how to use job research to land an interview
January 15, 2012 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Job Search: How do I make use of some research I've done about the company I most want to work for in order to GET an interview?

I am taking my job search very seriously and am doing everything I can to have a competitive edge. I recently struck a goldmine of documents from the company I most wish to work for and I am not sure what to do with said data prior to an interview. Most of what I found is very specific branding data as well as some insider info on the way the company's subdivisions operate in relation to its consumer demographic. Bottom line: this is some really awesome stuff and I have no idea what to do with it.

I am fairly certain I will be able to demonstrate understanding of the facts and figures contained within this collection of docs if asked during an interview, but what can I do that will help me in the preliminary application round? I feel like I should demonstrate some level of knowledge in my cover letter, but how? What can I do on LinkedIn, as well? Is there some way to use some of the stuff I've learned for SEO too?

If it's relevant, I work in digital media/publishing and I am applying to a well known movie/animation studio's consumer products division.
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
mmm be aware that having TOO much information might raise red flags if it really is 'insider info.' be wary. ask yourself if anyone could find this information- if the answer is no, don't reveal it.

I remember doing internet research on my interviewers before meeting them, and they were upset just because i knew where one of them had gone on their honeymoon (it was on one of the first pages that came up, and I had been there recently so I foolishly thought that made for conversation....even if info is public it came across as a violation of his privacy to him)
posted by saraindc at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2012

"inside information" has a very specific connotation that I don't think you really mean here. I wouldn't use that phrase with anyone you interview for that reason. At the least, using that phrase in an interview would raise red flags.

Rather than telling people you have the information you have, use that information to make inferences about the company, the market in which it operates, its competitive challenges, etc.

As to the question of how to get an interview at the company: having a contact insider the company, preferably the person responsible for making the hiring decision for the job you want, is the best way to ensure that you get past the HR screener and get an interview. Do you attend networking events for your industry and/or professional associations?

posted by dfriedman at 12:24 PM on January 15, 2012

Not to threadsit, but yes, insider information was a clumsy way to describe the data I've found. It's all easily accessible to the general public but you have to really dig for it on the company website. None of it is related to any of the recruiters' personal lives or anything like that; it's a lot of datasheets on the company's brands that are really relevant to the position I am going to be applying for.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:30 PM on January 15, 2012

Take the info you have about the COMPANY, and use it to your advantage, to show how you would fit perfectly into their existing framework. Don't get personal about individuals. For example "I see myself working with the JOB DESC." Not "I want to work with Ed the bald guy who just got divorced."

Or, someone once told Milton Berle, "Only take out enough to win."
posted by timsteil at 12:39 PM on January 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used research about the company I recently interviewed for to demonstrate that I was interested enough in their operations and the field they worked in to do the research. This got me past the initial phone interviews to get a meeting. All the information I used was available from LinkedIn, their website, Google finance etc. I did mention that I and the VP knew people in common from Company C (info I'd pulled off LinkedIn), which got the conversation going. Don't use information that could be inferred to be stalking.
posted by arcticseal at 1:03 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

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