Knowing a potential employer and dissecting the job role can assist you to package an application that demonstrates how your abilities and worth meet the organisations values and needs. If you do this and do this well, it is likely you will book yourself an interview. The interview is your opportunity to evaluate the employing organisation and determine if they are the right fit for you. Yes, that’s right, you too are conducting an interview…on the company that is sizing you up! With every opportunity you have to interview a potential employer you want to achieve the following:

  • Ensure the interviewer is confident in your abilities and value you offer them,
  • Clearly demonstrate that you are interested in working for the hiring company, and
  • Determine if the hiring company is the right fit for you.

Knowing a potential employer can assist you to formulate insightful interview questions. And that can set you apart from other job seekers competing for the same role. As they say, knowledge is power. But simply asking questions to create a conversation will not make you memorable, you need to articulate intuitive questions that demonstrate your understanding of the job role, the company and how you can deliver the results they are looking for. Create a clear connection between yourself and the organisation. You also want to uncover any red flags.

Some questions you may ask include:

  • Tell me about your new product and your plans for growth; mention your experience in launching a new product and service, how this related to your consumers’ needs and organisation’s objectives, the results and your learnings from the experience.
  • Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications and experience?; this is a brave question that one who is confident in their own abilities asks, but also gives you the opportunity to alleviate any confusion or fears about your perceived lack of competency.
  • Why do you enjoy working here?; a personal question the interviewer’s response, or hesitation in responding, can tell you a lot about the satisfaction levels of staff.
  • What’s the next step in the process?; this quite simply demonstrates your strong interest in taking up a position within the company.

Communications between you and your potential employer needs to reveal to both parties that what each offers matches the others expectations and requirements. So make each question count. You should also Google yourself while undertaking research on the interviewing company. To think that you are the only one engaging in some investigative actions is naïve. Assume they are just as savvy thinkers as you are.

If you take a typical or casual approach to landing a job with an employer of choice, chances are you will be out shone by a hungrier and more dedicated candidate. And who wants to attend thirty job interviews before succeeding? Employers are looking for people who will fit their team and contribute positively to achieving their goals. The onus is upon you, the job seeker, to emphasise why you are the best applicant and should be offered the role. Your research will see you pitch a resume and cover letter that hits the mark, and allows you to frame perceptive questions before the interview so that you can validate to your potential employer that a beneficial correlation between both parties exists and is worth exploring. The only question you should be left asking is whether your evaluation of the prospective employer and the job role reveals the position is the right one for you.

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