A solid answer to this common interview question will set you apart from the other candidates, but a poor answer could put you out of the running.
The weakest job interview candidates are those who lack knowledge about their potential employer, according to an Accountemps survey of more than 1,000 senior managers.
When interviewing for a job, boost your hirability by utilizing these tips on how to answer the question, “What do you know about our organization?”
Why It’s a Tough Question
Preparing for a job interview can be stressful. You put so much effort into selling yourself as the best candidate for the job, it’s easy to lose sight of the organization’s perspective. While being self-motivated and driven is advantageous to your career prospects, a successful candidate must also be able to prioritize the bigger picture of the organization.
What the Interviewer Wants
In addition to gauging your interest in the organization itself, the interviewer wants to see evidence of three crucial characteristics essential to being a successful new hire: initiative, resourcefulness, and curiosity. Demonstrating these traits by showcasing your knowledge of the organization lets the interviewer know you are an invested asset.
Crafting a careful interview answer to “What do you know about our organization?” allows you to shine by showing that you want to work for this specific employer not just any company in your industry.
How to Answer
“What do you know about our organization?” is not a job interview question that you can fudge. Your employer will expect hard facts about the organization – you can’t respond with vague, flowery descriptions. Prepare your response to this question in advance by utilizing the four D’s:
Do your research. Start by visiting the organization’s website and social media pages. Follow up with a web search to find the company’s year-end report, financial information, and list of key players. You can bolster your research by utilizing your networking contacts to discover first-hand accounts of the organization and its services.
Discuss the basics. Enter into your interview with a well-rounded book of knowledge about the organization. Familiarize yourself with its history, Board of Directors, products, mission, and current projects.
Dazzle with details. When you’re asked to share your knowledge of the organization, leave a lasting impression by sharing specific details. Mention professional awards and honors received the by the company as well as future projects that illustrate your interest in where the company is headed. Discussing the future of the organization is a win-win because it also establishes your interest in professional longevity.
Don’t overdo it. You may have spent hours delving into the background of the organization you want to work for, but that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm the job interviewer with your body of Jeopardy-caliber company facts. The goal of answering this question isn’t to educate your interviewer, but to demonstrate you understand the organization.
Do you have additional advice on how to answer this tough job interview question? Share your suggestions with us in a comment below!
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