Why Employers Measure What You Already Know About the Organization
The Purpose of the Question
Employers use the hiring process to select the strongest, most qualified candidates possible. For most interviewers, part of being a qualified candidate involves showing genuine enthusiasm and interest in the job and the employer. To gauge the level of interest of each interviewee, employers commonly pose the question, “What do you know about this organization?” Responses to the common interview question help employers determine whether applicants truly want the job or pose the risk of accepting a different position elsewhere. The question also reveals how the interviewee prepares for potentially challenging situations and establishes the prospective employee as either a proactive go-getter or a reactive individual.
How to Prepare For the Question
Properly preparing for the frequently asked interview question involves sufficiently researching the potential employer. Prior to going on the interview, visit the website of the prospective employer and learn about the history of the company. Gain familiarity with the leadership and financial situation of the company, as well. News outlets, trade journals, and industry directories also serve as valuable sources of information on potential employers. Proactively gathering information about the company before the interview shows initiative, preparedness, and, perhaps most importantly, real excitement for the job.
How to Answer the Question
Successfully answering the question requires the interviewee to connect the information learned about the company with personal expectations for the position. For instance, a good response might discuss the ways in which the mission or vision of the company align with the values of the job seeker, which clearly shows prior knowledge of the employer while simultaneously demonstrating the compatibility of the applicant. Responding to the frequently used query also gives interviewees the opportunity to ask any questions raised during the process of researching the company.