Interview questions and answers: What do you know about the employer

Years ago, this would have been an unusual interview question. Now, it's quite common, particularly with large corporate employers.

There's a reason for asking this interview question. Candidates who know how to get good quality information will be the ones whose knowledge of the job will be good. They also know how to get useful and relevant information, which is a valuable job skill. Their interview answers will be good.

Interviewees need to be ready for this interview question. It regularly catches a lot of interviewees totally unprepared. Their interview answers are generally very bad, usually when one more bad response to an interview question is enough to put them out of contention.

Finding information about an employer

There's plenty of ways of finding useful information about any employer, particularly big companies regarding this interview question:

  • Company reports
  • Company publications
  • Websites
  • News and other media

Company reports

These are statutory reports which are published by the company detailing its performance, key issues, and projections for the future. (Remember, this interview question is looking for information quality.)

Company publications

Many companies publish a large range of materials about their business, including investment, operational, and financial information.


Company websites are virtual one stop shops for information. You'll get current news, and a good overview of the employer for your interview question.

News and other media

Big companies are often in the news. Small or local companies show up regularly in local news.

What you need to know about the employer

These are the absolute essentials you should know about your prospective employer to prepare for the interview question:

  • The nature of the business
  • Conditions in the industry
  • The big current issues for the employer
  • Any other real standout information affecting the employer

The nature of the business

This has to be part of your interview answer, describing the business type.

Conditions in the industry

Your interview answer should show you have current information and understanding.

The big current issues for the employer

Your interview answer must show clear knowledge of major issues. This indicates you've really studied the employer.

Any other real standout information affecting the employer

Some employers may be 'the biggest' or the CEO may have been voted CEO of the Year. Your interview answer should mention anything of this nature.


The job is corporate finance. The interview question is 'What do you know about this company?'

'The company is one of the top performing corporations on the Standard and Poor 500 last year. Sales have risen by 23% over the last six quarters despite an industry downturn. The company is structuring for future growth, according to the last report.'


The interview answer demonstrates:

  • Good current knowledge of the company
  • Aware of the industry conditions
  • Good information sourcing
  • Awareness of current issues affecting the company

The applicant has fully answered the interview question.