The phone rings and finally you hear those words you’ve been waiting for, “Your resume looks great. We’d like to interview you.”  You got your foot in the door, nice work! But now how do you really shine? To impress the recruiter and hiring manager, you need to prepare, prepare, prepare. Strong candidates will show that they are not just qualified for the role, but that they understand the company and will be a good fit. So my advice to you is simple: get to know the company that you are interviewing– its history, culture, business and purpose.

My colleagues agree. I checked in with a few of them and here’s what they had to say…

“One of the first questions I ask during an interview is, ‘Tell me what you know about Schwab and why you want to work here,’” said Donnie Collins, a recruiter for Schwab Advisor Services. “For me, successful recruiting means identifying candidates who are genuinely interested in the company, business unit, and position they are applying for.”

Curtis Crawford, a recruiter for Schwab’s Client Service and Support organization, agreed. He frequently speaks to recent college grads and candidates new to the brokerage industry who are interested in the firm’s Broker Trainee program, “Before I put a candidate in front of a hiring manager, I expect them to conduct research on the firm and have a foundational understanding of our position in the marketplace, the services we provide our clients, and what differentiates us from our competition.”

For more senior roles, the expectation is even higher. “I look for candidates who have done their homework on Schwab’s competitive position within the industry,” said Vanessa Cruz, who recruits for Schwab’s Business Strategy group.  “Great candidates have knowledge of the new products and trends that Schwab is known for and can then draw upon that knowledge to provide strong insights into how they would impact growth.”

Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, research has never been easier.  Here are three stops on the information highway you should be sure to see:

  1. The company’s corporate and Careers websites:  Look closely. Here’s where you’re going to learn what’s most important to the company and its employees – from its purpose and business model to its financial strength and operating priorities.  Be sure to look for awards the company has earned, which is an indication of its strengths.
  2. Social media:  A company’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages offer candidates a glimpse of what’s going on at an organization while also providing you with access to employees. I have received several emails through LinkedIn from job seekers that are curious to know how I like working for Schwab.
  3. Search engines:  Whether it’s Google, Yahoo or another of its kind, type in the company’s name, and be sure to also select the “news” search tab.  Press releases, product announcements and news articles will all provide great talking points for interview day.

Your research should confirm your excitement for the job while arming you with the knowledge you need to dazzle and convince the recruiter that you are the right person for the job. Now go snag your dream job!

About the author: Shannon Grimes is a Phoenix-based talent attraction manager for Schwab, and her work focuses on connecting with job seekers at networking events, information sessions and career fairs.

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Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”), member SIPC. Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading and support services of Schwab.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The Charles Schwab Corporation provides a full range of securities, brokerage, banking, money management, and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc (“Schwab”), Member SIPC, offers investment services and products, including Schwab brokerage accounts. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products. Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support services of Schwab. Independent investment advisors are not owned, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab. Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. and Schwab Retirement Plan Services Company provide recordkeeping and related services with respect to retirement plans. Brokerage Products: Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value