Researching Potential Employers

When searching for a job, it is equally important to research potential employers. Having a good understanding of the employer can tremendously help you prepare for a job interview. By doing this research beforehand, you will have a greater understanding of what you are walking into on interview day. Questions that you may have had prior to an interview could be answered by simply doing your own research ahead of time.

What exactly do you look for when researching a potential employer? Some of the most important aspects to look at would be how long the company has been in business, and if the business has been successful. Obviously, no one wants to start a job just to find out the company is going downhill. You want to make sure the employer has built their business on a strong, solid foundation. Another part would be the company culture and morale. Other details to look at would be location, schedule, a general idea of salary and benefits, and employee retention rate. Again, researching these things before a job interview can help you come prepared for any further questions you might have.

Now the question is, HOW do you research a potential employer? With the internet right at our fingertips, it should be easy! A couple of my favorite websites are:
• Glassdoor – A free website with information compiled from anonymous employees around the world. You can narrow down your search to certain geographic locations, if you wish. The website provides information regarding salary, benefits, interview process/questions, pros/cons of working there, etc. It is a great website to research potential employers.
• LinkedIn – Search for the company page on LinkedIn. Is the employer well known? Do you have any mutual connections? If so, are they people whom you would want to work for/with? These are important aspects to look at when researching a potential employer.

Aside from those helpful websites, it is also imperative to review the company website. Is the site valid, updated, and user friendly? Do you feel welcomed when looking at the site? Click around on all the tabs throughout the site. You should be able to gain a great understanding of who the employer is and what they do by looking through their website. Some employers will share employee testimonies on the career page. This can give you insight on why people like working there!

Researching a potential employer can be quick and simple. It is always a good idea to do your research before heading into a job interview. The more information you know ahead of time, the more prepared you will be. Knowing what to look for in a potential employer and where to look could be the key to your next successful job interview!

By Samantha Winters, Business Major – IUPUC

A Typical Job Interview

I’m sure many of you if not all of you have been through at least one job interview in your lifetime so far. Well, how many of you actually took time and effort to prepare for the interview? Probably not as much as you wish you would’ve.        An interview consists of many simple but huge steps you should always follow. After completing all your resume steps which should have been done in order for you to get an interview, you want to make sure those files and documents are accessible to yourself as well as your future employer. Make sure you always plan ahead and maybe even bring an extra copy of your resume. You should always go into the job interview feeling confident and strong that you have a place to fill the position you’re trying to get. Employers have many jobs other than being a hiring manager. Time is money, don’t waste their time. Most employers will only bring you in for an interview if they feel like you will be a good fit for the position and team. Most interviews for very serious businesses are put together to get to know you more personally. If they know you can do the job, they will always have you come in for a face-to-face interview that way they can get to see how you act in person. Most of the time you’re going to be at work and so they want to make sure they like you at a personal level as well as a coworker/team.        In order for you to do good in an interview, you should always be conversational with the employer. Don’t be shy, speak up and speak to them as if you met a new person. A lot of times people feel discouraged in an interview which results in them being quiet and not showing themselves at a high potential. You don’t want to make them feel awkward, the more you talk the better you will be off. You should always be prepared physically as well as mentally. Going into an interview you should be wearing something that is at least a bit dressier than a regular day for yourself. Maybe slacks, jeans, polos, clean shoes, etc. Dress yourself accordingly to the job title. Although not everyone can look as nice as one another, you should always try to be at your best physical appearance that way they know you are serious enough about their opening position.        Expect the greatest but don’t let that tear you don’t fit the requirements for the open position. You can expect to receive a drug test, background check, legal citizenship, and other requirements for the job. Hopefully this has given you a few helpful tips about a job interview.

 

By Corey Wall, Business Management Major – IUPUC

Communication with Foreign Co-Workers on Overseas Assignments

There is no doubt that we are globalizing ourselves and that we are more diverse than before. The United States has become a land of many cultures. Communication has become better through technology and the socialization of the human species. Yet, how can we prepare employees for an overseas assignment? This is something that can be seen in two ways, a structured plan for the assignment itself and the in-depth cultural communication factor.

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Andy Molinsky and Melissa Hahn write that there are five ways one can succeed on an overseas assignment in a structured way.

  • Have a purpose and a person who can promote that purpose. Having the right person to make this assignment work is quite important, especially in cultural understanding and understanding of the project.
  • Having a close connection to home works well, that way the person overseas doesn’t lose touch with what he or she is doing for the company. A good mentor would work.
  • Communication between the worker and employer needs to be constant for best results.
  • Before leaving, it is ideal to start on talks of how the assignment was beneficial and what was learned.
  • The company can distribute what it learned from that experience.

We often forget that to have a successful assignment overseas, the communication between the employee and the foreign team is crucial. We need to consider cultural, social, and language barriers amongst diversity and work. There is no denying that “…English is now the global language of business.” as mentioned by Tsedel Neeley in her article Global Business Speaks English. But this doesn’t really help many. My interview with Dr. Joann Jones, Executive Director – Leadership Development for Cummins, led to these tips.

  • Prepare the assignment ahead of time so that everyone working on the assignment can understand the assignment.
  • Know that there will be a need for clarification as language and cultural barriers are present.
  • If possible, know the language and culture of where one may stay can improve results.
  • An ending follow-up on the assignment will be helpful, especially a written documentation of the progress and results. This may help clarify any miscommunications.

Making sure an overseas assignment is completely worked out is the main goal, but knowing the cultural factor and having a structured plan can lead to a successful assignment.

 

By Alvaro Garcia, Business Major – IUPUC

Can Social Media Get You Fired?

Most people have posted to some sort of social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or some other site.  Thanks to technology, people can upload pictures right after they are taken, update their Facebook status, tweet and add comments to other people’s posts all with the click of a few buttons.  Technology has also made it easier for employers to see what their employees are posting.  This has led to some people losing their jobs due to what they posted on social media.

Here are some examples:

  • In Georgia, Johnny Cook, a bus driver, was fired for sharing a story on his Facebook page about a child who was not allowed to get a school lunch because his lunch account had a 40 cent deficit.  The school requested that Cook take down the post and say that he is sorry or else be fired.  He chose the latter.
  • In Australia, a video was posted of some miners doing “The Harlem Shake.”  After their employer found out, the miners were fired.
  • A woman lost her job after insulting her boss on Facebook.  Her boss was one of her Facebook friends.
  • In 2013, a picture was posted of a Taco Bell employee licking some hard taco shells.  He was fired, along with the employee who took the picture.  Taco Bell stated that the employees were fired for taking the picture and posting it to the Internet, which is against their policies.
  • A high school math teacher from Denver was fired for tweeting about marijuana and posting some risqué photos.
  • A woman from Switzerland was fired from her job just for checking updates on Facebook on the same day she called in sick to work stating “she could not work in front of a computer as she needed to lie in the dark.”
  • A woman was fired from her waitress job after posting insults about the restaurant’s customers on her Facebook page.
  • Celebrities are not safe either.  Gilbert Gottfried was fired by Aflac “less than an hour” after tweeting jokes about the tsunami in Japan.
  • Ex-MLB player Mike Bacsik was fired from a radio show in Texas after tweeting, “Congrats to all the dirty Mexicans in San Antonio” after the Dallas Mavericks lost a playoff game in 2010.

Social media is a good way to keep in touch with family members and friends.  Before you post anything though, you may want to stop and think about who might see it and could there be any negative consequences.  If you are Facebook friends with your boss, definitely do not post derogatory comments about him because more than likely he will see it, and you may be called into his office to discuss it the next day.

Another thing to ask yourself before posting anything is “will this reflect badly on me or my employer?”  If your employer is doing something unethical or illegal, that is one thing, just be prepared for the consequences if you write about it on social media.  But if you are just venting about something that made you angry at work or posting a picture of yourself doing a keg stand, you may want to rethink it and just share it with close friends and family members.

 

By Amanda Smith, Business major – IUPUC

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/living/buzzfeed-social-media-fired/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/fired-over-facebook-posts_n_659170.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/employee-fired-from-taco-bell-for-licking-shells/

 

 

 

What Do Your Walls Say About You?

Stop what you’re doing right now and look.  Look at the walls in your office if you have one.  Scan the top of your desk, your file cabinets, side tables, computer stations, ect.

If this person were an attorney, would you trust him with your case?

Look with fresh eyes as if it were someone else’s office.

What do you see?  Controlled chaos?

What does it say about you?  Neat? Disorganized?  Unproductive?  A potential fire hazard in the making?

Business professionals should be use to thinking about their appearance by now.  Every wise manager knows that, on the job, you dress for the position you want, not the one you have.  But how often do those same people think about what message their surroundings are saying to others?

Your work environment maybe be your happy place on the job, but the message it sends to others should be consistent with the one you’re trying to send through your appearance, your skills, your conversations, etc.

Impressive!

Do they clash?  Or do they support each other?

In today’s competitive market, don’t overlook this crucial piece of the puzzle. When it comes to your workspace, consider these items:

–         Does your workspace convey efficiency and organization?  Or are your walls lost opportunities to sell yourself instead?

–         Is your college degree (should you have one or more) prominently displayed on the walls?  If not, get it up there.  If you don’t have walls or can’t hang personal items, invest in a small table-top easel and place it on a filing cabinet or side table.

–         Do you have any awards, merits or other honors that are frame worthy and display friendly?  If so, put them out there too, but avoid clutter.  The idea is, if you have professional designations to brag about, do so in a tasteful manner.

Now that’s more like it!

–         Is your desktop some place where pieces of paper go to die?  If so, now is the time to get organized.  Raid the supply cabinet for hanging file folders, develop a system, then use it.

–         But don’t wipe the slate completely clean!  A wide open expanse of clean desk top may be nirvana to neat freaks but to others it may say this person doesn’t have enough to do. 

The point is, bring order to the chaos, promote your accomplishments and send a message that you’re organized and dependable.  If it looks and sounds like you know what you’re doing, people usually will believe you.

– Robin Fritz, Adjunct Lecturer, Division of Business, Indiana University – Columbus