Wouldn’t it be great to really know what a company is really like before having bags packed, smiles worn, and having a shot of enthusiasm up the arm before riding off into the horizon to that interview? Wouldn’t it be great?
Well yes my friend! There are ways to know what a company is like BEFORE you head off for that interview. It’s called ‘espionage’ or simply speaking – spying. Ya know just like famous spies, like 007 (minus all the raunchy stuff) and Blackwidow (minus the tight fitting catsuit). This kind of spying is more sitting in front of your computer, probably in just your undies and a cup of coffee, and Googling the hell out of the company. You will also need to suck up the courage to speak to random people you have never met, maybe through a friend of a friend of a friend courtesy of LinkedIn or Facebook.
OK let’s get into the specifics of what you can possibly do to dig up some useful information before you sit in that interview chair (no shovel needed):
1. Go Through That Company’s Social Media And Networked Sites
Their tweets, their Instagram posts, Facebook walls, YouTube videos, everything you can possibly get your prying eyes on! All of these let you in on a probable dead-on outlook of how the company would like to let the world see them.
Posts about things that happen in the office, their daily run-abouts, what do the people there look like? Are they happy smiley energetic looking and willing to participate in the company’s attempts to reach out to the people of the internet? If there are such things chances are the company is really like that and the people there have a good culture of camaraderie. Could be a nice place to work. Maybe.
2. Search For Recent News Or Events About The Company
Finding out what the public opinion is about the company is a good idea too as well. You would be able to understand what the company aspires to be and how they intend to achieve it just by seeing what have they done in the face of public.
Does the public see them as a good reputable company? Have they had any negative press before? If they have, how did they handle it? Was the event they held or participated in a success? What have they contributed to society? So many things to find out.
3. Chat Up The Company’s Known Suppliers, Partners, Counterparts, Customers
Strap up your boots of courage and get out there to talk to people! Find out who are their suppliers, counterparts or customers. Maybe you might know a friend that knows someone who has dealt with this company before. Hit them up and have a chat to find out more.
This can give you a gauge on how the company’s work flow and processes are like without being intrusive directly with the company itself. Going through those third parties can enable you to see what it really is like working for or with that company, or maybe how that company treats its customers. If they can work well with third parties, they also could be a great place to work in.
4. LinkedIn And Facebook Stalk The Founders Or Key HR Personnel
As terrible as it is to stalk people, but it is a necessary evil. Exercise that skill you honed over the many years of Facebook stalking your Ex or enemies and put it to good use! Stalk the person that would be interviewing you if you can find out who will be conducting it.
Get to know them. What do they like to do? Do they like bonsai trees? Are they driven, energetic individuals just like yourself? Do they have any connections to anyone else you know?
With this kind of information, you would be able to know them as people, not just a random stranger who you would eventually meet at the interview. This would give you a good indicator on how you should adjust yourself to better compliment them during the interview, or maybe even strike them with a hint of commonplace interests so that they can feel more at ease with you – making that job a much more closer victory than ever
5. Show Up Earlier Before The Interview
You know not to be late. But what I’m implying is to show up way way earlier than scheduled. This will allow you the time and leeway to observe and analyse the office environment and it’s inner workings.
You must very observant. Observe like the vulture you are. Look at how the employees interact with each other. Are they friendly to each other? Or are they scared hamsters hiding in their burrows? How is the office layout like? Open concept with nobody talking to each other? Not good. Cubicle farm with lots of random toys and knick-knacks? Could be OK I guess. Maybe the people like decorating? Do they walk around and chat with one another? Is the office a messy time-warped place stuck back 30 years in ago with carpets that smell like cat poopy sand? Is there a punch card machine stuck to a wall? No good no good.
6. Chat Up Some Employees If You Can
If you followed point no.5 about showing up earlier, you could also use it to your advantage and have some small talk with a few employees that are around before the interview starts. You could ask some questions like, “What is the culture like around here? What’s like it like working around here? Fun? Where do you guys find food around here?” Their response time and their answers will be a dead giveaway how the company’s culture is like. If they respond, “Oh man nothing much, we just pack food and eat at our desks”, or even, “Yea it’s OK this office…heh…” after a brief 5 second long delay of silence. Now you know that even the minions of the office don’t have anything good to say about their place of work.
7. Shameless Promo Plug In
*Clears throat* Yes, and lastly, you could always browse the companies on WOBB to find out how they present themselves to jobseekers out there. How they depict their office space and what the higher ups in the video interviews say about the office play a major role in enabling jobseekers to figure out whether this company is a place for them to journey through their careers. *End of Promo*.
Remember that information is the key to preparation, and being prepared is the key to victory, and victory is the key to money, and money is to put food on the table so you don’t starve!
Good luck 007.