Web based tool helps job seekers

July 6, 2009 4:31:21 PM PDT
Glassdoor.com is a free Web-based tool helping job seekers. One of its offerings allows users to search real job interview questions asked of candidates at large companies like Apple, Google, Oracle and the Gap.

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When it comes to work issues, you've probably heard the term "glass ceiling" and efforts to break through such barriers, but what about the "glass door"? In this case, what if you could have a sort of glass door view into a company where you're applying for a job?

"What's it like to work for a company? How much confidence do I have in the senior management? What's fair pay for the work that I do?" said Glassdoor.com CEO Robert Hohman.

Hohman is one of the founders of Sausalito-based Glassdoor.com, a free online tool designed to help people make better career decisions. It launched a year ago, and has since grown rapidly, now offering an inside look at over 26,000 companies, ranging from big-name tech companies to finance and retail.

"This was kind of a global thirst that everyone, basically anyone who's working, shares this thirst," said Hohman.

This quest for information is fulfilled by people who anonymously post what questions they were asked during an interview, company reviews and salary details.

"So if you've got a job offer in your hand, from say, as a software engineer at Yahoo!, what you want to know is what is Yahoo! paying their other software engineers, and what is Google paying, and Microsoft's Silicon Valley office... it's very detailed information," said Hohman.

The recession has made it a tougher, more competitive job market. So if you're looking for a job, University of San Francisco's director of MBA career services Mitchell Friedman advises doing your research.

"If you're applying at a specific company, it behooves you to get any and all information you can about that company, not just in a broader business sense, but how it recruits and retains employees," said Friedman.

Tools like Glassdoor.com can help and possibly prep you for that interview, especially if you're asked for example, "Why is a manhole cover round?" That's a real brain teaser question asked to a software developer. And in your job search, it's definitely advised you go beyond pouring through online job postings.

"Networking, using social networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook and others, is vital for reaching out to people and tapping into the hidden job market," said Friedman.

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