When you interview for a position a a firm or admission to a university, it’s only common sense to learn all you can about the place in advance. It’s relevant information for you and proof for the people interviewing you that you have at least some right motives.
But I don’t too much like the line “I’ve always wanted to work at Firm X” or “I’ve always wanted to attend University Y.” It puts me off a little because it’s not relevant to the process. Saying “I always wanted to be a swaps trader” or “I always wanted to study deconstruction” is important, especially if you can explain why and you already have learned something about the subject. Where you always wanted to study isn’t, in my opinion.
It’s important to remember that firms hire you for what you can do for them, not for what they can do for you. About fifteen years ago I was helping build an equity derivatives trading system, and the Sun workstations we had bought weren’t functioning properly. I was tearing my hair out when a new young guy who had just transferred to our group walked in. When he grasped the situation he turned to me and said: “Calm down, that’s not your problem, that’s what I’m here for.” So smart.