Interview Questions: What do you know about this company?Tuesday, 11 April 2017
What do you know about this company?
is a way to gauge your interest in the job. Your answer can show your enthusiasm, or it can show that you're obviously not that interested. If you care about the job you're applying for, you need to make an effort and learn about the company.
What to do
The key to providing a great answer to this question lies in the research. If you don't do your research, the only answer you can give is nothing, and this is the worst answer you can give. Doing research doesn't have to be difficult or a lengthy process. If you put a decent effort in, you'll be well equipped to answer this question.
Start with the company's or organisation's website. A lot of what you should know can be found on their website. If what you're looking for isn't there, search Google, it might be able to point you to where it can be found. This could be news articles about the company or their products, a blog that belongs to the company, or product and service reviews.
The company's LinkedIn profile is also a good place to find information about them or key employees. Be careful about who try and connect with though.
To get an understanding of how the company interacts with its customers or the public in general, have a look at their social media accounts. Using their posts, pictures and videos, you should get an idea of the values and culture of the company. Do they engage with their customers, responding to comments or questions and starting conversations? Or, do questions get lost and go unanswered in the constant sea of company promotional material.
While it's good to be thorough, there is information you shouldn't bring up during the interview. You need to provide enough information to show your interest, but not so much information that you come across as a stalker. Steer clear of personal or private information during the interview. You can talk about that stuff later should you get the job.
Finally make sure you've read through the job description carefully, something I expect you would have already done before you applied for the job. Reading through the job description will give you the information you need to know to match yourself to the job, and to talk about what interests you in the position.
What to look for
There are several pieces of key information you should look for when researching a company.
- What does the company do, what is their mission or their reason they exist?
- What are the company's strengths, what makes them special?
- What products do they sell, or what services do they offer?
- What is their reputation, what do people think of their products or services?
- What is the general size of the company?
- Which locations do they have office or stores?
These are the main things to find out, when researching a company for a job interview. When constructing your answer, talk about their history, their products, their services, their reputation, or a combination of these things. Using these things you can mix in why they excite you, how you can fit in, or what you have to offer.
Fantasy Furniture has been making Furniture for the past 15 years, and in that time you've grown to eight stores throughout the region. The attention to detail put into your products is the reason your products are so highly regarded. It's well known that you encourage creativity in your workers, and this is why I'm excited in this position. Creativity has been a really important part of my role at InTouch Designs and throughout my career. For this reason, I think my creative skills make a great fit for you, and your company.
What to avoid
When deciding how you're going to answer this question, here are some final things to keep in mind.
Don't make things up, or pretend that you know things about the company when you don't. They'll see straight through this.
When you're discussing things you know about the company, be careful about bringing up negative aspects of the company, their products, or negative experiences you've had. Interviews should be about the positive.
When giving your answer, try to stay focused on a couple of points. There's no need to tell the interviewer everything you learnt about their company beforehand. Essay length answers will have the interviewer tuning out, or stopping you half way through your answer.
Reciting information you found about a company by rattling off each item like you're reading from a list, is not the best way to answer this question. Try and tie what you know, together with what you have to offer, it will sound less robotic.
When answering the question
What do you know about the company? do your research, and use what you learn to show how enthusiastic and interested in the role you are.