Many years ago, a graduating U.C. Berkeley senior I knew applied for a sales job with Cobra, a company that makes high-priced golf clubs. They also make Titleist golf balls and several other brands of golf-related products. He really wanted this job. He loved to play golf. The job paid well, and if he got the job, he would get to travel to some of the best golf courses in the United States at the company’s expense. He did everything he could think of to prepare for his interview – except research the company. Since he was applying for a job with a sporting goods company, he thought his best strategy would be to stress his own healthy lifestyle and love of sports. He told the company interviewer that he exercised daily, never ate junk food, never used drugs, tobacco, or alcohol, and that he avoided the company of people who did. He did not get the job. If he had researched the company before his interview, he would have known that Cobra and Titleist were owned by American Brands, and American Brands was the nation’s the 2nd largest distiller of hard liquor (Jim Beam, Knob Creek, etc) and the 3nd largest cigarette manufacturer (Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, etc.) If he had researched the company, I am sure that he wouldn’t have badmouthed cigarettes and booze during his job interview. This guy wasn’t stupid, just unprepared.
Louis Pasteur said: ‘Chance favors the prepared mind.’ In other words, people who are well prepared are more likely to be lucky in their endeavors than people who are unprepared. Even in the best of times, the best jobs go to the best prepared applicants, and these are not the best of times.
Before going to a job interview, find out something about the company. The internet has made that easy. Check out the company’s web site. Also check out the company on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is often inaccurate, but it is a good starting point for a company search. Knowing something about a company gives you a big edge over other applicants who know nothing about the company.
Here are my previous job hunting tips.
Mark’s Job Hunting Tip #1: ‘Today’ And ‘Tomorrow’ Are Dangerous Words In E-Mails. June, 2011
Mark’s Job Hunting Tip #2: Clean Up Your Facebook Page. July, 2011.
Mark’s Job Hunting Tip #3: Don’t Get A Conspicuous Tattoo. July, 2012.
Mark’s Job Hunting Tip #4: A Resume Is Not An Autobiography. November, 2012.
Mark’s Job Hunting Tip #5: Have A Professional Sounding Voice Mail Message. February, 2013