An online search
The company’s website is by far the best place to start. It shows the company as it would like to be seen and will give details of the products and services they offer. You will get a feel for the company culture and possibly a clear idea of how you would fit in and what products and services you will be discussing with clients. There is an opportunity here to learn first-hand the dialect the company uses when illustrating their services to clients allowing you to have a common understanding of what lies ahead. They may have an investors relations page discussing the objectives and future plans of the company or a media page relating to their published comments and areas of interest.
When digesting all this information, consider how the trainee junior broker role you’re applying for relates to the company’s objectives. You may also be able to use the site’s search facility to discover more about the people who will be interviewing you. A great opportunity to find common ground from a professional stance as well as being able to get a feel for if this is the right area of interest for you to start building a career in.
A web search outside of their website is also a great way to find out more about the company. You may come across recent news that they have not yet uploaded showing that you are on the ball and taking a real interest if you were to draw on it in your interview. You may also come across independent blogs or reviews that also give more insight into the company. You could also discover some information written by their current employees on what it’s like to work there. Of course, not every person in a trainee or junior broker role is going to love their job and stay, which is good news for you as it frees up a place but also worth remembering should you read something negative from an ex-employee who didn’t do so well.
It’s also worth searching for your own name to see what crops up – your potential employer may be doing the same thing. The Facebook photos of you passed out on the floor or the twitter update about how hungover you are may be light-hearted fun but as part of a first impression it’s important that you fully submerse yourself into a professional standing and make a few tweaks to your social media content or the very least your account privacy settings.
It’s not just information about the company you need – you should also have a solid background knowledge of the industry so you can impress at the interview. Browse through business publications and websites to see what they are writing about your potential employer and their industry. You’ve put in your personal interests on your CV that you have a keen interest in the stock market. No-one is expecting an expert or wanting to hear a know it all waffle on but you have to be able to show you have an area of interest and be prepared to answer simple questions. What’s your thoughts on Vodafone? You can’t answer it, fine, don’t worry but ensure you can say “I haven’t been following Vodafone my area of interest is….. (Going into the detail you have and why it interests you). You are now in a position whereby you can ask questions about Vodafone and how it affects them, taking a real interest in them and the company they work for.
You may find trade publications at university or public libraries and you should be able to access them online. Some journals are even available for free or by subscription through their own websites so it’s worth having a search and seeing what you come across.
If you’re already in the same industry as your potential employer, it may be possible to discreetly ask co-workers or account managers from companies you currently deal with if they know anything about the company that you’re interested in.