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Researching Organizations

Question: You have landed the job interview, and it is scheduled for two weeks from now... How should you prepare?

Answer: Find out everything you can about the organization you are interviewing with.

Chances are, you had a basic idea of what the organization does before you applied for the job. However, in order to be completely prepared for the interview, you will need to know more than just what the company does. Potential employers want to know that you are up to speed on their company. Impress them with your knowledge! Make them feel that you are not just another recent graduate, but someone who truly wants to work for their organization and in their industry. To accomplish this, you will need to know about its products, their competitors, the industry and any issues with which the organization is involved.

The Pollak Library and the Career Center have many resources for students to research companies, organizations, and industries. Most of these are available online via your student portal. The following databases cover just a small portion of all that is available. Ask a librarian at the reference desk or speak to a career counselor in the Career Center for more information.

Pollak Library Databases

Online Databases Include Plunkett Research Online, S&P's Net Advantage Industry Surveys, D&B: The Million Dollar Database, and Hoovers (ProQuest). If you need help, ask a Librarian at the Reference Desk.

Career Center Library

Career Center Library Resources Include Ferguson's Career Guidance Center (available online), Book of Lists (Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Inland Empire, San Fernando Valley), Vault Industry and Career Guides, and WetFeet Insider Guides.

If you would like help, speak to the Industry Specialist see (Chapter 3) who works in the area of your interest to obtain additional information.

Company Website

Always check the company's website for information on company culture, recent news, other positions available, and to review your job opening.

Networking

Talk to people you know who work for the company to obtain additional information. Associations Unlimited (Gale) is a great online database (via the Pollak Library) to identify networking and professional organizations in your areas of interest.

Business Journals/Newspapers

Read current publications such as the Orange County or Los Angeles Business Journal, the LA Times, and the OC Register, and view the archives of these publications for information about the company.

Visit Company and Surrounding Area

An employer is always impressed if you take the extra time to see where they are located. Explore the surrounding area and see what other companies are around the area.