Conducting research on organizations that you
wish to apply to and interview at is a commonly overlooked step in the job
search and interviewing process. However, organizations expect candidates
to have a basic understanding of the organization when interviewing for a
position. Therefore some careful advance research will not only help you
decide if it is a place that you wish to apply to and work at, it will aid you
during the interview process.
Here are some things you
should know about a given company:
- History of the organization
- Organizational structure, branches,
additional locations, size
- Major competitors (if applicable)
- Know what they do and/or what they produce
- The mission and vision of the company
- Any recent news, successes, changes to the
- Know what is occurring in that company's
industry in general
What you need to know will vary by industry, but
regardless doing a little homework in advance will pay off. There are a
variety of sources to obtain this information:
- Word of Mouth: Getting the insider
scoop or referral from a trusted source is one of the best resources.
- Organization Website: Go beyond the
"About Us" section and dig a little deeper. Using the "Site Map" is
- Google the Organization: See if they
have been featured in news articles, industry reports, etc.
- LinkedIn: This professional social
network allows organizations to create their own pages with company
details, open positions, etc. You can also see if anyone in your
network works for the organization.
- Professional Associations: Most
organizations belong to a variety of industry, trade or business
associations in their field of focus. These groups often have industry
information, directories of organizations and similar types of information.
Center for Association Leadership: Association Directory are good
- Chambers of Commerce: These
local/regional groups often have organization directories, organization
information, networking events and information that you can utilize when
doing company research.
U.S. Chamber of
Commerce maintains a searchable database of these organizations across
The BSU Library also subscribes to a variety of
databases, local and national newspapers which can be helpful in your
research. The full list of these resources are available at:
http://maxguides.bridgew.edu/databases. Specific databases we
ReferenceUSA (U.S. and International): This database lets you search for
organizations by a variety of methods including industry type, size of
organization and location. You can download the reports with company
contact information and details.
Business and Company Resource Center: Similar to ReferenceUSA,
this database allows you to search for companies but also provides access to
newspaper articles and publications related to organizations that you are
In addition to these, here are some websites and
databases that we have compiled to assist you in conducting research:
Last Modified: September 24, 2012