One of the simplest questions during an interview is whether you know anything about the company.
Not having a good answer to this question has dual disadvantages:
The first one – the interviewer would wonder whether you are serious about the job opportunity and the second – s/he will also wonder whether you have the required knowledge on the industry and the market field that you are applying for.
When should you start researching about the company
As soon as you receive a call inviting you to interview – Assuming that you did a preliminary research about the organization before you applied for the job.
In order to prepare properly to this type of question, you need to look for the sources where information is available and public.
Where to find information about a particular organization/company
There are many places to get the information you need, ranging from the Internet to annual financial reports, networks and friends. All of these have their own part of contribution in building up the picture you would ultimately need about the company.
With the advent of the Internet, it has become quite simple for people to find out information about anything that they would want.
If the company is a well-known firm and has a global presence, it should have its branded website where you can find out sufficient information so that you can give the initial impression as knowledgeable about the company in the first interview.
Remember, just browsing out facts and figures about the company does not complete your research. Corporate websites are basically big advertorials, and give out only that information that the company wishes to make public.
When you are going through the details of the company, you should evaluate the issues and challenges that the company is facing in its industry.
How to answer the question: what do you know about our company?
Though, most employers will expect you to do at least a basic Internet search on them, they wouldn’t want you to rephrase verbatim statistics published on the website.
Don’t be predictable, be unique. Show your interest in the company.
The question ‘What do you know about us?’ is aimed at finding more about your analytical skills rather then knowing your abilities to collect data…
See if you can find valuable facts and figures about competitors, new products, leading products/services, industry trends, market difficulties etc.
Any field has its own hurdles, specialties and uniqueness. Find this unique info and when asked this question react to what your research tells you.
Start with a brief summary of what you’ve learned followed by, for example:
- ABC Company that is also expending to the [field] and how it might be a direct competition to the said company.
- The new challenge of launching this [new product] at this point of time and to this competitive market.
- Another example can be: if you red that world’s growth markets for your particular field are, for instance, India, China and other ‘developing’ countries. You may drop into your conversation your knowledge that these are the growth markets + You may ask about future plans to expand operations into these countries.
These not only lets your interviewer know that you are aware of many aspects of the industry, but also that you have thought through what it might mean to them as a company.
Furthermore, you will be able to think and talk about your strengths/skills that may help the company solve these issues.