5 ways to find out what the organisation you are applying to is really like

5 ways to find out what the organisation you are applying to is really like
It’s time to make a change and look for a new job. You’ve set up your job accounts, refreshed your CV and have started to look at potential employers. But the question is - which employers should you apply to?

As soon as it’s time to submit your CV to the job, the inevitable doubt sets in. Is this a company you want to commit to working for? And how do you know?

Well, you are right to question your potential employer and here’s why. 

who are you applying to?
Jobseekers today have a distinct advantage with infinite access to the internet and wealth of information. In the past, your application would be sent and you may know nothing about that employer until you first meet with them for your interview. 

However, you can’t always trust everything you read. Many companies today invest in fancy marketing campaigns to promote their brand online and it can be difficult to distinguish between the truth and marketing jargon. 

You need to train yourself to read between the lines to really discover the truth about the company you might be working for, and here’s how:

1. research the company
First of all, start with the company website. It might be a little salesy but there are ways to dig a little deeper. Look at their recent projects, high-level employees and client information and then search some of those areas to find out more. If you are unable to find anything it might because they are little old-fashioned about publishing everything on their website, this might be something you ask them about when you get to the interview stage.

2. browse their social networks
Start to look through some of the employees’ social network accounts, particularly LinkedIn. See where they went to school and where they are based to get an idea of how many people will be in your office. You can also use websites such as Glassdoor to read some real reviews of the company, rather than the testimonials you will find on the website. Just take these with a pinch of salt, as there will always be some employees who didn’t have a great experience but are not reflective of the overall picture.

3. find out what people are saying
If you have secured the interview and still don’t know much about the company, it might be worthwhile asking around at similar organisations and competitors about their reputation. It’s also worth Googling the company in the “news” section to see if anything, good or bad, comes up about them. 

4. get inside the office (not literally!)
Take a look at their offices on Google Earth or more importantly try to view the images of the inside of the office to get an idea of the working environment. If there are very few photos available online of the inside of an office, then it might be because they are embarrassed or that it isn’t anything impressive. If you can get a glimpse, however, it will be an invaluable insight into the workings of the office.  

5. interviews

Despite all of the above, it’s often still worth attending the interview to find out more. You have very little to lose and if you don’t like the culture at this stage and are offered the job you can always turn it down. It’s also during the interview that you can ask more questions about the company and gauge your impressions of the business first hand. 
Posted: Monday, 24 April 2017 - 9:00 AM