How to answer 'what do you know about our company?'
It might come as a surprise to many of you ambitious students, but… some people go to their job interview woefully unprepared. It’s certainly normal to feel nervous, or not to know where to begin researching. Even more so, when you don’t have much experience with job interviews. However, preparation is key. In this article, we want to help you answer one of the toughest questions recruiters can ask in a job interview. Read Along!
What do you ‘really’ know about our company?
The first step to answering this question is to make sure that you’ve done your research thoroughly. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
What is the atmosphere or ‘vibe’ in the organization like?
Does the organization have a corporate culture that is formal or does the firm have more of a start-up atmosphere with open communication channels and little to no hierarchies? It is important to start here; this will not only tell you whether you will fit the organization well but also give you an impression on how the interview most likely will be conducted. Chances are that for example an interview with Google will be more laid-back than an interview with KPMG, researching the atmosphere/corporate culture in a firm will help you find this out.
What type of products and services do they offer and who are their customers?
Is the firm a B2B or a B2C company? What is the firm’s aim, or better, what problem is the firm offering a solution to? It is important to get a feel of the firm’s products or services, and what clients they serve. This will help you to envision your day-to-day activities in the job, who you will be in contact with most, and what you may be selling to them or helping them with.
Do you know your numbers?
You can consider researching for example the approximate annual revenues of the organization. Also, research how many employees they have, what their market share is and where most sales come from. These are facts that you shouldn’t just recite in an interview but only mention when you think it will add value to the conversation. For example, you can mention that you’ve read that the firm is active in a country in which you’ve worked and that you’re wondering how this is moving along.
What does your role require?
By familiarizing yourself with the company you are applying for, you may begin to understand the stipulations and challenges of the vacant position. Is there a particular reason why you think this position is opening? Also, are you ready for the responsibilities of the job and are you capable of working long hours? Can you travel a lot? These are things you should consider and think about. Try to imagine yourself in the role, this will help you a great deal in the interview.
Research the hiring manager
Try to get to know as much as possible (but remember, don’t stalk) about you hiring manager. Look them up on LinkedIn, but don’t send them a connection invitation, this might come off too intrusive. Try to understand/familiarize yourself with the personality of your hiring manager and what their mission is. Showing sincere interest into your hiring manager will help create a familiar and comfortable conversation in the recruitment process.
Lastly, things such as the organisation’s published mission, what makes them special or something about the department / division you’re applying to are very interesting to mention in your interview.
Turning your interview into a conversation
Now, when you have a feel of the company, the vacant position, and the hiring manager, the next step is to turn these facts into a comfortable conversation. Instead of reciting the facts, a hiring manager will appreciate it more if you try to imagine and put yourself in the footsteps of an employee of the company. What tasks/day-to-day activities will you be managing in your job, what team do you think you will work in, and what skills do you deem necessary to work in an environment such as that of the company. We hope you now have a nice idea of how to go about answering such a question. Anything can happen in an interview, so don’t let a question such as the one discussed startle you. You will be able to show what you have researched at many points during the interview.
Make sure to come prepared to your interview, but above all, to remain calm and confident! You got this!