#5. Research – it’s important.Blogs
#5. Research - it's important.
Look at that guy. You know you'd trust whatever he had to say. Well maybe not, but he was a genius and at least in this instance he's right. Research, whether for your very first interview or your last ever boardroom meeting, is vitally important. Otherwise, as Einstein says, you wouldn't know what you were doing. With the job market and youth unemployment as they are, getting yourself as far ahead of the pack is necessary more than ever and the information in this blog is applicable across the board, whether you're looking at an apprenticeship, school leaver programme, your first job or even, with a little modification, university. First of all you need to understand the company (or institution) you're applying to. And we don't just mean look at their "About Us" on the website - everyone can and will do this. Look for any press they've had, local or nationwide, any involvement they've had in wider issues - Local schools and colleges, the environment or other local businesses. All of this gives you a greater understanding of their ethos and more to talk about in the interview (or even better in your application cover letter). Have they won any awards? If so, what for? Is that a focus for the business? Remember, people are always happy to talk about things that they have done well and bringing this up will both highlight your interest in the company and associate your interview with positive feelings to the interviewer. Next, research the sector you're going to work in. Even if you're just applying for a part time job, know why you want to work in that sector. Going to work in retail? Why? What do you like about? Telling an employer you just want the money isn't going to endear you to them. Almost without fail you'll be asked why you want to work in your chosen sector, so you'd better have some pretty good reasons saved up. Another thing we would always suggest is research the company' s competitors. What does your chosen company do better? Or worse? Another question employers love to ask, and rightly so, is "Why do you want to work for their company." Again, just saying you need a job isn't good enough. Why did you apply to them and not someone else? If you know what your company does differently it adds a whole new dimension to your interview and will further impress on your interviewer that you've actually put some time and effort into your application. So there you go. Three simple things to start you off when you're researching for a new role. Finally, if you know what sector you're interested in already, start researching the companies in it. Even if you don't know exactly what you want to do, use your hobbies and interests to get an understanding what's out there. Everyone knows the big companies, so why not dig a bit deeper and start finding out who else exists. It might cost you an hour of your time now, but gain you so much more in the future. Next Week: #6 Networking -you'll need it.
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