(Last Updated On: 01/06/2011)

How to Research Companies

Learning as much as possible about the organizations you wish to target for your job search or with whom you are scheduled for an interview is crucial. Knowing more will also help you target organizations that meet your goals.

Employers consider research to be an essential element of job search preparation. They want to know that candidates take the initiative to become well informed and being well informed will set yourself apart from other job seekers.

Researching an Employer Enables You to:

Target your resume appropriately.

Increase your likelihood of securing a job interview.

Demonstrate interest and enthusiasm and increase your confidence in interviews by linking your answers to specific company issues; by being able to answer questions about the company and why you applied to this particular company; and by asking appropriate questions.

Make informed decisions regarding your job offers and career options.

How to Find Information

  • Use the research skills you developed in school.
  • Clarify your research goals.
  • Collect general information about industries.
  • Target specific employers or companies.
  • Focus on particular areas within a larger firm or division.
  • Use internet resources like Glassdoor and Linkedin.

People who work in the company or industry

Key contact directories, professional and industry associations, networking and business clubs will help you contact the right people. Make an appointment for an information interview, attend meetings or get involved as a volunteer with professional groups.

Research Questions to Ask


  • How big is this company?
  • How many employees work for this firm?
  • How old is this company?
  • What are the organizations key products or services?
  • Is this a division or branch of a larger organization?
  • Does this employer have other divisions or branches?


  • Who are the industry competitors?
  • What is the firms recent growth pattern, does this reflect an industry trend?
  • What is the reputation of this organization among staff, competitors and clients?
  • Have new programs or initiatives been implemented?
  • Have these new programs or initiatives been successful? Why or why not?
  • What new programs or initiatives are being considered?
  • Is this company publicly traded or privately owned?
  • Is this company a division of a larger corporation?
  • Is this company locally, nationally or foreign owned?

Look for unique characteristics that distinguish the firm from similar industries. Review sales and financial records. Find and read the firms mission/philosophy.


Researching potential employers allows you to prepare for interviews and clarify if there is a good match between your career goals, values and interests and the particular organization.

A well-informed candidate recognizes how their strengths will complement an organization and effectively communicates this to employers during an interview.

Research is key to maximizing the likelihood of a job offer.