Interview preparation step 3

Step 3: Know the Organization

The more you know about an organization, the better prepared you will be to discuss how you can meet its needs. Some of the characteristics that you should know about an organization are:
• Where is it located?
• How big is it?
• What are its products and who does it serve?
• How is the organization structured?
• What is its history?
• Have there been any recent changes, new developments?
There are a number of ways in which you can access this information. Most medium- to large-sized organizations publish information about themselves. You can access this a number of ways:
• On campus at the Student Employment Services (company literature and business directories) or at the Drake Centre Library
• The Winnipeg Centennial Library has a business microfiche with information on over 5000 Canadian companies and business directories
• Many companies have internet home pages which you can locate by searching by industry and company name
• Finally, you can visit or phone the organization and request some information on their products, services or areas of research
If the organization is fairly small, or fairly new, there may not be much information published. In this case, it will be necessary to do an information interview. Contact someone within the organization, introduce yourself, explain that you are considering moving into the field, and ask if it would be possible to meet with him/her to inquire about the company/organization and about what exactly the position would involve.