Interview questions come in all formats. A recruiter will often see you as a stronger candidate if they believe you’re genuinely interested in the company. When you’re asked “What do you know about our company?” – it is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate your interest, and being well prepared will help you do it well. If you don’t answer well, the recruiter might assume you’re not really interested in the job.
To prepare your best possible answer, do as much research as you can about the employer, the role, the industry, employees and even the interviewer. Below are the things you should focus on.
- The employer: Explore the company website to understand exactly what the company does. Research products or services, size (revenue and employee numbers), locations, customers and news. Do a general Google search to see what pops up -for example, news items, client stories, reviews and competitor information. Pay particular attention to names of products or services and think about your experience using/purchasing them (if relevant). Look for a LinkedIn company profile and other social media profiles. If it’s a public company, you could review their annual report, which you can usually download from their website. Some companies may also send a printed copy of their annual report if you request it. Annual reports for all government entities can be found on the Australian Government website.
When delivering your response, it can help to discuss an example that relates to what the organisation is going through. For example, you could say something like, “I noticed you’re going through a period of rapid growth but have several changes to deal with as a result of legislation. When I was working at ABC Company, we experienced similar change in a short time-frame. While it was an extremely challenging time, it was also exciting and I’m drawn to working in that environment again, helping the organisation to transition while maintaining its sharp growth trajectory.”
- The role: Carefully read the job description sentence by sentence to ensure you understand exactly what they are looking for. Then think about how to relate your experience to the requirements and discuss aspects that interest you most (focusing on the company). If you can, prepare one or more examples that demonstrate your success in each of the role’s focus areas. You can then draw on that to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and how this role might impact the company’s overall success.
- The industry: Understand what market the company is in. Who buys the products or services? Research competitors and determine how this company compares in terms of size, approach and where they all sit in the marketplace. Look for reviews or threads in forums. Find out whether the industry and/or organisation is growing or declining.
- The employees: To gain further insight into the company, you could also talk to current or former employees. Look to your network to see whether you know anyone who could give you some additional facts about the company – for example, future plans or upcoming projects. Research profiles of employees in similar roles to the one you’re applying for to get a feel for their backgrounds. You can do this within the company you’re interviewing with as well as its competitors.
- The interviewer: Review the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile to get a sense of their background. Having something in common or knowing a small fact about their professional experience to comment on can help you form a connection and make a lasting impression. This might just set you apart from other candidates.
Answering the question, “What do you know about our company” is a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the employer and how you can help the company achieve its goals. Try to deliver your response with a focus on the recruiter, to build a personal connection, and be positive and upbeat about the company. Put yourself in the recruiter’s or employer’s shoes and help them understand the benefits of hiring you.
Do you struggle with answering questions like this during interviews? If you’d like some help preparing for a job interview, so you can build your confidence and increase your success rate, take a look at our Interview Training and Coaching Services.