In my previous post titled: What Software Company should I join in India? I put together a laundry list of questions I might be interested to learn about a company before I decide to apply for a job or not.
Multiple people asked me, how does one go about finding this info. Following is a high-level approach I would take:
- Seek as much info as possible
- Start off by reviewing the company’s website. Study it in detail. Make notes of things that interest you. Write down specific questions where you would like to learn more.
- Most companies have a News or Press section. Look at the link in there, it will help you understand what others(media) thinks of the company.
- Most companies have a Career or Jobs section. Review it to understand what technology the company works on. What kind of people they are looking out for. (Most good companies are always looking out for good people, even if its not listed under their jobs’ section.)
- Search for the Company’s Name online and see what other information you get about the company. Is this inline with what you already know about the company?
- Search for the Founder’s Name online. See what the internet has to say about them. Also search for videos or slides from any public talks or interviews. Generally if you Google for their name, you should get all these details.
- Establish a communication channel
- See if anyone from the company (ideally the founders) are presenting at the conference or local user group or hosting a webinar. Try to attend at least a couple of these events. Usually these events are free. This might be your opportunity to meet them in person & ask them specific questions.
- Search for the company’s profile on TechCrunch (CrunchBase) and LinkedIn. From here you should be able to review the profiles of all their employees.
- Try and find someone in your network who is connected with anyone from this company. Try and talk to the employees to get some of your questions answered.
- In your network, also try to find someone who has recently been thru the company’s interview process. (Whether they were hired or not, be ready for some biased opinion.) Ask them about their experience.
- Most companies I know are open to visitors. Drop in and spend some time at the company. Seeing is believing!
- If you are more keen to join as a developer, see if the company runs/hosts any open source project. Participate/contribute to that project.