“Tell me, what do you know about our company?” If you can answer that interview question, you will set yourself apart from most other candidates.
It’s one of my favorites. It helps me understand how a person prepares, or doesn’t prepare, to meet new people and new challenges. Are they proactive or reactive?
Are You a Curious Person?
The question also gives me insight into whether or not my candidate is a curious person. I value curiosity because it’s a critical element of both learning and adaptability.
Since change is the not-so-new normal, the abilities to learn and adapt are almost always critically important in the positions I fill.
Gain Competitive Advantage
Here’s the kicker. Hardly anyone can answer the question — not even people interviewing for six-figure jobs. Most candidates don’t prepare for interviews by learning about the company.
I always want to ask, “So, you want to work for a company you know nothing about?” But I don’t. It might damage our rapport. Good interviewers establish rapport with candidates. Maybe I will ask in the last interview I do before I retire.
Although my list of things I want to do in that interview is already pretty long…
All the slackers open an opportunity for you to establish yourself as a proactive, go-getter by learning a little about the company before your interview.
Five Ways to Research Companies
1. Review the company’s website, including reading the “News” section.
2. If the company is public, skim the most recent annual report/10-K for interesting information.
3. Google the News about them.
4. Check them out on YouTube.
5. Talk with people you know who work there or in the same industry.
Take note of what makes you curious about the business. Then, when your interviewers ask you if you have any questions, you’ll sound like a rocket surgeon! Well, you know what I mean.
Company research is low hanging fruit. Pick it.
If you’re too busy to try to stand out in your interview, then
why are you going go to Upwork and hire a researcher.
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Updated April 2019
© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.