Answering "What Do You Know About Our Company?" In An Interview
When an interviewer asks, “What do you know about our company?” they’re trying to understand how well prepared you are and how passionate you are about their business.
More commonly, interviewers are simply interviewing with the company because they are searching for a job. And they may have put all of the right information their resume and cover letter in order to get the interview. But once they’re there, it’s up to the hiring manager to make sure they’re a suitable candidate for the job.
When they ask you a question like, “What do you know about our company?” or “How well do you know our company?” they’re looking to get informed about your passion for their company values, category of business and reason for your presence in the interview.
This Is A Passive Interview Question
For the most part, this is an interview question where the actual answer itself isn’t the most important. But what is important is the facts and details that go inside of your answer.
A good answer to the question contains facts about their business. True statements which hopefully the interviewer knows themselves. And in rare circumstances, the interviewer is informed something new about the business.
Your answer to the question needs to be impactful, accurate and with good reason in order for it succeed.
What A Good Answer Contains
A good answer to this question contains some of the following:
- A fact about the business
- A statement about the business (either future or past information)
- A way to tie the facts and statements into why they are important to you as the candidate
That means you need to put together a few sentences which are going to impress the interviewer by having them be unique attributes about the business that are part of your reasons for seeking their employment.
Where You Can Find Facts
You can find a lot of information about a business by performing a series of Google searches. Look up old press releases on the business, podcasts that the founder has done, any type of old and new press that might give you some insight into what the company has been doing over the years.
Use that information to your advantage. Be sure that you write down every interesting fact that you find along your search.
If you want to look at the company “About” page that might be a good source for some recent information. Like company size, company values, mission statement, anything similar to that.
Some information that you might want to look for:
- Who the founder was
- Why the founder started the company
- What the company values are
- Where the company was founded
- How many employees they have
- Who the vice presidents are
- Who runs your department
- What the company is best known for
- What products the company makes
- What their sales figures are
- What the opinions of others are regarding the business
These are all pieces of information which can usually be widely found through less than 1 hour of web searching.
2 Examples Of Bad Answers
Bad answers to this question are ones that are vague and display the fact that you didn’t do your homework or prepare in advance for potentially being asked this question. It will appear as though you are thinking on your feet.
“I just love what this company is about. You make toys and those toys are really cool. People seem to love them and the CEO’s name is Tim.”
“You guys are located here, in Chicago. You have a marketing team and a sales team that I wish to be on. You are part of the Fortune 500 group.”
As you can see from those answers, they’re only bad because you will most likely be stumbling with your communication. And that will show you didn’t come prepared or that you might truly not know what the company is about, and only seeking employment.
Bad answers will also contain negative information about the business. Avoid bringing up current affairs that might not be such a great subject. Anything related to the business being in a lawsuit or maybe having a challenge with how the brand is being received by the public.
2 Examples Of Good Answers
Good answers contain factual information and tie in your personal reason for wanting to apart of the company.
“I read a story about Tim, the founder, many years ago. It was the story where he was saying how he got the company started by knocking on 500 doors. I found that amazing, that someone would go that great of a distance to get a company started. I knew I wanted to be working for a company that had that level of hustle.”
“I know everything about the company. It was started by Tim in 2011 with less than $5,000 in Hamilton, MA. Now, the company is about 10,000 people and has been growing at a rate of roughly 15% every year. It is considered one of the most prestigious technology organizations in the world. I can continue on but all of these reasons are part of why I need to be here. I need to be apart of the excellence that is happening within this company.”
Your good answer will usually wrap into a small mission statement for why you are interviewing. So be sure that your facts align with that. Start from the position of why you feel you want to work for that company, write that down, and then find supportive facts and statements that will go around that. Many companies will spend considerable time ensuring that there’s press about the positive impact their business is having. So you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding it.
If The Interviewer Asks, "Why Did You Choose This Company?"
Sometimes the interviewer will have a follow-up question in addition to the core question. It usually looks like, "What do you know about our company and why did you choose it?" When the interviewer asks you a question like this they are wanting you to answer with some of the qualities of the environment. Meaning, you should have a firm grasp on what the mission statement of the company is and try to include that as part of your reason for choosing that company. Those things would be answers like, "Collaboration" or "Doing good" and/or some other type of mission driven statement behind the company.
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