Researching Prospective Employers
When preparing for an interview, it is imperative that you know about the employer. Most of this information can be gathered through sources available at the IU Southeast library, the Career Development Center office in University Center 106, and on the Internet. (Always ask the Reference Librarians for assistance.)
Before interviewing, you should gather the following information:
- Complete name of the organization.
- Address of the office conducting the job search
- Telephone number with area code
- Location of the main office or corporate headquarters
- Name and title of the person who will be conducting the interview.
- The size of the organization. Some employers are evaluated on the number of locations, number of employees, sales volume, assets, etc. Select one or more measures to indicate if this is a small, medium or large organization relative to others in its field.
- Product line(s) or services offered. In short, what does this employer do? Especially note the areas of activity of the location conducting the interview.
- Employment opportunities, positions available. For what are they interviewing?
- Who are the company’s competitors? Be able to name them.
- Research recent (last 24 months) news articles about this employer. If this is a local employer, don't forget to check with the Courier-Journal and Business First.
There are many ways to research an employer and all available sources should be used whenever possible. Sources of information can be broken down into various categories: people sources, paper sources and computerized sources.
When researching an employer, be certain to contact friends and relatives to seek their advice. This group of people would include immediate and extended family members, faculty and classmates. This last group is often forgotten and yet more than 90% of IU Southeast students work while attending college. In addition, contact the Better Business Bureau and the local and state Chambers of Commerce for additional information on local employers.
Directories, books, newspapers, registers and manuals can be found in libraries in most communities. These are excellent sources of information on a large number of employers.
The Internet is a valuable source of information on many topics. CD ROM data bases are available in most libraries and contain a wealth of information on many employers.