If you are going to a job fair or you’re going to an interview, to succeed you need to be prepared. By being prepared you will not only make a good first impression, but you will also have a better chance of getting the job.

One of the most important ways to be prepared when walking into a job fair or an interview is to do your research about the companies you want to talk with. Juli Probasco-Sowers, internship coordinator for the Greenlee School of Journalism, stresses the importance of doing research on companies you are interested in.

Q: Where should students start researching companies?

A: If you’re going to attend a job fair, then you should look at the list of companies that are going to be there and use Google to do a little research to see if those are the type of companies that you are looking for. From there, you will find the companies that you want to research further.

Q: Why do I research a company?

A: You want to research a company to decide if that is the type of company that you want to work for and to start a conversation with the company to build a connection and show interest.

After you do your research and you are going to the job fair or a job interview, you will have some knowledge about the companies you want to network with. You will also be able to make a connection when you talk to the employees that work there on a much deeper level.

For example, you can talk about some of the research that you found and be able to hold a conversation that will engage both of you. However, you want to make sure that you are relevant and you are not just rattling off facts that you found on their website. You don’t want to just tell them things that they already know.

Perhaps talk about one of their projects that they have been working on, or mention that you heard they won an award and then ask more about it. You want to be able to make sure that the person you are talking to is engaged and they will be able to realize that you did some research on their company beforehand.

Q: What are some things I should look for when researching a company?

A: You want to learn as much about that company as you can. Do not just scroll through the first page that pops up on their website and call it a day. Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking at their webpage:

  • How many employees do they have?
  • Is their business growing? Do they have other locations?
  • Can you find out any information about the employees that work there so you will have a better understanding of that company's culture?
  • Have they won any awards?
  • Look into some of their latest projects or campaigns that the have been working on. 

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