One of the common interview questions is, "Why do you want this job?" Answering this question appropriately can impress the interviewers. To give correct responses, consider your career objectives and the goals and demands of the company. In this article, we provide examples of appropriate responses and explain how to answer the question "Why do you want this job?"
Why interviewers ask "Why do you want this job?"
Employers ask many questions during interviews to identify how prepared an interviewee is. Through applicants' responses, employers see how much you know about the company and understand your character, weaknesses, strengths and abilities. Interviewers also use this question to learn how you relate to project managers and how you might use your skills to add productivity and value to the firm.
How to answer "Why do you want this job?"
To answer the question you need to conduct thorough research and prepare in advance. Give the employers well-thought-out responses to convince them you can achieve goals and increase productivity. Below is a guide to crafting appropriate responses:
1. Consider what you want from the job
The first step to answering, "Why do you want this job?" begins with a self-assessment. Think about what you want and be honest. Note the things that are most important to you and what you expect from the employer. Your notes can include the pay you want and other critical things you're looking for. Some of the most common aspects employees consider include:
- growth opportunities
- work schedule
- compensation, benefits and salary
- stability of the firm
- training opportunities
- likelihood of promotion
- company growth
Although you don't need to give a detailed description of what you're looking for during the interview, your expectations can guide you to develop the best answers possible.
2. Research the company
Research is an ideal way to understand the company's short- and long-term goals before answering questions. Below are tips for researching a company and preparing appropriate responses:
- Research the website of the company: Most company websites have information from product lines and mission statements to its accomplishments and history. Reading the company's blogs and signing up for its newsletters will help you learn more about the firm. Some employers provide detailed information about the hiring process and the skills they're looking for on their "Careers" page.
- Media coverage: Extensive Google research can help you learn more about a company. For example, you may search for articles related to a company in industry publications or in the mainstream press. The articles may cover information about how the business compares to its competitors, and the latest industry trends and opportunities.
- Use your network: Current or former employees are reliable sources of information. People who have worked there have an in-depth understanding of their employer and operations. Social media platforms are an asset when reaching out to employees through trusted contacts in your networks. For instance, a search on a networking platform can reveal who you know at the company or another connection who knows someone who works there.
3. Show how you will add value to the company
Most interviewers who ask, "Why do you want this job?" are interested in knowing the value you'll add to their company. Describe what makes you the most qualified candidate by highlighting things that make you unique among other applicants. Focus on your relevant skills and qualifications and how you will use them to provide value. Highlight your abilities and soft skills and how you will combine them with your expertise to succeed in the role. Although many applicants share the same skills, employers are looking for the best combination of personality and abilities. Be cautious of promoting yourself so strongly that it seems arrogant.
Take the time to read and understand the job description, requirements and hiring process and use the specific and required keywords or terms to answer the questions. For example, if the job requires excellent communication skills, you might tell the employer that you understand different languages and know how to use effective modes of communication.
4. Share your career goals
Interviewers are interested in understanding whether you plan to work at the company for a long time or are likely to leave as soon as another opportunity comes your way. Therefore, focus your answers on describing your plan to have a future in the company.
For example, after researching the company, you'll understand the opportunities they offer. Companies like to hire employees with future goals, visions and ambitions, but the responses you give about those dreams should be within the company's reach. Show how the job fits into your career development journey. For example, you can describe how the position will help grow and hone your skills to be ready for a management position.
Related: 10 Career Development Goals
5. Learn and be careful about the interview mistakes many interviewees make
When answering the question, "Why do you want this job?" there are common mistakes many interviewees make. The examples below will guide you on how to answer and avoid common mistakes:
- Explaining how you direly need the job. This response shows desperation and little interest in the company's welfare. Instead of expressing your urgent need, explain to the interviewer that the job provides you with an opportunity to work in your area of expertise.
- Memorizing your responses. Although you researched and practised your response to the question, your answer should sound natural. For instance, if you're disrupted while answering, you may forget where you left off and not know how to continue. Memorizing statements can sound unnatural and be distracting to interviewers.
- Describing that the salary and compensations are appealing. Even if the salary increased your interest, tailor your response to focus on other appealing aspects of the job. Wait for a period of formal salary negotiation to discuss money-related matters.
- Explaining that the job is the first step in your journey. Interviewers want to hire candidates that see a future with the company. The hiring process is costly and constantly cycling through employees is equally expensive, since new employees require training. Give the interviewer the impression that you see a future with the company.
- Taking too long before responding and taking a long time when giving answers. An interviewer will lose their focus if you take a long time responding or thinking of what to answer. Clear and concise answers will impress them.
Example answers to the question "Why do you want this job?"
When answering this question, find a response that portrays you as the best candidate for the job. Below are examples of answers to the interview question "Why do you want this job?"
"Working at a reputable company is one of the most enticing elements of this job. The position will help me meet my career goals and facilitate a smooth career development journey, which is critical. It will also provide a work environment where I will be able to hone my skills. This company has an excellent reputation and I know you employ staff who meet and exceed the industry standard. This position appeals because it offers so many opportunities for me to demonstrate and build on my existing skills."
"I am interested in this job because I am seeking to grow within a new position. There are always new and advanced technologies and tools to master in the IT sector. This company provides opportunities for employees to expand capabilities through training. The monthly training sessions you host show that we share the same ambition for growth."
"The company culture attracts me to the role. From what my colleagues say and what I read about this company, everything about it aligns with my ambitions and career goals. I relate to your vision and mission statement, which makes me feel passionate about your work. The opportunity to grow my career is another factor that makes me want to work at this firm."
Related: Guide To Company Culture
"I respect this company for the great software products you make, and I would like to work for a top company in this industry. My peers that work for the company have noted the excellent working environment you've created and the respect you show to employees. My proactive working style will fit into the company culture and allow me to grow.