How to Answer "Why Do You Want to Work Here?" in a Job Interview
It’s the most common and often most-dreaded question: “Why do you want to work here?” There’s no getting around it, and chances are, the hiring manager will ask it in your next interview.
However, this doesn’t have to be a question that causes panic or leads to an answer you’ll later regret. With proper forethought, you can prepare an impressive response and confidently deliver it!
You’ll likely be asked this at the beginning of your interview, but if things progress without this question coming up, don’t think you’re in the clear yet. An interviewer might bring it up at the end of your conversation.
The key is preparing and thinking of a compelling and genuine answer beforehand. Here’s everything you need to know to excel when this question arises at your upcoming interview!
Why Do Interviewers Ask, “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
This question is something interviewers often ask and potential hires frequently dread. But why is it such a common question?
You might feel like the interviewer is trying to test or trick you. However, the real purpose of this question is to discern whether or not you’re a good fit. By discovering your goals, the interviewer can better determine if what you’re looking for in a job is compatible with the vacant position they’re trying to fill.
Variations of the Question
This question may come disguised as another. If the interviewer words it differently, you’ll want to prepare yourself to recognize it. This way, you won’t be caught off guard if the question sounds slightly different than you were anticipating.
Here are a few different ways the interviewer might word this question in an interview:
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Why do you want this job, and why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What made you want to apply for a job with this company?
- Why are you interested in our open role, specifically?
5 Examples of How to Respond to the Question
As you review the best ways to respond, keep in mind the best thing you can do in an interview: Be honest.
While the truth may be that you just need a job, the best way to answer this question is to think carefully about it and find a way to answer why this job is a good fit for you based on your talents, interests, and goals.
Use the examples below for inspiration on answering this interview question while telling the truth and illustrating to the interviewer that you’re an excellent fit for the job.
Before your interview, you’ll also want to ensure you’ve researched the company and its culture. This way, you can decide whether or not it’s what you’re looking for in a workplace.
Of course, it also helps you to respond to the question efficiently and illustrates that you did your homework on the company. Showing up having done your research makes a good impression and shows you’re familiar with the company’s background, mission statement, and history.
You can do this research by reviewing the company’s website, products, services, blog, social media accounts, and any other valuable resources you can locate.
1. I have the experience and skills to succeed in this role.
Back this answer up with examples! Before the interview, carefully review the job description so you can reference it here. Illustrate why you can see yourself succeeding in this position based on your credentials, experience, and skills.
Your professional growth is in your best interest. Not only that, it’s in your employer’s best interest too! They’ll want a successful employee, so this answer shows why hiring you for the position is a good move for everybody.
2. I’d enjoy the work this position offers, such as…
Use this answer to illustrate your understanding of the position and what it entails. Once again, you’ll want to refer to the job description and provide specific examples of tasks you enjoy. Don’t forget to cite reasons that you’d be good at those tasks and thus offer value to the company!
With this answer, you don’t want to keep it vague with responses such as “I’d love this job!” You want to support that by providing examples. For instance, if you are applying for a sales position, you may want to say something like, “Because I enjoy connecting with customers in my work, and this sales position allows me the opportunity to use my people skills effectively.”
3. I love what I’ve heard about the company culture because…
Refer back to your research on the company before your interview and cite positive things you learned about the workplace culture that appealed to you. Your response might also speak further to the core values and priorities of the company.
If you liked what you read regarding these things during your research, this is an excellent opportunity to say so and explain why those were important to you.
4. I am passionate about this industry!
You can use this opportunity to highlight your understanding of the specific industry. Whether the industry is technology, healthcare, education, or anything else, if it’s something you have a personal connection to, take this opportunity to make that clear.
Explain why you are interested in working in this industry and elaborate on your relationship with it. The more detailed your answer, the more you can show genuine interest in the position.
5. This position is a great next step in my career because…
Illustrate to the interviewer that you’re ready to grow your career and explain why this position is an excellent opportunity for you to do that. Explain why this company is where you feel excited to grow your career and back that up with reasons why, citing things you liked about the company or position you found during their research.
Your answer might include referencing the mission statement that aligns with your values, new career responsibilities or challenges you’ve been eager to take on, or anything else that stood out to you positively during your research.
5 Examples of How Not to Respond to the Question
While honesty is essential in your answer, using specific examples, you still want to show the interviewer that you’re an attractive candidate for the role. Be careful not to be too vague or uninterested in the specific company or position.
1. I just needed a job, and this one looked interesting.
This answer doesn’t show a particular interest in the position. You want to show interest in the role and that you would contribute positively to the team. You don’t want to come off as a candidate not invested in the opportunity or the company’s success.
2. I like the salary and benefits this company offers!
This answer doesn’t illustrate any interest in the position and may signal to the interviewer that you’re just going through the motions to bring home a paycheck. Instead, you want to show how and why you will provide value to their organization.
3. I’d love to have this job title!
Saying, for example, that you’ve always wanted to have “Manager” in your job title shows the interviewer that you’re more interested in the title of the position than the actual work it entails. You want to back up your answers with examples of why you would contribute value to the company and how the company or position aligns with your goals and interests.
4. I like the location/remote work this position offers.
It’s always a bonus if the position is in your preferred location or has remote work opportunities you like! However, this answer does not give the interviewer any basis to believe you’re a good fit for the role. You’ll want to demonstrate that what attracts you to this position goes beyond convenience and will translate into value for the company.
5. I’ve applied to several places because I want to see my options.
You want to explain why this specific position appealed to you. While this answer may be honest, you should instead use clear examples about the job or company to explain why you are a good fit for this role in particular.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Answer to “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
The best answer is an honest and thoughtful response describing how your passions, interests, and skills align with the position and the company’s values. Explain to the interviewer what you’d enjoy about the job and company and what value you bring to the organization.
Remember, first impressions matter, so you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared for this ubiquitous interview question. Do your research beforehand and have specific examples prepared so you can impress the interviewer when this question comes your way!
Keeping these things in mind, you now have the information you need to leave a great impression the next time you answer, “Why do you want to work here?” Happy job hunting, and good luck with your next interview!
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