Why Do You Want This Job?

It's a question we all know is coming at some stage of the job interview - "Why do you want this job?" It looks simple on the surface but it can often be a stumbling block for interviewees.

You know the reasons you want a particular job, but verbalizing them coherently into a relatively short answer that satisfies the interviewer isn't always easy. Here's how to answer why are you interested in this position?

Be Prepared For the Question

You know it's one of the interview questions that will be asked, so it makes sense to prepare. Write down all the reasons you can think of for wanting the job. You want to be concise in your answer and sound like you are confident in what you're saying. The best way to do that is to know exactly what you're going to say, not just I want this job.

The following subheadings will address some of the reasons you may have for wanting the job and will go into a bit more depth about why they are worth bringing up.

Addressing the Job Description

When faced with the question "why do you want to work here? " a good starting point is to address the job description.

Explain how your skill sets are perfect for the role with examples of how this is the case. Go into detail about how your previous experience has prepared you for this job and how this is the logical next step for you. Take this opportunity to show the hiring manager that you not only want the job but are a good fit for it. That way, when they ask why do you want this job, you'll know exactly what to say.

Personal Goals

The job you are applying for might fit into a personal goal of yours. The best answer to a why are you interested question is to explain how the company and the job fit into your personal goals. Inform them of how this has been a long term ambition of yours and you have worked up to this stage you are now where you can apply for this position.

Make sure they understand why you are interested in this position. Your job search has to lead you to this point and this role is exactly what you are looking for to realize your ambitions.

How You Will Benefit the Company

When a hiring manager asks you "why do you want this job?" they are looking for two main points. They want to know personally what has motivated you to apply and professionally how will you be an asset to the company.

To answer the latter you will have to do some research on the company you are applying for beforehand. Find out useful information that you can bring to the job interview to show you are committed to working for this organization and that you know your stuff.

Highlight the ways in which your skills and expertise can help the company-specific information you have brought up. For example, you may have found the company has a motto and want to impress to the hiring manager by telling them how you will be able to work in conjunction with their ethos.

How You Will Progress in the Role

The job interviewer isn't just looking for a stopgap, they want a good fit for the long term. To properly address this you will have to explain not only how you will be an asset now but also how your skills will progress.

Not only do you want this job now, but you want to work for the company in the future and aim to progress in your role and potentially bring more to the table in the future. This isn't just "what I want to do now" but "what I need to do for the foreseeable future".

The interview question provokes a very present mindset but you will need to go beyond this and explain how you want the job for the future and how this will be mutually beneficial to both you and the company.

Avoid Discussing Money

It is the elephant in the room but it's a topic that should be avoided initially, or at the very least not a major focus. Yes, the job may pay well and this healthy salary may be your primary motivation in applying, but this is not the sort of thing you should be telling the job interviewer.

By mentioning the money you will be bringing your other motivators into question. You do not want to give the interviewer the impression that payment is your sole motivation and that the second a better gig comes along you'll be off.

If you place an emphasis on the salary, the interviewer will likely opt for someone who shows more passion and enthusiasm for the role itself. Someone who is more committed to working hard because it will benefit the company and they enjoy it will be far more appealing to a hiring manager than someone who is just in it for the money.

In Summary

There are plenty of reasons for wanting a job but not all of them make for great answers. When you're looking to answer this question, consider what the hiring manager is looking for first and foremost and tailor your answer around this.

You do not need to lie, but omit reasons that are less relevant or less impressive. A job interview is all about presenting the best possible version of yourself and this question is no different.

Follow some of the tips above when answering the interview question and you will give yourself the best chance of making a good impression, impressing the interviewer, and ultimately getting offered the job.

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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