Google needs little introduction. Just type the company name you’re curious about into the search box. You can also use Google Maps. Just type the company name, city, and state into the search box. You’ll get a map and, sometimes, a web site. But if you’re looking for their web site just use plain Google for best results.
Get Financial Information
The Edgar database holds all filings including annual reports from publicly held corporations. Using Edgar you can find out how a public company (one that is listed on the stock market) is doing financially. These reports can yield valuable information about what a company does and how they are doing financially. This site does require your patience but can yield great results. Wouldn’t it be sad if you get your dream job and the company tanks right after you get on board? And wouldn’t it sound impressive during the interview if you let them know you looked up their financials in the SEC database?
Find Non-Profit Organizations.
Nothing beats Guidestar. This site is an incredibly comprehensive resource for non profits throughout the U.S.
Ask a librarian
This may sound old fashioned but librarians specialize in finding information. In some ways they’re still better than Google.
Things you want to find out if you’re planning any kind of career with an employer
You can also ask these questions in the interview. Employers usually take it as a sign you’re taking them seriously,which is good.
- What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
- How important does upper management consider the function of the department and position you are applying for?
- What computer equipment and software do they use?
- What is their idea of an ideal employee? What type of person succeeds in this company?
- Are they financially solvent? (Are they going to tank?)
- What is the organizational structure of the company?
- Who is going to review your performance and what do they consider good performance? How often is your performance reviewed?
- What would a typical day look like doing this job?
- What are the most difficult parts of the job?
- What is most important thing to know about the company as a new employee?