So… “What do you know about our company?”
You’re almost guaranteed to hear this question during a job interview. Even if you hadn’t even heard of the company before applying for the job, you don’t want to be remembered as the person who gave the answer “jack diddly squat?”
As simple as it may seem, this question could either make or break your interview, depending on how you answer.
Fear not — this question isn’t as scary as it seems. With some careful research before your interview, you can gather all the information you need to seamlessly and successfully answer this question and leave a positive impression on your interviewer.
When an interviewer asks this question, they’re not actually interested in hearing the entire detailed history of their company — they’re trying to figure out if you even bothered to prepare for the interview.
Knowing the history and details of a company will make you a more appealing candidate to the interviewer, especially if your own personal goals align with those of the company’s.
Many people assume that they will learn everything they need to know about the company during the actual interview and don’t even think to do any research before going in. You need to come to the interview with background knowledge of the company to successfully answer this question.
You should try to learn more about the hiring manager and what they do on a daily basis. Don’t be a robot — the secret to turning an interview from an awkward script-reading into a real human conversation is to understand the company, the hiring manager, and what they do.
Remember to share an appropriate amount of knowledge — don’t be creepy.
Even if your interviewer turns out to be painfully boring, you should come prepared with enough background information to impress them. Interviewers look for people who are genuine and enthusiastic, but even if you’re neither of these things, you can trick your interviewer with some pre-interview research of the company.
“I really appreciate your mission to provide high-quality affordable healthcare, and your commitment to providing education about how to make informed choices and lead healthy lives. I greatly respect your efforts to provide healthcare and education to countries abroad with your local partner organizations. Your commitment to creating a healthier world for everyone resonates with my desire to help and educate others.”
This answer shows that the candidate has researched the company, while also showing that they sharing their goals and values. This demonstrates that they not only know the mission of the company — they understand why it was founded and their long term goals.
“Your company was founded in 2008 with the intent to further the reality of solar energy for utility, corporate, and commercial businesses, regardless of government incentives. Initially your company was focused on residential solar, but after widespread success began to focus on commercial rooftop PV, and later becoming a leader in full-scale solar projects.
You have positive reviews online stating that you have great opportunities for growth, good locations, and that you’re a very security and safety-conscious company. I am excited by these reviews and opportunities for growth, as I would like to succeed and grow with your company.”
This is a good answer because it shows knowledge of why the company was founded, their products and services, and their history and successes. This answer also uses terminology of the specific industry, which shows that the candidate is informed and familiar with the industry. This answer shows that they have taken the time to read reviews of the company and that they were motivated by the results.
You should show that you understand the company’s mission, and how you would help them succeed. Prepare a condensed statement on how your qualifications and experiences can help in reaching their goals. Convey your knowledge with a positive attitude, but don’t be over the top. You want to come off as pleasant and enthusiastic, not psychotic.
When you learn about the details and history of a company, it helps you come up with your own questions for the interviewer. You may even discover that the more you learn about a company, the more passionate and excited you become about the career or industry itself.
Reciting a memorized script of information won’t make you stand out as a potential employee. Researching employers and organizations not only helps you get a job, but also helps you better understand what you’re looking for in an employer or a career. And remember — don’t be creepy.