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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Career Corner

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Welcome to the Career Corner!

Regardless of academic area of study, searching for a job entails some tasks common to all.  In this guide, we will emphasize the importance of gaining an understanding of information about the companies you apply to, as well as the industries they operate in.  When interviewing, employers expect job candidates to demonstrate some understanding and curiosity about the work of the company, as well as the broader industry.  This guide will equip you to research companies and industries, which will assist you in formulating questions to take into job interviews.

Before you begin, we have a few things to mention about our webpages:

-A number of the databases linked in this guide can only be accessed by current students, staff, and faculty.

-For off-campus students, staff, and faculty trying to access the university databases, login with NetID and password is required.

-Descriptions contained on these pages are elementary because they are only highlights of materials reviewed.

-Much effort has been taken to try to include information and materials that are accessible to the public.

Why Research Companies?

According to The Balanced Career, there are various reasons to spend a little time researching a company before interviewing with its representatives:

 

If you're applying for a position, you’ll want to find out everything you can about the company before you sit down for an interview. Knowing more about the company will make you feel more comfortable, and you’ll be able to ask questions that show you’re truly interested in the job. It’s helpful to learn more about the company history, financial stability, products and services, personnel, and perhaps some information about the company culture to see how you would fit in if you’re hired.

Also, after all your research, you will be a well-prepared candidate for the position. Knowing specifics about the company’s goals, mission, products, policies, and company culture will impress upon the hiring manager your keen interest in the position, and your ability to assimilate quickly into a productive role.

As well as researching the company, it makes sense to examine the overall industry. For example, if one is interviewing for a job at a mortgage company, for instance, it's helpful to be informed about homeownership trends. Get a feel the company's biggest competitors and identify their successes and flaws, too. Insight into the company's industry and rivals are bound to impress interviewers.