How to answer the why do you want this job? Interview question.

Most people stuggle with understanding how to answer the why do you want this job? interview question.

Interviewees often make the mistake of providing a generic, simple answer for one of the most commonly asked interview questions.

For example, some people may respond with, “I want a new challenge” or “because I have heard that you are a good company to work for”.

These are answers the interviewer has heard numerous times before.

The interviewer wants to know why you want this job at this company and, why you are here at this interview today.

Hiring new people takes time and money, so when they ask you ‘why do you want this job? Take this as a great opportunity to prove you are the right person for the job.

Providing a good answer to this question can go a long way to impressing a new potential employer.

Here’s how to successfully structure your answer:

  1. Highlight your passion for the role and the company

People who are most passionate about the company they work for are usually the ones that stand out from the crowd; they aim to achieve the highest success for the organisation as well as for themselves.

  • Discuss how the values of the company align with yours
  • Mention which services/products/current projects excite you the most (This information can usually be gained from the company website)
  • Give examples of recent achievements by the company that particularly stood out to you

When the interviewer is listening to your response, you want them to feel confident that not only are you interested in the role but that you will also enjoy it.

Show this by highlighting which key areas of the job description attracted you to apply in the first place.

  1. Show your ambition

Your potential employer wants to hire someone who will not only add value to the team today but also in the long-term. They will look for someone with ambition and who wants to continuously develop and achieve a successful career. When answering this part of the question, explain:

  • How you want to develop professionally and expand your skillset
  • How this role will help you do this,
  • Outline why you want to progress your career in this particular organisation.

The key, however, is not to oversell this part. Find a balance of showing your ambition, but while at the same time, not over-doing it, you don’t want the new employer to think you have unrealistic expectations of your abilities, this is a key part of understanding how to answer the Why do you want this job? question.

  1. Show your appreciation for the opportunity

Last but not least, finish by thanking them for being asked to interview and showcase your suitability for the role.

Put your thoughts into practice: The perfect answer Below is an example of a strong answer using the above structure given by a marketing executive interviewing for a position in the cyber security industry:

“IT Technology is such an important, ever growing and ever changing industry. It’s an industry I’ve grown to be very passionate about over the years, and during this time I have paid close attention to XXX as a highly reputable pioneering market leader.

I know that you provide robust, pre-emptive solutions and I read your industry commentary with interest regularly.

 Needless to say I was very excited when I saw you were hiring for this position.

When I initially read the job description for the role, one of the things that particularly appealed to me was that it has a strong social media focus, which is perfectly suited to my strengths.

 Whilst social media marketing is my strongest skill, I am aware that as a profession it is always evolving and I will need to continuously develop my expertise.

 Working for a forward thinking market leader such as XXX, with a sophisticated and strong social media strategy, will allow me to learn from the experts, keep my finger on the pulse and progress to my full potential through utilising the learning and applying for suitable career opportunities which may become available into the future.

To sum up, this role and company is well suited to my interests, skillset and ambitions, and I am very pleased to be interviewing for this opportunity.”

Providing an answer which includes the above elements will massively impress the employer and will enable them to see your potential.

Remember, they will hear similar responses from other candidates throughout the process, but, if you can take a more personal, informed and well thought out approach to your answer, you will set yourself apart and potentially be shortlisted as the preferred candidate.

Best of luck!


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