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Interviewing Soon? Don't Forget to do Your Homework!

Updated on March 1, 2015


It’s amazing that so many people who are about to interview for the “Job of Their Lives” know nothing, or at best, very little about the company they are about to interview with.  If you aren’t knowledgeable you won’t be able to answer questions about that company.  You can get caught flat footed, and  you certainly don’t want that to happen. 

Here are eight questions about the interviewing company that you should be able to ask yourself, and   you should be able to answer these questions confidently and without hesitation.

·         Who is this company?

·         What does this company do?

·         Where does this company stand in its industry?

·         What is the company’s mission?

·         How many people does this company employ?

·         Where is the company headquartered?

·         Does the company operate internationally?

·         Why do I want to work for this company?

The above questions are NOT usually asked by interviewers, but knowing the answers to these questions   will help you to be prepared for other questions that will be asked, and knowledge of the company will only help with your self confidence.

  Just imagine, if you didn’t do your homework, and you don’t know much about the company.  What are you going to say?  Are you going to sit there trying to come up with something off the top of your head. Do  you want to sound knowledgeable and confident.

Here are two questions that WILL probably be asked at any interview you attend.  You decide if it’s important to know about the company you’re interviewing with, and decide which answer works best. 

1.       What do you know about us?  What do you know about our company?     

 Answer A:             Umm, a, well I know you’re a good company to work for, and you’ve been around for a long time, umm, and I would really love to work for your company.

 Answer B:             I’ve been interested in the XYZ Company for some time, and I know that it’s a major manufacturing company that has been in business for over 27 years.  It’s headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with branches in Baltimore, Maryland and Seattle, Washington.  The company manufactures ABC products, is listed on the NYSE, employees over 2000 people, and markets products around the world

2.       Why do you want to work for us?

Answer A:             I know that you’re an excellent company with good benefits.  I would really like to work for a company like yours. 

Answer B:             I am looking for a company that is a leader in its industry, and can offer growth and opportunity.  I want to be viewed as a team member and contribute to the company’s success.  Looking over the company’s mission statement I believe this company offers these opportunities.


Remember, it’s your job to be prepared for an interview.  It behooves you to put in research time and  learn as much as you can about the company that you hope will be your next employer.  You can search company web sites for mission statements, products and services, where the company is headquartered and where their branches are located.  Corporate reports or the US Securities and Exchange Commission can give you insight into the company’s financials.  Better Business Bureau’s will give you information about the company’s standing with its customer base, and The Dunn & Bradstreet Report offers a wealth of information about companies.  Don’t be afraid to talk to people that you know who are employed by the company.    

They say that knowledge is power, if that’s true, then, the lack of knowledge is weakness.  Employers don’t hire weak people.  Make yourself powerful and do your research.  Investing time in research is time well spent and is really not that difficult.  Your efforts will pay off tenfold in helping to establish a good first impression, and a good first impression is very important and researching the company is an important step in the process. 


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    • profile image

      AC Witschorik 6 years ago from Victoria, Mn.

      Thanks, Hope they help in your job search

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station

      These are great tips. Thanks for sharing.