Do Your Homework Before the Interview

Below is a list of places we recommend you visit-- online or otherwise-- when searching for information about the position, organization, industry and even the interviewer to which you are interested applying. Most of these resources are free or cheap and available on the Internet for easy access and use.

1. Career Network
Visit the Alumnae Association online.   Click on "If you're looking to contact an alumna advisor" for guidelines on contacting alumnae.  Then email the Alumnae Association to request a username and password.  Once you are in Career Network, search the industry connected with the job for which you are interviewing and identify one to two alumnae whom are working at the company that posted the position. Email or call her to ask questions about the company and to gather information about workplace culture.

2. Employers' Websites
This is the best place to see the company as it wants to be seen. Check out their annual report or any similar document and check for a "press room" or "company news" page that links to recent news releases. As you absorb all this information, consider how the open position (as detailed in the job posting) relates to the organization's mission. Search the names of the hiring manager and any others listed on your interview itinerary. Retrieve bio pages or press releases that give you insight into their most visible activities at the company and read them.

3. Research Sources
Obtaining some vital statistics and independent perspectives on your prospective employer is a necessity. Hoover's Online, Edgar-Online.com, and AnnualReportsService.com provide capsule descriptions, financial data, annual reports, and a list of competitors for thousands of large corporations.

4. News Sources
Discover what general-interest and business publications and websites are writing about the employer and its industry. You can find a wide range of media outlets at NewsLink or magazines such as Business Week. Search national publications for news on major organizations; use hometown newspapers to learn about small businesses and how big businesses interact with their local communities. Refdesk and bizjournals.com also offer gateways to journalism on organizations and industries.

5. Trade Journals
Target this resource to learn about the context of an organization and its place within its industry. Obtain a few months of the relevant trade journals and brush up on recent history of the industry such as new products, services and "word on the street" about where the organization is within its industry. Some hard copies may be found in LITS, otherwise visit the library’s homepage and search the database of journals (i.e. EBSCOHost). If necessary, ask a librarian for assistance.

6. Industry Directories
Be sure to visit the professional associations and organizations’ sites related to the company and position to which you are applying. Consider joining one if you are serious about this career field to stay current in the trends and get connected to professionals in your field. We also recommend browsing the company's profile on LinkedIN. View discussion board topics and employee profiles to gain a greater understanding of company expectations and current trends.

7. Google
To ensure that you have covered everything possible about the employer, do a final Google search. You may find something worth asking about or mentioning during your interview.

8. Career Development Center
We are always here for you during your time at MHC. If you have questions or still are not sure where to start after having read the information above, please feel free to make an appointment with a career professional by calling 413-538-2080.