3 Answers To "What Do You Look For In A Company?"

Sometimes your interviewer will ask you, “What do you look for in a company?” You might be thinking to yourself, what I look for is the company I’m interviewing for right now. But there’s actually a better way to answer this question that will impress your interviewer and help them understand “who you are” in more depth.

What Is The Interviewer Looking For

When the interviewer asks this question, they are looking for you to list the qualities that you look for in a company. This is different than describing the actual company themselves. A good way to think about answering this question is to presume some of the core line items that may come up if you were to read through a companies mission statement.

The interviewer wants to know what you value, what your morals are and how you might be guiding your internal compass. From there, they can determine whether or not it’s good alignment to what the companies mission statements are.

Know The Companies Mission Statement

In order to be sure that you are answering with three qualities that are in alignment with the company, be sure that you read through the corporate about page or read through their public mission statements. Inside those pages usually contain some keywords that you can extract which you can utilize to your advantage. If the company doesn’t have an about page, try to find the companies founding story and extract the criteria you think best aligns with the founding story.

That way when you answer, you aren’t accidentally answering with qualities that the company can’t provide, thus making you not an ideal or fitting candidate.

Qualities You Can Use To Answer The Question

There’s usually a predetermined set of qualities that you can extract from most companies based in the US. This is because the moral compass of most businesses are the same. As long you present one or some of the following qualities in a company, you’ll be able to answer the question accurately.

Some of these qualities are very general, but can provide ample ground for being able to integrate into your answer and have it be accurate. Often times the interviewer will ask, “What are the top 3 things you look for in a job?” And you can absolutely use some of the qualities above. But sometimes job related questioning is different than company related questioning. You’ll need to use your best judgement to determine what the interviewer is looking for.

3 Good Example Answers To “What Do You Look For In A Company?”

Here’s some example answers that take into account the types of qualities that you might be looking for in a company. Use these as a structure for building your own targeted answer depending on the type of company you are applying to.

Example one

“I look for three qualities: upward mobility, a growing industry and a company that has honest missions. If I had to simplify what I was looking for in a company, that would be it.”

Example two

“I look for the ability to grow with a company, a company that values collaboration and wants to change the world.”

Example three

“There are a few qualities that I look for in a company but what I’ve found to be the best compass is one single thing: a company that has a passion for delivering high-value products and services to its customers. Plain and simple.”

Bad Answers To “What Do You Look For In A Company?”

The only way to answer this question in a poor way is if your qualities aren’t really qualities at all. If you say, “I want a company that pays well.” Then that’s not really a quality, that’s more of the desired benefit. As long as you keep your answer focused on the company itself, you’ll be fine. Avoid self-centered or individually focused answers or qualities at all costs.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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