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Pre-Interview Research

Before going on an interview, you need to know as much as possible about the company. How secure is the company, and the position you're considering? Does the company have a good business model?

With the number of companies to choose from, the research you do will help you make the best decision possible as well as help put your best foot forward in the interview.

Where to Look for Company Information

The Company's Website:
Look at the website where you're considering taking a position. Go into the interview knowing about the site, how their company works, and the management. Most companies have a 'about us' section where they list management personnel as well as press releases. This is a good way to get the company's history. Questions to ask yourself are:

Annual Reports:
The Annual Report is a good way to see the financial status overall of a company. These reports give the company's plans and background as well as more detailed information on their financial health.

Public Records:
There are many ways to research the public records of a company. Go to the public or college library. They will be able to help you look for documents and trade journals. Below are a few sites with search options to look up company information:

The Position

Public Records:
There are many instances where the job description of the position doesn't match what you actually do after you accept. Sometimes this has to do with technology that they want to launch isn't on time, sales aren't happening as quickly as they thought, or they'll change your job duties.

Ask to speak with people you'll be working with at your interview. Find out from them if the job they're doing is the one they signed on for. Ask if they're happy with what they're doing, their likes and dislikes about the company, and remember to ask for specific examples. Find out all you can from them.

The Culture:
Environments vary from company to company. Know what kind of environment you are looking for. A startup will have a very different feel from a large, established, corporate company. There is generally longer hours in a startup, though there are fewer people so there is a lot of 'fly by the seat of the pants' feel to it while in a larger corporation there are more procedures and it is established with a polished feel.