SSA Blog Post: Have an Interview? Do Your Homework!
Have an Interview? Do Your Homework!
Beyond knowing your own strengths and experience, what else should you know as you prepare for a job interview? Knowing as much as possible about a potential employer should be near the top of your list. How should you get that information? In today’s blog post, we’ll suggest ways to research organizations and free resources to help you search.
Learning about the organization you’ll be interviewing with is key, but this includes more than just knowing what the organization does. You’ll also want to know about its leadership, culture, employees, stakeholders and competitors. By being well informed, not only will you make a good impression on an interviewer, but you will be better prepared to decide whether the organization is a good match for you. Fortunately, there are many sources for that information.
The organization’s website. The website is where an organization tells the world what it does — what its products or services are. Take a look at its mission statement to get a sense of its culture and values. Dig a little deeper by looking at its press or media section where you can find its latest news. Also, look for the names of leadership to see if you recognize them. An organization’s blog can be a good source of information about its current areas of interest and focus. Many organizations list some of their clients and relevant projects, which will give you a more detailed understanding of its work.
Internet searches. A quick Google search of the organization’s name can show you information about its financial situation, community engagement, philanthropic activities and industry associations. You can also learn more about the organization’s leadership — their backgrounds, speeches, public statements, etc. — via an Internet search.
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Social networks. Check out the organization’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Here you can find recent news, employee activities and insight into the organization’s culture. You can also see how it interacts with its fans and followers. You may want to follow the organization’s pages to make sure you get the most up-to-date news right before your interview.
LinkedIn. If you’ve identified the organization’s leaders from its website or a Google search, you can also check out their LinkedIn profiles. In addition, when you learn the name of the person(s) you’ll be interviewing with, use LinkedIn to learn more about them and perhaps identify some areas of common interest. You can also use LinkedIn to find connections you may have to current employees to gather additional first-hand information.
Your network. Do you know someone else who works for the same organization? Check in with your network to find out if someone can share their experience with you. They may be able to give you a more in-depth idea of whether this company might be a good fit for you and talk with you about some aspects of the culture you might not find online.
Once you’ve done your research, use this information to think about questions you might want to ask during your interview. You won’t use all the information you’ve found, but asking questions based on some of the information will show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework and that you’re truly interested in their company or organization.
About Ticket to Work
Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.
You can call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.