Tough Interview Question - How did you learn about your company’s products and services?

How did you learn about your company’s products and services?

Similar interview questions:
How does your company compete in the marketplace?
What are some of the ways your company differentiates itself in the marketplace?
What makes your employer unique?
Are you proud to work for your company?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is probing to find out whether you fully understand your company’s market position or if you are simply siloed in your role, not seeing the other parts of the company operations and the factors which influence its overall direction. The question goes beyond your personal role to explore how much you know and understand about the marketplace triggers which drive your company behavior and performance.

The best approach to answering this question:
You need to show an above-and-beyond grasp of how your company works. Most roles provide a cursory overview of the company and its operations. You need to show how you went above this basic training to gain a deeper grasp of what drives and motivates your company. If you can bring in a marketplace and/or customer perspective, do so.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"Every new employee goes through a series of classes during orientation week, but that’s usually where it stops for most employees. Yet I wanted to really dig in further, understanding the key competitive differentiators and what I could be doing personally to help us differentiate in the marketplace. So I asked my boss if I could spend some time shadowing a member of our sales team. She was very supportive and since then I’ve spent four different half days shadowing both internal and external sales team members. They were all very supportive and said it was the first time the request had ever been made. As a result, I now have a much deeper understanding about our company product line. Let me give you an example of how that has helped me be more effective in my work…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"My recent internship included some website information about the company that was required reading for all interns. However, I wanted more detailed and in-depth information. I asked my mentor for some suggestions and he recommended that I get together for lunch with people from different departments. He gave me a list of other recent grads from my university. It was a great networking opportunity, yet it also opened me up to multiple points of view at the company and many different perspectives…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I did the required standard training about who we are, what we do, blah, blah blah. It’s all a bunch of marketing hype and doesn’t really apply to me in my work, so I checked the box for completing the training, then went back to work…"

Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!

Further review: know the answers to these 100 Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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