“What do you know about our company?” isn’t a question that you might have expected, but it does come up. Unlike the questions regarding your greatest strength or weakness, this answer has to be tailored to each company. That is also exactly why the question is being asked.
Why Would You Be Asked “What Do You Know About Our Company?
The hiring manager wants to see if you are interested enough in this position to do the research ahead of time, and if you’re any good at researching. If you’re going for an entry-level job with few requirements, this question alone can show if you’re motivated enough to do a quick online search of what the company actually does. If you lack the basic motivation to see what the company does, it doesn’t say anything good about your motivation to show up for work.
- Did you care enough to research the company?
- Can you describe what the company does as an informed outsider or customer?
- Now, can you explain why you are interested in this position?
Variations of “What Do You Know About Our Company?”
This question might be reworded as:
- Do you understand the different parts of our company?
- When did you first learn about the company?
- What can you tell me about the company?
Do Your Research
First of all, identify what kind of company it is, so you can know their values. Consider all the different values in a corporation versus a start-up, or a non-profit. Be sure to check out any volunteer work that they might do, or if they have their values right on their website. Social media pages can also show you what they value. Don’t assume that you already know everything, even if you are a customer.
For instance, Amazon.com delivers products worldwide, but did you know that they also do a lot of charity work? Called Amazon Cares, these associate led groups are based on their communities. Amazon has also won a long list of awards for how they treat their employees. They also offer Amazon Web Services for Cloud Computing. It is exactly this kind of information that would make a difference in an interview with Amazon.
Prepare Key Talking Points
When researching your key talking points, pay special attention to any recent news that might involve the company. Look for recent product launches or major accomplishments. Researching ahead of time not only helps you with this one particular question, but also will help you form questions of your own for later in the interview.
Focus on the Positive
Make sure to focus on the good highlights, such as company milestones or accomplishments. Highlighting how the company values or mission align with your career goals is an excellent way to show that you’ve done your research and why you’re there.
It’s always important to show that you’re interested in the position during an interview. This question is usually asked early on, so it can set the tone of the rest of the interview. Be sure to show real enthusiasm, as faking it can come off as insincere and turn off the hiring manager. Being engaged in the conversation always makes a difference to the person hiring.
Example Answer to “What Do You Know About Our Company?”:
“I’m an Amazon customer, but I know this company is more than retail. I know it also involves Amazon Web Services for Cloud Computing and many of the Prime-related activities in the entertainment industry. This company also has great reviews on what it’s like to work here and seems really supportive of the local community. I’m fascinated by all the different aspects of Amazon and would love to be a part of this organization.”
It works because it shows that the person has done research into the company itself, including the values and variety of products. This is the kind of comprehensive and short answer that will get you the job!
Example Answer to “What Do You Know About Our Company?”
“I’m not just a longtime customer and fan of Frye’s footwear and leather goods, but also a big believer in the values Frye has shown. I love how Frye has stayed American-made, the campaign that teamed up with Feeding America, and the college student program. The way that Frye has adapted to beating the competition while still remaining true to the original roots is important to me. I’d love to be a part of the team that makes such a difference, both locally and nationally.”
This answer shows how the company’s values line up with the candidate’s and that the candidate has done their research. If you base your answer on real research into the company’s values and mission, products, and accomplishments, you’ll ace it!