We all know that asking questions in an interview are a good way to learn more about a company. The purpose of this activity is to find out if you want to work there too.
But to be really prepared, you need to go a lot deeper than this.
It’s time to go into “black ops” job stealth mode.
Doing your due diligence in stealth mode before, during, and after an actual interview can reveal a lot more information than initially gleaned during a 45 minute interview.
And can make the difference between whether you decide to accept the job offer or not.
Here are some job stealth mode tactics you can implement immediately to learn more about the potential employer:
- Does the same job or other departmental jobs keep turning over?
- If in a panel, how do interviewers treat each other?
- When arriving for the interview, how were you treated in reception?
- What was your gut reaction when you walked in the door? Believe it or not, your instincts are usually dead-on more than you think.
- Google the company under the “News” function – has the business had any issues that have gone public?
- Visit the company’s Facebook page or other social media. Do they have a lot of followers? Do the posts / tweets reflect what you’d like to see in an employer?
- Is the company one that is listed on review websites like “Yelp?” If so, what are customers saying about them?
- Ping your contacts on LinkedIn about the company – it’s best if you have someone who already works there who can give you the REAL skinny.
- Heck, while you are at it, LinkedIn is becoming Grand Central Station when it comes to company information. Many times, there’s a profile that gives you information about the company, shows how many followers it has, includes recent posts and job listings, and all the people that you have in your network that are connected to it. Dig, and dig deep in this site!
- Digging around in industry blogs can unsurfaced posts created by people at the same company, and this content can serve to help create a bigger aggregate picture of the business.
- Attending industry events such as tradeshows, monthly industry education programs, or social events can help you operate in complete blackout mode by casually framing up questions that can yield a lot of answers about how others perceive a company.
The more information that you can gather during stealth mode about a target company and its culture can provide critical clues that either reaffirms your decision to work there, or decline the job offer and avoid a huge career mistake.