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 is 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 bad news for recruiters and hiring managers, it’s great news for you because, with a little preparation, you can stand out from other candidates.
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 it’s 10-K.
- Google “company name” AND “annual report” AND “2020.”
- Open the annual report and scroll way down to the SEC/10-K section, where you’ll find a table of contents.
- The Business
- Selected Financial Information (5 years of high-level info!)
- 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 there or in their 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 been growing revenue 8% each year.
- Talk about something in their recruiting video that made you curious.
Sample Answer to “What Do You Know About Our Company?”
That might sound like:
“I looked at your annual report and saw that you’ve been growing about 8% a 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 February 2021
© 2013 – 2021, 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 has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, and Business News Daily.
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