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Know What to Say on a Job Interview

Company Research

"What do you know about our company?"
"Why do you want to work for us?"

Why to Conduct Company Research before Interviews

Right off the bat, interviewers (or job applications) frequently ask basic interview questions like those listed above, to measure your interest and whether or not you've done your homework before interviews. If you don't have good answers, then you're likely in trouble before your interview has really begun.

For example, if an interviewer asks you why you want to work for the company in question, "Because it's a great company" is not the best of answers; it's a predictable, mundane answer.

Besides, how would you know that for sure, having never worked there? Worse, what if your interviewer—who does work there—doesn't think it's all that great?

When an interviewer asks you such a question, he or she wants to know specifically why you'd like to work for the company in question, verses just any ol' company that has a job opening for which you're qualified.

Subsequently, it's a good idea to conduct company research before you interview, so you can step up to the challenge and answer the questions with some authority. At minimum, research a company's products and services, so you can say what they are and why they interest you, and why your qualifications are a good match for the nature of the company's business.

Because employment is a two-way street, you'd be wise to research the company further, to ensure that it's an employer for which you'd really like to work; then you'll automatically be prepared to specifically answer just about any company-related interview question that an interviewer can throw at you.

Find out everything you can about the company, including:

  • Benefits
  • History
  • Culture
  • Financial status
  • Plans
  • Advancement opportunities

Of course, you may ask about some of those topics and then some during an interview, when it's your turn to ask questions. But it's a better idea to formulate specific questions to ask, while you're conducting company research to specifically answer related interview questions.

Asking and answering with specifics will demonstrate to your interviewer that you are at least interested enough in working for the company, that you first did your homework.

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