How to Dig Deep Before the Interview

HCdig-deepIt’s no secret that researching a company before a job interview can help you stand out. But what exactly do you need to know to make a winning impression? For starters, go beyond the company website when gathering information.

“The key for job seekers is to use information about employers to move interviewers off their scripts and into a real conversation,” says Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and deputy director of global expansion at the Maharishi University of Management. “This means asking questions based on real information.”

To get information that allows you to shine at your next interview follow these research suggestions:

  • Get the inside scoop. Tap your social network to connect with current and former employees for insider information. These conversations can shape your questions and set you apart from your competitors.
  • Search for a match in values. Research whether the prospective employer can provide what’s important to you, advises Johanna Bartlett, BSN, RN, and a nurse recruiter at Indiana University Health. Do you want a clinical ladder or career advancement program for quicker upward mobility? Is working for an organization with a commitment to diversity or corporate social responsibility important? “Seek out company information that can tell you if the company’s ethos aligns with what’s important to you,” advises Amy Bravo, assistant dean of career services at New York Institute of Technology.
  • Review locations. Know where your prospective employer is located, if they have multiple sites. How’s the employment rate in those locales? Who are their biggest competitors?
  • Research the interviewers. “Learn about their experience and the role they serve in the company,” advises Bravo. “Also look at the organizations they are linked to.”
  • Know the company’s mission and goals. This information should be easily found on the company website, or written within each of their job postings.
  • Search news and industry sites for information about the company. Go to the “media” section of an employer’s website and look for their most recent press releases. Or consider using a reference librarian to find newspaper, magazine or trade journal articles for company events, awards, leadership changes and other news.
  • Update yourself on the state of the industry, especially the challenges. “This knowledge can help guide the questions you ask the interviewer,” says Bravo. Check out HealthLeaders Media for current business news about the healthcare industry.
  • Review the hospital’s online rankings. You’ll find annual rankings from U.S. News & World Report; other organizations also review hospitals based on different criteria.
  • Get employment data. Be clear on the market value of your position, the supply and demand for your skills and how this information impacts what you can command from a new employer.
  • Visit Glassdoor.com. Read employee reviews of a company. Look at the quantity and quality of the feedback.

Related articles:
How to Look Smart in Your Next Interview
Do Your Homework Before the Interview

© Health Callings, Dice Holdings Inc., 2013

About Robin Farmer

Robin Farmer is a versatile freelance journalist with a focus on health, business and education. A former newspaper reporter with an investigative background, she is a recipient of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Robin writes to engage, educate and empower readers. She lives in Virginia.

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