The REAL Reason You Should Research Your Potential Employer

By: Elayseah Woodard-Hinton

Photo By: Gratisography

You have finally come across the job of your dreams!

You meet all the requirements, it will be an increase in pay, and you will look very official with business cards and a swanky new job title.

Although everything seems great with the job itself, have you taken time to do a little research?

Let’s take a look at why this is important by meeting a fictional job seeker named Judy.

Judy is in search of a job as a barista because she enjoys the warm bitter aroma of coffee, meeting new people, and needs a flexible work schedule for school.

After doing her daily online job search, she came across a barista opening that is in a neighborhood she’s never been to, but according to her map it’s just a quick bike ride from her home.

In addition to the great location, the early morning hours are perfect for Judy’s scheduling needs.

Judy immediately submits her resume and cover letter expressing interest in the position. A few days later she is called in for an interview.

On the day of her interview, Judy decides to ride her bike to the coffee shop so she can get a feel for how long it will take her to get to work, if offered the position.

On the way there, she learns that the route isn’t very bike friendly and what should have only been a 15 minute bike ride ends up taking her 45 minutes.

She is met my rush hour traffic and when she finally arrives to the coffee shop she has to circle the parking lot several times because there is very limited space for her bike.

Judy finally finds a spot to park and enters the coffee shop a little frazzled because she barely makes it on time for her meeting. Her frazzle quickly turns to shock when she notices all of the baristas are dressed in Pirate uniforms!

Judy makes her way to the front register to check-in for her interview, once at the counter she finds she has to shout several times due to the blaring rock music and frequent interruptions over the intercom calling customers to pick up their oddly named beverages.

After finally checking in, Judy takes the few minutes before the start of her interview to freshen up in the restroom. She is appalled to find the bathroom’s trash can is overflowing with paper towels and the floors are in desperate need of a good sweep and mop.

Once Judy exits the restroom she is greeted by the store manager who is dressed according to the stores apparent pirate theme; accessorized with a fake parrot on their shoulder, an eye patch, and peg leg.

During the interview Judy feels a little overwhelmed with the amount of energy the manager has. It’s as though the manager has drank one too many free cups of coffee; one of the many perks offered in the employee benefits package. However, Judy quickly learns it’s part of company practice for its employees to have high energy in everything they do.

Judy also finds out that part of the barista’s job is to clean the restrooms and the reason they currently look a little shady is because the shop is low on staff and the restrooms have gone down the daily priority list.

Once the interview is over Judy shakes the manager’s hand and thanks them for their time.

Relieved that the interview is over, Judy is greeted by the buzz of a circling police helicopter and sounds of police sirens in the near distance.

She then does a triple take when she notices her bike has been hijacked and all that’s left behind is her bike lock!

During her long walk home, Judy has a lot of time to reflect on the day’s events and why it would have saved her a lot of time and money to do her research before applying and interviewing for this position.

Commute and parking

Although the job was fairly close to Judy’s home, it would have served her well to make a dry run of the commute in order to get an actual idea of how long it would take her to get to the job location especially during the time of day she would be required to work.

Furthermore, she would have known what the parking situation was like. Limited parking space or having to pay to park are factors to consider when it comes to your daily commute. These are things that will have an affect on your time and money.

Neighborhood safety is another thing to consider. If you’re constantly making repairs and adjustments to your car because of neighborhood vandals, the job might not be worth it.

GPS and Google Maps are a great start for researching your commute; however, there is nothing like doing a test run before hand to see if there are other factors to consider.

Company Culture
Judy’s idea of a coffee shop is a quite relaxed atmosphere playing Bossa Nova in the background.

Shortly after arriving to her interview, she quickly learned that her potential place of employment was far from the cozy shop she envisioned; and she was definitely not expecting the over the top Pirate attire worn by the employees.

Doing a little detective work can be very helpful when it comes to learning about a company’s culture.

A company’s website and social media outlets are a great way to learn about their expectations, dress code, and atmosphere; however, you can dig deeper by going to additional sites such as Yelp, Glassdoor.com, and Indeed

Third party sites are helpful when it comes to finding out what customers and employees have to say about the company and rather or not it truly stands by its values.

BONUS

Lets say you did your research and the job and location all check out.

The fact that you’ve taken this extra step has prepared you to go into your interview with an air of confidence in knowing what the company is about. You will be able to bring up key points from your research and ask meaningful questions during the interview process.

Doing this in turn shows the employer that you are truly interested in the position and well worth the pay and swanky job title!


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