By Linda Hauck
It’s career fair season, and Villanova’s Career Services is hosting its Spring Career Fair, Feb. 4 and 5. Remember to use Falvey’s resources to get yourself prepared for an interview with a potential employer and learn about career options!
If you’re interviewing for a functional job in an industry that you don’t know much about, it is always a good idea to get started by reading an industry report. Think of them like CliffsNotes guides to how businesses operate—except there is no shame in using them, because they are a staple for well-informed professionals. They describe the scope of the business and list suppliers, customers, competitive challenges, prospects, key competitors, the regulatory and technological environment, and trends.
In short, everything a curious prospective employee ought to know!
The industry reports offered by First Research even include a section called Executive Conversation Starters and Conversation Prep questions to spark dialog or, better yet, suggest topics to explore through news and social media before meeting. Similarly, IBISWorld iExpert Summaries list questions related to specific roles as well as internal/external impact.
Of course, you will want to dig deeper and find out about the specific organization with which you’re interviewing. Company profiles that describe the scope of the business, provide some historical background, and list competitors and financial performance are a good place to start. MarketLine and D&B Hoovers cover medium to large organizations globally. Guidestar will do the same if you’re interviewing with a nonprofit.
Learn about more recent organizational developments by searching the news. Proquest Central provides good national coverage, whereas Philadelphia Business Journal (from American City Business Journals) offers more local news. Don’t forget use your New York Times and Wall Street Journal online subscriptions offered by the Library.
Linda Hauck, MLS, MBA, is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.