As important as hard-data homework is, people count too
➔ Ask any job search expert and they’ll tell you how important it is for you to do your homework to prepare for an interview. And they’re right. And there is no shortage of background information on your interviewing employer. But there is more.
You won’t find this level of “more” in any library or on any online source. To be as thorough as possible in your preparation, you’re going to need to invest in some “people time.”
The people factor
You may get more information – and more insightful information – speaking with people close to the prospective employer than anywhere else. Not surprisingly, more and different perspectives are the result of speaking with people with more and different perspectives.
Talking to as many people as possible who are familiar with the employer is becoming required. And this includes people inside the organization and out. While current, and former employees can provide intimate and unique perspectives, people outside the company may have an entirely different view. These outsiders may include former employees, vendors and even competitors.
And don’t forget one person who many bring something totally distinctive to the picture, and that person is your recruiter. It’s possible that your recruiter has worked with this particular in the past and can see things from multiple vantage points. It’s also possible that the recruiter’s inside contacts may share information that is totally unavailable anywhere else.
One particular insight you may learn from a recruiter is a glimpse into the company’s culture. In today's market, culture is more and more important with more increasing emphasis being placed upon it. To muddy the waters even further, some companies may even have sub-cultures that exist from one division or department to another.
With more importance being placed on culture, it’s important to realize that culture is driven by people and those people may hold insights heretofore unimaginable.