How to Answer “Why are You Interested in This Position?”

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 26, 2022

Published May 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

During interviews, employers ask various questions to determine whether you're the best fit for a role. One popular question to expect is, "Why are you interested in this position?" In this article, we explain why employers ask this question in an interview, describe how to plan your response and provide example answers.

Why do interviewers ask, "Why are you interested in this position?"

Interviewers ask this question to make sure you researched the role you're applying for and understand what it involves. They want to determine whether you care about the job and will contribute to the organization. By asking this question, interviewers also want to determine whether your career goals, skills and experience match the company's goals.

Other ways an interviewer can rephrase this interview question include:

  • Why do you want to work for this company?

  • Why do you want this job?

  • Explain what interests you about this role and our company.

Related: Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

How to answer, "Why are you interested in this position?"

Use these five general steps to help you answer this open-ended interview question:

1. Research the role

First, learn the duties and responsibilities of the position you're applying for before the interview. Read the job description to get more information about the role and understand what relevant skills, experience or qualifications to include in your answer. For example, if you're applying for a customer service representative position, your responsibilities may include the following:

  • Sharing information with customers

  • Answering their questions

  • Responding to complaints

You can use these duties and responsibilities to prepare an answer like:

"I want this position because I am looking for an opportunity to use my strong communication skills to support customers. I love establishing meaningful connections with customers and providing the information they need. "

Preparing for this question by researching the position helps you to give a meaningful and compelling answer.

Related: How to Answer "What Do You Know about the Company?"

2. Research the organization

Read about the organization's culture, values, work environment and benefits. By researching the company, you show an interviewer that working there interests you.

Here's how to start:

  • Go through the company website: Read the "About Us" page and learn about the company's mission and vision. Also, go through the product or service offerings on the company's website.

  • Check media pages: Visit the company's social media profiles, press releases and blogs.

  • Ask your network: Reach out to your connections to hear what they think about the organization. Also, discuss what you found from your research with your friends and acquaintances.

  • Scan printed sources: Look through business journals and newspapers related to the company. Spend equal time researching the company and the details of the position.

3. Think about your goals

While it's important to show that you care about the position and the organization, you must also share how the role aligns with your career goals.

Related:

  • How to Create a Career Plan in 9 Steps

  • SMART Goals: Objectives for Your Career

  • 12 Examples of Career Goals for Professional Growth

4. Structure your answer

Once you learn about the company and understand your goals, it's time to answer, "Why are you interested in this position?" Writing your answer helps, but prepare to respond without information to reference in front of you. Remember key points instead of memorizing your response, as it will sound more natural that way. Here's an outline to follow when answering the open-ended question:

  • Share how the opportunity will advance your career

  • Mention something interesting about the role

  • Explain why you are a good fit for the role

Related: How to Answer, "Why Are You the Best Person for This Job?"

5. Ask a follow-up question

Conclude your answer with a question to continue the conversation. Asking a follow-up question leaves a great impression and shows an interviewer that you're engaged and want to learn more about the company. It also makes the interview more conversational. For example, you can ask, "What's your favourite thing about working here?"

Related: 11 Best Questions to Ask in an Interview

Tips for answering "Why are you interested in this position?"

Follow these three helpful tips to prepare a meaningful answer:

1. Be enthusiastic

Your answer must show that you're excited to work at the organization. Share what makes you happy about the role with the interviewer. They typically look for applicants who give a genuine response and are passionate about the position and the company values.

2. Focus on your goals and the company you're applying to

Mentioning the benefits of working at the organization is acceptable, but it's better for your answer to show that you want the position beyond the pay and other benefits. Focus on how your skills, experience and qualifications can benefit the company instead of solely furthering your career goals.

For example, you can start by saying, "The opportunity to grow as an office clerk attracted me to this position. I value employers who have a company culture that encourages career development."

3. Be specific

Your answer to the question, "Why are you interested in this position?" should be tailored to the company and specific job you're applying for. Keep it concise and direct to keep the attention of the interviewer. If the job description doesn't include the information you need, you can research similar positions. For example, the job descriptions of a home cleaner and a housekeeper are similar.

Related:

  • How to Prepare for a Job Interview

  • 17 Interview Tips to Help You Get the Job

  • How to Show You Are Interested in the Job (With Examples)

Example answers to "Why are you interested in this position?"

Here are some examples you can use as a reference:

Business analyst

"I have enjoyed working with my current employer as a business analyst intern, but I'm ready to take on more responsibilities as a business analyst. This position fits my communication, technology, critical thinking and problem-solving skills and how I want to advance my career. I'm also looking to contribute to an organization like yours that uses data analytics to evaluate processes. Can you explain the opportunities this company allows for career development?"

Senior software engineer

"While I enjoy writing code in my current role, the work environment doesn't align with my personal and professional goals. In this position, I can code and lead a team of junior software engineers. I'm eager to use my experience with various programming languages to build exciting projects for Software Programs Inc. Can you tell me more about the leadership style you expect from an ideal applicant?"

Receptionist

"Meeting and communicating with people sparked my interest in this position. I also like the flexible work hours this role offers. I am confident that my communication, organizational, technical and time-management skills will help me perform my duties effectively and reach my targets. Can you tell me more about the qualities you expect your ideal candidate to have?"

Lab technician

"The amazing research you do at Research Hills Inc. attracted me to this position. In my previous role, I collected water and soil samples from construction sites. This position allows me to work in an office where I can collect samples, analyze data and provide results. I am eager to use my skill set to develop my career goals and carry out research projects for Research Hills Inc. Can you tell me more about your organization's values and what working here is like?"

Teacher

"This job interests me because I am passionate about the mission of your school, which is to help students reach their full potential. I love teaching students, but I need the exciting challenges that this position offers. In my previous job, I taught math and volunteered as the Cooking Club instructor. I am eager to introduce my strategies for teaching math to students in your school. Can you explain other extracurricular activities students take part in?"

Kitchen manager

"I have enjoyed working as a kitchen manager with my current employer, but it's time for a change and new challenges. This position interests me because I will learn how to manage inventory in a big restaurant. I am confident my organizational skills and years of experience will help me work effectively in this position. Can you tell me what other skills, experience and qualifications you expect in your ideal candidate?"

Social worker

"While working as a social worker at the community centre interests me, your organization's culture aligns with my career goals. I like that your hospital provides opportunities for people to advance their careers through workshops and 60-day training sessions. I believe my customer service experience, time management skills and ability to multitask can help your organization reach its goals. Can you tell me more about your organization's work environment?"

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