We’ve all been there. We walk into the interview feeling prepared and confident. The interview questions and answers are flowing as you chat about your experience, hobbies and spare time activities. Then it is time for the next question. The interviewer looks up from their notepad and says “So, what do you know about us and what we do?”
Which begs the question, how should you research a company?
How to research a company
Explore their platforms.
In terms of platforms, we are talking about looking at their website, social media profiles and subscribe to their newsletters to see what content they have sent out. Search on Google, are there any articles about the company in the news?
What sort of pieces of information should you look for to gain an understanding of the company? Look for:
- Mergers and acquisitions (are they part of a bigger group – if they are, then research them as well)
- Content (such as social media and emails – what do they talk about, how do they talk, what is their culture like?)
- News articles
- Blogs and whitepapers they have
- Awards and accolades
Research your potential colleagues on social media; how do they come across, do you feel you will get along with them and be able to work successfully alongside them? These small snippets into the life of the company will not only help you gain a better understanding about the working environment they promote, but put you at ease when you enter their offices for the first time.
Reading the ‘About Us’ section isn’t company research
The interviewer isn’t asking this question because they want to test your memory and see if you can remember word for word what their website says. They know the company better than anyone else. It is likely that they wrote the ‘About Us’ page. While it is good that you have taken the time to look at their website, this will not be enough to impress the interviewer.
They don’t want to know about themselves; they want to know about you
The interviewer is asking you what you know about the company because they want to know you are serious about this job. You haven’t just applied for jobs all over the place, but carefully taken the time to find the right job, company and fit for you, before applying.
Should you research a company?
Instead of reading their website back to them word for word, talk about what you interpret from their website. Talk about how the style and tone of the brand voice suit you and the way you work.
If they have won business awards (which can be found by a Google search), then mention that you’d like to work for an award winning business like them. You could even add an award that you, or a previous business you worked for, won.
Talk about the values you can see that the company has from the website and media, and then explain how this marries up with your values. Talk about the things you care about as a person, and how this matches up with them.
End by explaining how you could see yourself very happy working for a company like this for the reasons stated.
So, should you research a company? Of course!
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