Welcome to a new episode of interview questions and answers. Today, we are covering the “how do you know about us” interview question.
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When attending a job interview, chances are high that you will be asked how you know about the company or organization, a simple answer like ‘I heard you had some open positions from my friend’ is not enough of an answer to this question, by asking this question they want to know the way in which you go about your job search, and how thoroughly you have researched the company and position you are applying for.
Like all other interview questions, there is a hidden meaning, the hiring manager is always looking for subtle clues to help him understand how you would perform as an employee at their company. The question has two main meanings that the hiring manager wants an answer to, “How do you know about this company?” and “How do you know about this job opening?”.
The hiring manager wants to know if you directly targeted this specific company, and whether you are really interested in this specific job or if you are just in need of a job and will take anything you will get. Targeting one specific company shows the company that you want this job, and that you most likely have a reason, that you want to thrive, and you think that this specific company is the right place for you to do that.
The company wants you to thrive, and the hiring manager is constantly looking for talented people who will thrive because that is what earns the company their money.
Clearly say who referred you to the company, but not too much detail is required, if it was for example a good friend, state his name, and if relevant, where he works, this allows the interviewer to see which connections you have, which could affect whether you do or don’t land the job, the more connections you have with people high up in the industry, important people or major market players, the better. State clearly which aspects of the company you liked and made you consider the company as an option for you employment.
It is also important to say why you think that you are suited for this job, and why you are more qualified than others that may have applied for the same position. If you were referred to the company by a recruiter, it is most likely that the question won’t come up, but if it does, say which recruiter sent you to this company, it might be valuable information to the hiring manager. I have come to know that this is also one of the common Uber interview questions candidates get asked.
If you found out about the company or opening online or in a newspaper, clearly state where you saw it (which website or which newspaper) and on which date you saw it.
There are some things that you should avoid when answering this question. If you heard about the company from someone who is currently working at the company, do not elaborate on your relationship with said employee, or you might want to find another source from which you could have found the job opening, such as a newspaper ad, as your friend could be breaking company policy.
Some other things to avoid when getting asked the question are; don’t look surprised, always expect the question and prepare your answer accordingly, don’t be confused, hitting a wall and not being able to give an answer tells the interviewer a lot about the way that you might react to unfamiliar and pressuring situations when working at their company, if you don’t cope well, chances are they might not want you working for them, therefore it is important that you take the opportunity while answering this question to show off your skills and demonstrate that you are best suited for this job.
The way to go about preparing for this question is simple, just do your research, find out whatever you can about the company and position you are applying to, it is important to know the inside and out of the company. Important things to research about the company include the company’s managing philosophy, the main competitors, the main clients, mission, the type of people who work there, etcetera.
Another great way to research the company is to look into their annual reports, which are full of information about the company. Write down your research, divide the company into a few different subheadings that will better help you to understand the way they operate. Another useful piece of information to find out is what happened to the previous person at the job you are applying to, where did he/she go?
Why did they leave? Is it a new job title? It might be interesting to contact the previous person who held the job if possible, and get their opinion on the employer and the job in general. These are all thing that are good to know when going for the interview and things you can potentially ask the interviewer if there is no other way to find out.
Stand in front of the mirror and pretend you are talking to the hiring manager, ask yourself “How do you know about this company?” and try to answer as best as you can, after a few tries, you will be improving and will be able to answer the question given you did sufficient research on the company.
Your response should be clear and relatively short, not longer than three sentences, the interviewer is not looking for someone to waste their time, they want someone that will get things done, answer the question calmly, confidently and concisely, then move on to the next question, after all this is only one of the many questions that you will be asked in your interview.
When answering the question, show off your knowledge of the company. Another thing to do is stay enthusiastic, hiring managers are looking for people excited to do the job and willing to put their time and effort into it.
In conclusion, just like every other question, answering this question is not too difficult, you just need to know the hidden meaning of it and do is sufficient research on the company, practice answering the question a few times, be calm, clear, and confident and enthusiastic. As long as you stick to these simple principles, you should pass your job interview with flying colors.