There are a lot of benefits to researching potential employers.
For one, you’re better prepared for the interview. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions about the role or company, you are able to give more educated answers.
Moreover, it becomes much easier to spot red flags about potential employers. If you find that every other review about the company you’re applying for is negative, chances are, they’re not the best employer in the world.
That said, how, exactly do you research a company?
Well, we’re about to teach you just that, starting with:
How to Research a Company - Top 9 Tips
Tip#1. Start With the Employer’s Website
What’s a better place to start researching a potential employer than their “front door?”
Start by visiting the company’s website and looking for information on:
- What product or service does the company offer? Is it something you personally find interesting?
- How big is the company? Is it a young startup, a multi-national corporation, or something in-between?
- What’s the company culture like? Is the work environment more casual or formal?
- Is there a dress code?
- Does the company have prospective growth opportunities outlined on its website?
In your job search, you can use this information in 2 main ways.
For one, you can decide if a company is a good fit for you culture-wise. If you’re a young professional who hates wearing a suit and loves having a flexible schedule, chances are, Goldman Sachs is NOT your ideal employer. If the company you’re looking into has a culture that doesn’t represent your values, you might want to consider applying elsewhere.
Alternatively, this information can help you ace the interview. It’s almost guaranteed that the interviewer is going to ask you questions about how familiar you are with their brand.
The more you know about the company, the more invested you’ll appear and the more likely it is that the interviewer will pick you over the other candidates.
Tip #2. Find Company Employees via LinkedIn
You can use LinkedIn to find who’s currently working at the company you’re researching.
For example, if you look up “People” under “Apple” on LinkedIn, you’ll get a view of their employees worldwide:
From there, you can filter by specific location (E.g. Austin, Texas), and then filter by role (E.g. Marketing).
So - how can you use this information?
For one, you can connect with someone in the department you’d like to work in and ask them questions about the company, culture, department, or the role you’re applying for.
The key here, though, is not to be too pushy. The people you contact don’t owe you an answer or a reply. However, if you’re being courteous, there’s a very good chance you’re actually going to get one.
Best case scenario, if they like your questions and initiative, they might even refer you to the team lead or department head personally!
Tip #3. Look Up News About the Employer
Look up the company’s name and hit “News” to see what the company has been up to recently.
You can also find such information on the News or Blog page on the employer’s website.
There are a lot of ways you can use such information, some of which include:
- You can dodge companies that have had recent scandals.
- You can impress the interviewer with how up-to-date you are with the employer.
- You can learn more about recent company development. For example, what products they’re working on, which countries they’re expanding to, etc.
Tip #4. Look Up Company Reviews on Glassdoor
Glassdoor is an employer review website where you can read information about prospective employers.
You can use it to find reviews about the company and its CEO. For example:
Moreover, you can check out specifics like:
- Salary averages for any given position.
- Reviews of their interview process.
- Reviews of the benefits offered by the company
You can use such information to find an employer you’re going to love, ask for the right salary, or dodge companies with high turnover rates and negative reviews.
Tip #5. Tap Into Your Network
Using LinkedIn, you can see if anyone in your network is working at the company you’re researching.
Then, you can just reach out to them and directly ask questions about the role/employer.
If you’re close with the person you’re reaching out to (or have had professional relations in the past), you can even ask them for a referral directly!
Tip #6. Research Company’s Social Media Pages
Go through the company’s social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) to get a grasp of how they communicate with their target demographics.
Follow them to get updates whenever they post anything. You can even like and comment on their posts which can help you fall into their radar, especially if they’re a small team.
Tip #7. Look Up Posts on Social Media
You can look up what people are discussing about the company on social media to get a more unbiased view of the organization.
For example, you could Google something like this: site:reddit.com "apple” "job" to get a complete list of all threads on Reddit where people are discussing Apple as an employer:
Tip #8. Get an Edge on the Interview Process With Glassdoor
Using Glassdoor Interview Q&A Section, you can find the exact questions employers ask their interviewees. For example:
You can use this to better prepare for the upcoming interview, as well as get a general idea of what kind of questions you’re going to be asked.
Tip #9. Learn About Company Salary Averages
You can use a tool like
to find salary averages for the company you’re applying for based on department or role:
You can then take advantage of this information to ask for the right sum and avoid getting low-balled.
Why Research Employers? Top 4 Reasons
At this point, the reason for researching employers should be pretty self-explanatory, but we thought we’d cover the topic just in case!
The 4 main reasons for researching a company are:
- Get an edge over the interview. Employers love it when you’re knowledgeable about their company. After all, they want to hire people who want to work there specifically, not the ones that are just randomly applying everywhere. The more company knowledge you demonstrate during the interview, the more likely it is that you’ll get the job.
- Uncover red flags (and avoid bad employers). You can find a lot of skeletons in company closets if you just do some research online. This can actually help you save a ton of time and effort from applying (or getting hired) at the wrong place.
- Find the right job for you. There are a lot of companies out there - not all of them are the right fit for you. By researching companies online, you’ll be able to tell right from wrong more easily.
- Negotiate a better salary. You can find information on average salaries at a specific company online, so you have a better idea of what kind of range you can ask for.
And that just about sums up all you need to know about researching a company online! Before you go, though, let’s do a quick recap of what we learned:
- When researching an employer, start by looking at their website and social media pages to learn more about their culture and product/service.
- Look up news about the company to avoid employers with recent scandals.
- Find company reviews on Glassdoor and uncover potential employer red flags.
- Use LinkedIn to find people who work at the company you’re applying for and reach out to ask questions about the job or the employer.
- Use all the information you learn from researching the company to get an edge over the interview and negotiate a better salary.