Answering "What Do You Know About Our Company?" In An Interview
In an interview, you might face this odd interview question, “What do you know about our company?”. An interviewer poses such a question when they want to assess your attitude and interest towards the company. Interviews are the standard process of segregating the best candidate from a group of suitable candidates concerning a job position. Hence, companies put maximum effort into finding individuals that are best suited for the job.
Concerning job suitability, how much interest a candidate shows to work and be a part of the company also plays a role. Hence, companies tend to test candidates in this regard by asking the relevant questions.
Now, you might think, how does the candidate’s interest play a part in getting hired?
So, let's answer the question – why are interviewers demanding your knowledge about the company?
Why do they ask this interview question
Think about it from a company's perspective, would you hire someone to work for you knowing the fact that they have no interest in your company? Organizations work on a system with employees being at the root of its function. If the root (i.e., the employee[s]) has problems, how long do you think will the system (i.e., the company) last?
Because of this, companies are very cautious about hiring the right candidates for the job to avoid any imbalance in the functioning of the system. Assessing a candidate’s interest is a part of overall suitability test for the job.
Interviewers then probe candidates with a question like "What do you know about our company?"
Such questions let the interviewer know if a candidate is genuinely interested in working for the company or has applied for the job without any thoughts. If a candidate is genuinely eager about being a part of the organization, he or she would have done some research and gathered information regarding the company. Someone who wants to work for the company would put in the required effort to know about the company. Candidates are aware of this aspect; hence, the genuinely keen ones would do everything possible to help them land the job.
If a candidate comes prepared to the interview with some information about the company, when asked, he or she will present the facts with much-appreciated enthusiasm. However, if a candidate isn't interested and has come without preparation, he or she won't be ready to face such info-seeking question and struggle to answer it.
Such information-seeking questions about the company aim to assess the intentions of the candidate. Therefore, if you are serious about working in the concerned company, gather some relevant information and practice its presentation before going for an interview. In the interview, talk about the company expressing your eagerness and willingness to work for them.
Next, let's focus on how to answer such a question.
How to answer this interview question
To respond to questions that seek your knowledge about the company, you have to do two things:
• Research and acquire information about the company
• Presenting the info when asked
You have to look up various sources on information related to the company, and when the opportunity arises in the interview, present them accordingly.
Research and acquire information in advance
Getting to know about the company is the first step of addressing this question. You have to load yourself up with relevant facts and info about the company before you even think of presenting them in the interview.
So, start with looking up for relevant information on various sources. Then again, what sources should you rely on for gathering this information?
Sources of information gathering
It is essential that you get the right information about the company. So, you have to rely on trusted sources of information to prevent presenting false info in the interviews and hurting your chances.
To get the right info, you could look up:
• The company’s website (‘about us’ page) or blog
• Company review sites like Glassdoor
• News portal like CNBC, Fortune, Financial Times
A company's website or blog is the best place to find useful information regarding the company as there's no risk of getting false information. So, if you want to find the most reliable info on the company, look up their website, go through the ‘about us' page or ‘missions' page. You could visit their blog (if any) to know about any upcoming or ongoing projects. It will provide you a brief idea about the company in various regards.
Though trusted sources, companies' site and blog might lack detailed information in some respects. In such cases, you have to refer review sites like GlassDoor for finding additional information. Alternatively, you can also search in news portals for any appropriate, useful information that might help you. However, be careful when dealing with these sources as sometimes you might end up with inaccurate or false information. Search for information only on the trusted sites (some mentioned above). If possible, collect information from multiple sources with regards to specific topic and issues.
For example, a particular source might state the company made 15 million dollars in revenue last quarter while another might contradict that by claiming it made 14 million dollars in revenue. In that case, search other sources for information on the revenue generated by the company until you find a consensus in information. Search for information related to the company. But then again, you might have a query about the type of information we are talking about. So, let's address that.
Type of information
The question "What do you know about the company?" does not inquire for information regarding a specific aspect. Instead, it provides you the chance to express what you know about the company.
Because of all of this, it all depends on how you prepare to respond.
The following are some types of information that can be useful:
• Date (or year) of the company's foundation
• The number of employees
• Annual sales figure
• Net worth
• Information regarding the workplace environment
• Revenue generated (quarterly or annually)
• Who is their CEO or founder?
• What are they best known for?
You get the idea. The information you acquire only needs to be relevant to the company.
Presenting the knowledge you have
Once acquired some info related to the company, when asked, you need to tell what you know about the organization.
While telling the interviewer what you know, express your enthusiasm and willingness to be associated and work in the company. Though, you putting the effort in preparing info related to the company shows your interest, expressing your keenness in words has a different value. You might know a lot about the company, but if you fail to show for it in the interviews, the entire purpose of preparation is defeated.
Here are some examples to help your case:
"Your company was founded in the year 1998. Mr. X, the founder saw the market potential of business consultation at that time and started the service. With 26,756 current employees, you have also got the largest workforce in this sector. Today, you are one of the most influential firms in the consultation sector. I had heard a lot about the excellent workplace environment in your company from one of my acquaintance. So when the chance came, I had to apply for this job."
"Your company is relatively new in this field, being founded four years ago in 2015. The high-end products that you started offering at substantially competitive prices were too strong for the existing companies in the market. This strategy played in your favor, and soon the company grew with ever-increasing sales and revenue year after year. Last year, your company made a profit of 75 million dollars. Today, you are among the big names in the smartphone sector. It would be foolish of me, being a technology enthusiast, not to take this opportunity and work in a company that focuses on innovation and technology."
The aim is to present the acquired info while showing appreciation for what the company is and does with eagerness to be a part of it.
With that, you should now have a proper idea of how to prepare and answer this info-seeking question.
Other aspects to consider
Apart from the above, there are some other things that you need to take care of.
Lacking concrete information.
The question is about your knowledge of the company. Whatever you say, there's a high probability that the interviewer knows something about it. It is not just about you sharing your knowledge, but sharing the entire and accurate information. Any company related information that you prepare should cover the whole aspect. Do not go to interviews being half-educated about facts. Doing this is worse than not preparing at all.
Always cover the entire aspect of any company related information. It is better to be highly-equipped with knowledge about two or three topics than having half-knowledge of ten subjects.
Preparing for future interviews
Interviews are the only thing between your dream job and you.
The following are some pointers to help you with interview preparation.
Preparing to know about the company.
No companies like candidates that know nothing about them. Acknowledging the company's presence and works reflect your interest in the organization. After skills and experience, companies look for the interest of a candidate in them. Hence, getting to know about the company helps, if you are serious about working there.
Refer multiple but trusted sources for information related to the organization. Use the acquired info to share your knowledge and show interest in the company for increasing your employment chances.
Preparing for the meeting itself
Interview meetings are the proving grounds of your ability and experience. So, you have to perform up to expectations to be considered for the available position.
Presenting your background
When presenting any information in interviews, you have to ensure it is correct. If they ask you something you don't know, say so; do not lie or bluff. You have to be honest and accurate when presenting any information.
Body language, speech and communication
Bad postures and improper spoken ability can hurt your chances of being hired. Hence, practice in this regard and improve your body language and speaking until it is proper.
Interviewers focus on what you wear and how you groom yourself. Looking shabby with untidy hair or clothes is not an option if you want the job. Thus, it is vital to dress appropriately, wearing clean and pressed clothes with proper haircuts. Your dressing style for meetings should not hint to your fashion sense.
Packing for the occasion.
Interview meetings are for assessing your job suitability. Hence, when it comes to packing stuff, only take things that are indispensable for the occasion.
Essential things for an interview include:
• Resume (original with multiple copies)
• A writing pad (for taking notes or referring to the info you have prepared for the meeting)
• A pen
• References (with name, designation, company, contact details and a short description of your relationship)
Apart from these, you could include stuff (breath mints or water bottle) that are an absolute necessity for you. Avoid over-packing and looking unorganized, minimize clutter as much as possible.
Final words about this interview question
“What do you know about our company?”
The primary aim is to assess a candidate's true intentions concerning the job and the company. It helps the interviewers know if the candidate is genuinely interested in the post, working for the company.
Through the article, we covered different elements like why interviewers ask this question, what kind of information to prepare and present, how to respond along with some other things.
We hope to have helped you in this regard to answer questions that seek your knowledge about organizations.
Related interview questions
If you are looking for related interview questions, the following should be helpful:
What are your leadership examples
Describe your leadership style
How did you hear about this position
Tell me about a time you failed
What motivates you
What makes you unique What interests you about this position
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