How to answer "What do you know about our company and our industry?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why Employers Ask This

As a job seeker, you may have encountered the question, "What do you know about our company and our industry?" during a job interview. While you may be tempted to simply recite information from the company's website, it's important to understand why employers ask this question.

Firstly, the question is designed to assess your level of research and preparation for the interview. They want to know if you've taken the time to learn about their company and industry or if you're simply interested in any job opening.

Secondly, it helps employers evaluate your alignment with their company's goals and values. They are seeking candidates who share their vision and mission, and the ones who demonstrate alignment with the company are more likely to succeed and fit in better.

How to Answer the Question

Answering the "What do you know about our company and our industry?" question requires a blend of company research and self-assessment. Here are some tips to help you provide a compelling response:

  1. Conduct thorough research: Start with the company's website and read about their products/services, history, mission, and values. Read the 'About Us' section and any recent news or press releases. Deep dive into their social media accounts and check for employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Look beyond the company, and research its industry by scanning articles, industry reports, and company competitor information.
  2. Showcase your knowledge: Referencing your research, highlight what you believe sets the company apart from competitors. Referencing specifics i.e., mention any recent company developments or an achievement from the company will demonstrate a deeper level of research and knowledge.
  3. Connect your skills to the company: Based on gathered information, make a connection between what you learned and your experience, traits, or skills. Emphasize points that you match with the company's mission and values.
  4. Ask a question: Showing interest and curiosity, inquire about how the company tackles specific challenges or its future plans.

Remember, the answer to the question is subjective, and there is no one correct answer. However, by doing research and practicing your response, you will show that you're invested in the company, send a positive signal to the employer, and demonstrate how you are a great fit for the company.

Sample answers

Bad answer 1:

Uh, I don't really know much about your company or the industry you operate in. I applied to this job just because I need a job.

Explanation: This answer shows lack of interest and preparedness. It will make the interviewer doubt your commitment to the job and your fit for the company. Avoid this answer at all costs.

Bad answer 2:

I did a quick Google search and found out that your company sells software. I don't know much else.

Explanation: This answer shows minimal effort to understand the company and the industry. It lacks detail and doesn't demonstrate any connection between the company's values and the job seeker's skills. Avoid this answer if possible.

Good answer 1:

I did some research on your company's website and I really appreciate how much you emphasize customer satisfaction. Your company offers not just software, but also service and support to ensure that your clients have a seamless experience. I also read about your recent expansion efforts into new regions of the country and the revenue growth that has resulted. As for the industry, I know that it is a rapidly growing sector with increasing demand for digital solutions that streamline business processes.

Explanation: This answer shows the interviewee understands the company's core values, goals, and recent achievements. It also demonstrates knowledge of the industry and its current trends. The answer is specific, well researched, and shows enthusiasm for the company.

Good answer 2:

Your company is a leader in the industry, known for its cutting edge technology, innovative solutions, and outstanding customer service. You stand out because unlike many other companies in the industry, you focus on providing customized solutions to each client rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach. I also read about your company's commitment to social responsibility, including your sustainability initiatives and charitable contributions to various causes. As for the industry, I know that it is evolving rapidly, with new technological advances emerging every year, and a growing need for companies to adapt their offerings to meet changing customer demands.

Explanation: This answer shows a deep understanding of the company's values and strengths, as well as a broader understanding of the industry trends and challenges. It highlights the interviewee's research skills, attention to detail, and ability to connect the company's mission to their personal values and skills.

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