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Do the Research

Chances are, you can't glean all of the information that you need from an organization's website. There are resources that can help, which vary based on whether your potential employer is a for-profit, non-profit, or government agency. Use the appropriate list below as you seek more information. 

FOR PROFIT

Organization Knowledge
  • Annual Report, especially the Letter to Shareholders
  • Company history
  • Company mission statement
  • Company leaders (CEO, etc.)
  • Organizational structure
  • Principle products/line of business
  • Primary locations
  • Stock price/trends; PE ratio
  • Annual revenue
  • Capitalization
Industry Knowledge
  • Industry background/general information
  • Competitors
  • Relative size in industry/market share
  • Industry trends and facts
  • Industry jargon
Current Events
  • New products/lines of business
  • Recent news articles about the company

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

Organization Knowledge
  • Mission and services
  • Population(s) served
  • How the organization refers to its constituents—clients, guests, patrons, members
  • Executive Director, CEO or President of local, regional, national and/or international levels
  • Income and assets; sources of funding and percentage of each to overall funds
  • Local, regional, national and world aspects of the organization
  • Size of local and/or national organization
  • Volunteer structure and size
  • Board of Directors
  • Partnerships with community, other agencies and organizations, corporations
  • Initiatives, achievements, and impact measures from the Annual Report
Sector Knowledge
  • Current size, numbers served, number or employees within the nonprofit sector
  • Sector trends and current economic state
Current Events
  • Recent news articles about organization
  • Recent articles about topics of concern to the organization 

STATE & FEDERAL AGENCIES

  • Organization Knowledge
  • Public service mission
  • Top position titles and names in agency
  • Level of government at which the agency functions (city, state, federal)
  • Branch of government
  • Size and jurisdiction of office with whom you are interviewing 
  • Recruiting terminology
  • Political appointments, elected, and hired positions within the agency
  • Partnerships with nonprofit organizations
  • Contracts and business relationships with for-profit organizations
  • Relationship of government agency with which you are interviewing to other departments or agencies; differences and similarities between focus of public services
Industry Knowledge
  • Sector trends and current economic state
Current Events
  • Recent news articles about agency
  • Recent articles about topics relevant to the agency’s focus and services

ONLINE RESOURCES

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