Seeking some hard-to-find executive contact names at a local company?  Interested in digging up biographical information on a hiring manager you’ll be interviewing with shortly?  If so, there’s a website called ZoomInfo that you and your fellow job seekers should definitely consider adding to your “favorite places” list if you haven’t already done so.  Essentially a search engine of corporate biographical information, ZoomInfo is capable of generating amazing results with a single quick search on an executive name or target company.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to find an appropriate contact at aQuantive (a Seattle-based Internet marketing company) to approach about employment possibilities.  Just type “aQuantive” into the company name field, and voila, suddenly you’ve got a list of 63 past and present employees of the organization to consider targeting, including detailed sketches of their backgrounds, interests, and career histories.  If you’re being coached by Career Horizons, in fact, you’ll scour these profiles until you find the person whose background connects most strongly with your own; this is the individual with whom you’re likely to have the most leverage when submitting an employment application.

ZoomInfo is also a fantastic tool for pre-interview research, as well.  For example, let’s hypothesize that you’re scheduled to interview with Craig Ueland, President of The Russell Company investment firm in Tacoma.  Run Mr. Ueland’s name through ZoomInfo, and within seconds, you’ll know that he’s been President of the company since 2003, graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics, got his MBA from the University of Washington, and successfully opened two of Russell’s international offices in London and Sydney, Australia.  Can you see how this data might prove valuable for preparing some great interview questions and for being able to build rapport around some common interests?