The Job Hunt: Researching Where You Want to Work
This article will cover how you go about gathering information prior to an interview, regarding the companies you are interested in and the ones that you have sent resumes or applications to.
Begin Your Research
This may seem easy as you will just google Company XYZ and find out everything you need to know. Ok then let’s try it. Let’s Google American Express and see what you learn.
Well the first thing that happens is you arrive at the ‘Official Site’ of American Express and guess what? It’s all about what they offer to customers. Now this is good information. It tells you what the company does. Take note of the variety of customers and services that they have.
Now you know what Amex does. You now need to find out what American Express is and who American Express is. Will this ‘Official Site’ geared to customers tell you that? Perhaps. Some will and some won’t. What about this American Express site?
In fact this American Express site will give you a lot of information if you know where to look. Now scroll down to the very bottom of the page where all the really small writing is. What do you see there?
First of all you see “About American Express”. Click on this. On this page you find news about Amex –press releases and statistics about the business. Now look at the top of this page where again you will find tabs you can click on to get further information. These tabs include things like news, corporate responsibility and investor relations among others.
Read each one and note the important things to you and any questions that come to mind. These questions will be vital to you in the interview process, so make note of them. Now go back to the main page and look at the other tabs at the bottom of the page. Click on and read each one, following any other tabs to learn as much as possible about American Express from this site.
Pay particular attention to the ‘Careers’ page as it will tell you what openings they have and how to apply. At the top of this page there are additional tabs to tell you what it is like to work at Amex. The ‘Our Company’ tab gives you a history of American Express.
So this was a good site for gathering a lot of information. Not all official sites will have as much, but all of them should offer you some. However there is one concern with this information. It is all good to know but it is all what American Express wants you to know. The same is true when you look up the American Express Facebook page or their Linked-In site. Now you need information that does not come from Amex.
This is a bit harder to find and you have to be careful about the negative information you find online. There are also many scams and frauds online. However you still need some non-company information.
Let’s return to the original search that you ran on American Express and see what else is available there. Unfortunately when you do this you find that almost every item is an American Express link except the Wikipedia information which cannot be verified. What do you do?
The American Stock Exchange
Look them up on the ASE and see how they are trading. Search their history and see if they are going up, going down or just treading water. With a company like Amex you need to know the financials. You will want to know some of this with any company. However with a company like American Express it is the heart of their business.
Glassdoor.com and Vault.com
These are great sites for unbiased information regarding major corporations. Here you will get access to the salaries they pay, the company culture, evaluations of top executives and real interview questions. All this information is free and it comes from the company’s employees.
Company employees also rate the opportunities at that company, compensation, the atmosphere, the culture, benefits and company values.
This is good comprehensive information. If you need more just continue to Google further.