Recent research indicates that how you answer the interview question, “What do you know about our company?” can predict your problem-solving ability. And we all know employers want to hire problem-solvers!
When I recruited, I always asked candidates that question. I loved it because it told me if the candidate:
- Possessed curiosity
- Was proactive enough to prepare for their interview
Benefits of Curiosity
Beyond the research mentioned above, studies conducted at Harvard Business School found that curiosity yields:
- Fewer decision-making errors
- More innovation
- Better communication
- Better team performance
Gain Competitive Advantage
So, that’s all nice, but how will answering, “What do you know about our company?” going to get you a job?
Wait for it — hardly anyone can answer that question — not even people interviewing for 6-figure jobs.
While the lack of good answers is terrible news for recruiters and hiring managers, it’s excellent news for you because you can stand out from other candidates with a bit of preparation.
7 Ways to Research Companies
And here’s more good news, doing company research isn’t hard. You can:
1. Review the company’s website, including these sections:
2. If the company is public, look at its most recent quarterly and annual reports.
- Google “company name” AND “annual report” AND 202X [the most recent calendar year].
- Open the annual report, click CMD-F, enter 10-K, and tab to the 10-K.
Again using CMD-F, search for Look at:
- Business (you’ll find a description of the business)
- Revenue (this will take you to the income statement)
- Anything else that makes you curious
3. Speed-Google the company.
4. Look at the company’s YouTube channel.
5. Check the company out on Glassdoor and Reddit.
6. Talk with people who work for the company or in its industry.
7. Go to Upwork and hire a researcher to put together a brief for you.
What Do You Know About Us or Our Company?
Then, when you get the “What Do You Know?” question, you can:
- Mention a product launch and ask about how it’s doing.
- Note that the company has averaged X% revenue growth for the last 3 years.
- Talk about something in their recruiting video that made you curious.
Sample Answer to “What Do You Know About Our Company?”
It might sound like:
“I looked at your annual report and saw you’ve been growing about X% per year. When I looked at your press releases, I saw you’re expanding to Texas. That interested me because…”
Get This Right
Remember, your competition won’t do this research. So, if you want to earn mad respect and interest from recruiters and hiring managers, prepare to ace, “What do you know about our company?”
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Updated December 2022
© 2013 – 2022, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts.
She is a Fast Company Contributor and has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, US News & World Report, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, and Business News Daily.
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