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Company Research Basics

Tips for finding public and private company information, histories, financials, stock reports, and news.

Interview Research Tips

Want to get a competitive advantage over other job applicants? Then get to know the company before the interview. 

  • Even novice business researchers can do basic company research before an interview.
  • The key resources on this page will take your knowledge well beyond what you can find on the company website or  through a basic Google search.
  •  Be better prepared to answer interview questions.
  • Use your research to draft questions to ask the interviewers.

For more thorough research tips, take a look at the resources for corporate strategy.

Gather Basic Company Information

D&B Hoovers is a good place to start, especially for job-hunters who are inexperienced with company research.

  • Great for large companies, and publicly-held companies (those traded publicly on a stock exchange such as the NYSE)
  • Simply search for a company by name  to find:
    • analysis of a company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)
    • general financial information for a company
    • company news and recent developments
    • analyst (stock) reports indicating how the company is valued
    • links to industry reports
    • executive biographical information

Privco is used to find financial information and profiles for many larger, privately held companies.

  • It can be very difficult to find information for private companies, as there is not a public record for these companies.
  • With  profiles for over 850,000 firms, Privco provides some relief in finding information for these harder-to-research companies.
  • Use Intellect to find both large and small company information. 
  • You can also use Intellect to search for companies by industry. 
    • For example, if you want to work in a brewery in Tennessee, you can use Intellect to create a list of all breweries in the region.
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Understand the Industry

  • Use IbisWorld to read about the industry to learn key facts, terminology, trends, etc.
  • Search for an industry by keyword to find:
    • industry performance
    • major players
    • key success factors
    • competitive landscape
  • First Research is also great for a basic, easy to understand overview of the industry
  • Look for the "Call Prep Questions," which you can use to draft your own questions for the interview.
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Use Local Newspapers

America’s Newspapers is a wonderful resource to find what the local press says about a company.

  • Use to search for newspaper articles from papers in the state or city where the company is located.
    • This can be a great way to find additional information about companies not easily found elsewhere.
  • From the database home screen, choose a state, then city(optional) to limit newspapers by location.
    • Next search for your company name in the Lead/First Paragraph
    • Use search filters to limit by date or by particular newspaper.