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What do you know about this company- answering this interview question

A typical job interview question, designed to find out how much company research you have conducted, is

“What do you know about this company?”

Prepare in advance — in other words, do your research. Be prepared to demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to learn as much as you can about the company, and in some cases, the interviewer. Learn relevant, even critical information about the company so that you can apply your qualifications and interest to the not just the job, but the employer as well.

 The selection process often is based on how well the candidate fits in the organizational culture, and part of the fit is based on how well you appear before the interviewer and your level of interest in the company that might be cutting your paycheck.

This is where your research comes into play.

Whatever you do, do not say ‘nothing’ or ‘I had a quick look at your website so I know you are a _____’.

Spend some time on the company website to find out as much as you can about the company so that you can speak for at least a minute and a half about their business. Also look at any news features or other websites that come up when you search the company name as this is often information generated by others and not the company singing its own praises.

At the interview, you can discuss a number of aspects such as services, goals, position in the market and other points that you have gleaned from your research. Make sure you show knowledge without coming across as a ‘know it all’.

‘I was impressed with your growth figures over the past twelve months and it’s great that you have a policy to support the local community’ is an answer that shows you have done your homework and gives the company a pat on the back for their social policies.

How to get ready for answering this question:

Research the Company

Start by researching the company online. Review the “About Us” section of the company website.

If you’re a college graduate check with the Career Office at your school to see if you can get a list of alumni who work for the company. That’s an ideal way to get an insider’s view of the employer, and to get information that might not be available elsewhere. In addition, you might find an alumnus who may be able to help you get an inside track to the organization and maybe the job.

Check the company’s LinkedIn page and the company website to review information provided by the employer. Also check to see if you have any other connections at the company who can provide you with insight and advice.

If it’s a publicly traded company, check out the “Investor Relations” page on its website to learn more about the financial side of the enterprise.

Visit the company’s Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages to see what information the company is promoting and sharing. You’ll be able to pick up tidbits of information that you may be able to use during the interview.

Search Google News for the company name so you can find the most current information available on your prospective employer.

Also research the people who will be interviewing you. Review their LinkedIn profiles and Google them to see what information you can find. The more you can discover, the more comfortable you will be talking with them.

Create a List

Use the information you have gathered to create a list of bullets containing information that you can easily remember during the interview. Taking the time to research will help you make a good impression with how much you know about the company.

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