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You’ve landed an interview for your dream job, and now it’s time to prepare for the big day. One of the most common interview questions job candidates will face is, “Why do you want this job?” The best way to answer this question can be the key to unlocking a successful career.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the best strategies for answering this question effectively, offering sample answers, tips, and expert advice to help you shine in your next job interview.
Best Way to Answer “Why Do You Want This Job”
Understanding the motivation behind this interview question can help you better prepare a winning response. Hiring managers ask this question to gauge your genuine interest in the position, assess your compatibility with the company culture, and determine if you can make a positive impact on the team.
To deliver a compelling answer, follow these steps:
- Research the company and the job role
- Align your personal values and career goals with the company’s mission and values
- Demonstrate your knowledge and skills with specific examples
- Show enthusiasm and passion for the role
Step 1: Research the Company and the Job Role
Before heading into the interview, take the time to research the company thoroughly. Visit the company website, read their blog and mission statement, and familiarize yourself with their products, services, and recent news. This knowledge will help you tailor your answer to show that you’re the right fit for the company and the job.
Understanding the company culture is crucial to crafting a thoughtful answer. Check the company’s website and social media profiles to get a feel for their values, work environment, and employee experiences. Aligning your personal values with the company’s culture demonstrates that you’ll fit well within the team.
Study the job description to understand the key responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required for the position. This information will help you demonstrate your ability to excel in the role and explain why you’re interested in the specific job.
Step 2: Align Your Personal Values and Career Goals with the Company’s Mission and Values
Once you’ve gathered information about the company and the job role, consider how your personal values and career goals align with the company’s mission and values. Explain how working for the company will help you achieve your professional objectives and how your core values resonate with those of the company.
Step 3: Demonstrate Your Knowledge and Skills with Specific Examples
Show the hiring manager that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the job. Use specific examples from your previous experience to demonstrate your abilities and achievements, and explain how they are relevant to the job at hand.
Step 4: Show Enthusiasm and Passion for the Role
Hiring managers want to see candidates who are excited about the opportunity to work for their company. Express your enthusiasm for the job, the company, and the team, and explain why you’re eager to contribute and make a positive impact.
Sample Answers and Expert Advice
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a variety of sample answers and expert advice to guide your response.
Example Answer 1: Entry-Level Candidate
“As a recent marketing graduate, I’m excited to launch my career with a company that has a strong commitment to innovation and creativity, like [Company Name]. I’ve consistently been impressed by your company’s cutting-edge digital marketing campaigns, and I believe my skills in social media management and content creation align well with the job description. I’m passionate about using my talents to help [Company Name] achieve its goals and make a positive impact on the industry.”
Example Answer 2: Experienced Professional
“I’m interested in this position because it offers an opportunity to utilize my skills and experience in project management to drive results for [Company Name]. Your company has a great reputation for delivering exceptional customer experiences, which aligns with my personal values and work ethic.
In my last job, I successfully managed multiple projects, meeting deadlines and staying within budget. I believe my expertise in team collaboration and problem-solving will make a positive impact at [Company Name]. I’m excited to contribute to your company’s success and grow my career in an environment that values innovation and continuous improvement.”
Example Answer 3: Career Change
“I’ve always been passionate about [new industry], and after gaining valuable experience in my current job, I’m ready to make a career change and pursue a role that aligns with my long-term interests. [Company Name] is an industry leader, and I’ve been consistently impressed by its commitment to innovation and sustainability.
I believe my background in [previous industry] has equipped me with transferable skills, such as [specific skills], that will enable me to excel in this new role. I’m excited to join the team and contribute to the company’s mission and values.”
Expert Advice: Tailor Your Answer to the Specific Job and Company
When answering the question, “Why do you want this job?“, it’s essential to tailor your response to the specific job and company. Generic answers that could apply to any position or employer will not impress the hiring manager. Instead, demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the job role, and explain how your skills, experiences, and values align with those of the potential employer.
Expert Advice: Be Honest and Authentic
While it’s important to prepare and practice your response, be sure to remain honest and authentic in your answer, focusing on the particular job you’re applying for. Avoid exaggerating your interest or qualifications, and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Hiring managers can usually detect insincerity, and being genuine will help you build trust and rapport with your interviewer.
Expert Advice: Avoid Negative Reasons
When explaining why you want the job, avoid mentioning negative reasons, such as leaving a bad work environment or needing a higher salary. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of the job and the company that genuinely attracts you to the opportunity.
Tailoring Your Answer for Different Industries and Job Roles
When answering “Why do you want this job?” in an interview for a specific industry or job role, it’s essential to tailor your response accordingly. Here are some examples of how to adapt your answer for different industries and job roles:
Example for a Sales Position
“In my previous experience as a sales representative, I enjoyed the challenge of meeting and exceeding sales targets. I’ve always been interested in [Company’s products or services], and I believe my passion for your offerings and my sales skills would make me a valuable asset to your team. I also admire your company’s commitment to excellent customer service and innovation, which aligns with my personal values and work ethic.”
Example for a Digital Marketing Position
“I have been following [Company Name] for a while and have been consistently impressed by your digital marketing strategies and campaigns.
As a digital marketing professional, I’m excited about the opportunity to work with a company that values creativity and results-driven marketing. I believe my experience in content creation, SEO, and social media marketing aligns well with the job description, and I’m eager to contribute to the company’s success by helping to further grow your online presence.”
Example for a Healthcare Position
“Throughout my career in healthcare, I’ve been passionate about providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes. Your company’s commitment to compassionate care and cutting-edge medical advancements truly resonates with me.
In this role, I believe my skills and experiences in [specific healthcare area] would allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of your patients and support your team in delivering excellent care.”
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
To further refine your answer, it’s essential to recognize and avoid some common mistakes when answering “Why do you want this job?”
Mistake 1: Focusing Only on What the Company Can Do for You
It’s natural to discuss how the job will benefit you, but be sure to also emphasize what you can bring to the company. Hiring managers want to know that you will be a valuable addition to their team and will contribute to the company’s success.
Mistake 2: Providing a Vague or Generic Answer
As mentioned earlier, a vague or generic answer will not impress the interviewer. Take the time to research the company and the specific job, and use that information to craft a thoughtful, tailored response.
Mistake 3: Overlooking Company Culture and Values
Understanding the company culture and values is crucial for crafting a compelling answer. Be sure to address how your personal values align with those of the company and explain why you believe you would be a good fit for their team.
Bad Answers to “Why Do You Want to Work for Us?”
It’s important to know not only what to say but also what not to say when answering the “Why do you want to work for us?” question. Here, we’ll discuss bad answers that you should avoid and the reasons why they won’t impress hiring managers.
Bad Answer 1: Focusing on Salary and Benefits
“I want this job because it pays more than my current job, and the benefits package is great.”
While it’s reasonable to be motivated by salary and benefits, focusing solely on these aspects in your answer can make you appear self-centered and disinterested in the actual job or company. Hiring managers want to know that you’re enthusiastic about the role and the company, not just the compensation.
Bad Answer 2: Being Too Generic
“I’ve heard great things about your company, and I think I would be a good fit.”
This answer is too vague and doesn’t provide any specific reasons for your interest in the job or the company. It’s essential to tailor your response to the company and the role, showcasing your knowledge and research.
Bad Answer 3: Desperation
“I need a job, and I’ll take anything at this point.”
Desperation doesn’t convey genuine interest in the job or the company, and it’s unlikely to impress a hiring manager. Instead, focus on the aspects of the job and company that genuinely excite you and how you can contribute to their success.
Bad Answer 4: Lack of Research
“I don’t know much about your company, but it seems like a good place to work.”
Failing to research the company before your interview is a significant red flag for hiring managers. It shows a lack of initiative and interest in the position. Take the time to research the company, its products or services, culture, and values to demonstrate your genuine interest and commitment to the role.
Bad Answer 5: Overconfidence
“I’ve been successful in every job I’ve had, so I know I’ll be successful here too.”
While confidence is essential, overconfidence can come across as arrogant and may be off-putting to hiring managers. Instead, highlight your relevant accomplishments and how they have prepared you for success in the role while maintaining humility.
By avoiding these bad answers and focusing on crafting a tailored, specific, and genuine response, you’ll make a positive impression on hiring managers and increase your chances of success in the job interview process.