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  • Writer's pictureBetsy Kent


Almost any career coach will tell you that you must research a company you are interested in working for. But not all coaches tell you how to do that in a way that sets you apart from everyone else. Most job seekers just go on the company website and/or rely on what they have seen, heard or coincidentally read about the company.

So first, let's talk about WHY it's important to show that you have a deep understanding of any company you are interested in working for. There are three main reasons.

1. RETENTION - It reveals how interested you are in the position, the company and the industry.

Recruiting for new positions is expensive in time and money for any company. The amount of interest and knowledge you show gives the interviewer the sense that you are genuinely interested in THIS PARTICULAR position/company/industry and will stay for a reasonable amount of time.

2. COMPETENCE - It shows that you understand the struggles, goals and content of the industry/company/role.

Understanding the larger context within which a company or team is working means you are more likely to “hit the ground running” and have the ability to assess the priority of your workload in a way that assists the company in achieving their goals.

3. WORK ETHIC - It uncovers your work ethic, creativity and courage.

By exhibiting deep knowledge and/or asking probing, well informed questions you show your work ethic - your willingness to put in the time to research the company beyond their website and general public knowledge. It is also an indication of your creativity and ability to think beyond the surface, and your courage to ask challenging questions and discuss complex issues.

So how do you research a company so you can achieve these 3 goals?

Here are 6 ways to look for relevant information.

1. Company Website - Everyone does this BUT very few click on EVERY link and read EVERYTHING. This alone will set you apart from most other job seekers.

2. Interviews/Papers/Articles with Leadership/Executives - This is important because nuggets of information are inadvertently revealed that are usually edited out of marketing and public written material. Also it allows you to “speak their language” and “mirror them” which leads them to assume that you are likeable and credible.

Google “Company Name and Leadership Team”

  • Find leaders most aligned with your interest

  • Look for keynote addresses at conferences, ted talks, podcast appearances, etc. You are looking for information delivered in their own words first. Then move on to the written material.

  • TIP: for all audio material, list at 1.5 or 2 times speed!

3. Additional Resources for a PUBLIC Company -

a. Listen to Earnings Calls - they are public and usually you can find a transcript, powerpoint deck or audio/video of the call.

  • Google - Company Name and Investor Relations or go to their website and check out the Events/ Presentations Tab

b. - Type in CompanyName and/or stock Ticker and check the News Column and the Analysis Column.

4. Additional Resource for a Start Up Company: Crunchbase - Every company profile has a “Recent Activity” section that consolidates recent articles and news.

5. Employee Interviews YouTube/Google - you will see what they are focussed on and

what language they use.

  • Google - Search: Company Name Interview - Search for an executive’s name and then google: Person Company Name Interview

  • YouTube - Search: Person Company Name Interview

6. Speak Directly to Current Employees - They can speak to the challenges, goals and

initiatives the team/company is facing. They can also shed light on WHY they are hiring

and WHAT they are looking for.

If you delve into even two or three of these resources you will be far ahead of most other candidates. In addition, you will learn about the company, the industry and its thought leaders, which might validate your interest in the type of roles you are looking for. Plus, almost all the information you collect can be useful in other interviews for other similar positions in other companies.

So dive in and learn all you can!

PS - If you want to figure out how to prepare to be the best prospective applicant for any job, sign up for a free consultation with me and let’s talk. CLICK HERE to sign up for a spot on my calendar.

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