Based on insights into who is really getting the job (plus exactly how they do it), this podcast is a new and simple approach to job interview preparation. Each episode is only five minutes long. This way, you can make progress even if you only have a couple of minutes. It contains one specific topic, gives you the relevant background and a clear and simple, step-by-step approach to help you prepare the perfect answers.
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In this episode, I show you a simple, five-step approach to demonstrate to the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in working for the company.
Welcome, everyone! Today, I will show you how to answer the common interview question, “What do you know about our company?” Click on the link in the episode description if you want to access all my podcast transcripts. Now, let’s dive deep into today’s topic. Interviewers ask you what you know about the company to determine if you have put some time and effort into preparing for the interview, which translates into you being genuinely interesting in working there. The following 5 steps can help you formulate a convincing answer without spending too much time researching. I will also provide an example answer at the end of this episode.
Step 1: Hard facts
Do some research on the company’s website to gather a couple of hard facts, such as when it was founded, its revenue, market share or number of employees. Preparing 2-3 facts is quick and demonstrates that you have done your basic homework.
Step 2: Customers and products
Now, focus on what the company does. Don’t just jot down what comes to your mind – do some research to avoid missing out on important facts. For example, most people would probably say that companies such as Visa, Master Card or Amex issue credit cards to consumers. But, as a matter of fact, they do much more than that: their different payment solutions are also used by businesses, travel networks and merchants. So, spend five more minutes on the company’s website to make sure you cover everything and then summarize your findings in one or two sentences.
Step 3: Vision and strategy
This can really set you aside from the other candidates because it goes one step further than what applicants usually prepare.
Start by reading about the company’s vision, which often is stated on its website. It’s all about finding information regarding what the organization wants to achieve or become in the future. Then, learn more about its strategy. If you applied to a publicly-traded company, download the company’s latest annual report. Don’t worry – you don’t need to read hundreds of pages; instead, search for the part where the strategy is described and summarize it in one or two sentences. If you applied to an organization in the public sector or an NGO, search for published documents on its website and you will most likely find one called “strategic plan.”
Step 4: Culture and people
Read about the company’s culture and values on its website. If you know people who are or have been employed there, talk to them. Maybe you can even find some information on how the company ranks as an employer. Identify one or two things that would make you feel motivated to work there. By adding your personal view, your answer becomes much more genuine, which is another strategy that can make you stand out from the other candidates.
Step 5: Your answer
Combine the results from the previous steps into a compelling answer. If you want to make the interview more conversational, you can close it with a question for the interviewer. Here is an example answer that covers all aspects discussed in this episode: “Your company was founded in 1872, has 52,000 employees and an annual revenue of $B35. You offer payment solutions to consumers, businesses and merchants, and your vision is to revolutionize the world’s payment flows. In your annual report, you list four strategic key priorities, focusing on further international expansion, new digital services, network partners and customer loyalty. Also, I liked that diversity is one of your core values and that you consistently rank high in the great place to work lists. What do you personally like most about working here?”
These were the 5 steps to answering the interview question, “What do you know about our company?” Thanks for listening, and I hope this was helpful to you.