The importance of doing aviation company homework

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In 2015, no matter whether you’re being interviewed for a senior management level aviation job or a part-time junior position, your interviewer will expect you to have an interest and understanding of their company.  It may be that at a junior level you’ll be able to get away with a relatively sketchy understanding of the company’s position in their sector and what opportunities and threats are facing them, but at a more senior level, you’re knowledge needs to be top-notch.   All of that said, having an intimate understanding of the company and where it sits in the global aviation marketplace will help you stand out as an exceptional candidate, no matter what sort of job you’re after. 

There are several ways to find out about what companies do; who they’re associated with and how well they’re doing.  And the good news is, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.  The company website is a good place to start, but to be really impressive at interview, you need to go a whole lot further than that.  In this blog post we’ll share with you the things you should be doing to make sure your company homework gets a gold star.

The company website

When you’re preparing for an aviation interview, the absolute minimum you should do is spend time looking at the company website.  If you don’t know about them already, on their site you’ll get a great idea of where they want to position themselves as well as who their target market is.  There may also be some financials or blog articles that’ll give you a more intimate view of how they perceive themselves and what their values are.  However, to get a good overview of the company and where it sits in its sector, you owe it to yourself to look well beyond what they have to say about themselves.

Google

Google (or one of the other search engines) is your best friend when it comes to sniffing out company information.  You should make a point of Googling the name of the company, the names of key people in the company and even your interviewers.  This will more than likely bring up a whole host of different sources of valuable information.  While you don’t need to invest day upon day on this task, be selective in your search results and look for bad news as well as good.  Another good idea while you’re on this task is to Google yourself.  Knowing what comes up on a Google search about you is something you can be sure your interviewers have checked and you knowing what’s on there means you can prepare for any (potentially awkward) questions that might be asked.

The social media

The social media is a fantastic place to get a really full view of any company.  On the likes of Twitter and Facebook in particular, not only will you get their side of the story; you’ll get a live and active view of what their customers, clients and employees think of them.  What you find on the social media is complete gold dust and will help you develop a view (see below) about the real issues that the company is facing; right here, right now.

Go global

No company operates in a vacuum, so looking at global competition as well as other opportunities and threats will give you a really good understanding of how likely the company is to achieve their goals.  Showing that you understand the ‘big picture’ is a great way to show that you understand your prospective employers pains and problems and enables you to identify how you might play a part (however small) in resolving them.

Develop a view

Once you’ve done your research and have picked out the things that you want to focus on, develop a view of where the company is today and where they want to be in the future.  Take into account their competitors as well as any current economic or legislative conditions that may impact on them.  Once you’ve done this, put together your very own view of the company and prepare what you want to say at the interview.  Focusing on opportunities that mightn’t be obvious in the public domain will help you really stand out as an informed and motivated candidate.

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