Understanding how to answer this interview question: “Why Do You Want This Job?” successfully can positively impact hiring managers during your interview. For example, having prepared the PERFECT answer will help you stand out compared to other candidates interviewing for this position. You see, it’s no SECRET that landing a job in this day and age is highly competitive, so you need to quickly demonstrate in your answer that you are serious about the opportunity and interested in being part of the organization for the long term. So, the KEY then is to prepare an answer that HIGHLIGHTS both the needs of the company and your own career goals. How do you do this? Stay tuned to find out. We’ll even provide you with some of the BEST sample answers to use as a template when preparing yours.
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Hiring managers are interested in LEARNING more about you (the candidate) and your motivations. They are specifically interested in knowing what attracts you to this company and how this job fits into your future career goals. By asking this question: “Why Do You Want This Job?” Hiring managers can quickly assess if you are invested in the company’s values and a candidate committed to performing well in the job role.
We recommend taking some time to think about the job requirements and how your experience and KEY skills align with this job. Then, take some time to answer the following questions because this will help you PREPARE a relevant answer showcasing your VALUE as a candidate. Here are the questions:
What training and growth opportunities does the company provide for someone in your career field?
What makes this company attractive to other candidates? For example, why would others choose this company to work for and not others in the same industry?
How does this job align with your passion? How does this job align with your future career goals?
Where is the company heading in the future? (growth, products, services)
How does this company contribute to its industry or its community?
Once you have answered the questions above, in the next step, you
will HIGHLIGHT what makes you unique and what experience, skills, and qualifications you will bring to the company and the job role. To help you with this part, we have a simple three (3) step process to follow:
Start by matching your KEY skills and qualifications to the job description. You may have a dozen skills in different areas, but this does NOT mean you should mention them all. Your answer should NOT be a 10-minute sales pitch; it should be a well-prepared, relevant answer no longer than 2-3 minutes. So, be extremely selective in the KEY skills you decide to emphasize in your answer.
Here’s a strategy you can follow RIGHT now to get started. Print out the job description and highlight the KEY skill requirements for the job. This way, you clearly understand the type of candidate the hiring manager is looking for and can prepare an answer that matches the job requirements. Here’s an example of the KEY requirements HIGHLIGHTED in a job description:
Once you have highlighted the requirements in the job description, we recommend choosing 2-3 of the essential skills required for this job. Now, it’s time to sell yourself to the hiring manager by describing how you will add VALUE to the job role. For example, in your answer, describe your past work experience and the KEY skills that match as closely as possible with this job. You can even mention some achievements that will show off your strengths. Let’s look at the job description once again:
Here’s a sample answer using the same job description above. We will use strong analytical skills, customer-focused, and excellent communication skills.
“I am confident that my KEY skills and previous work experiences align perfectly with the candidate you are looking for. Throughout my career, I’ve always put customers first because I understand how important they are to the success of any organization. I believe that effectively communicating with customers regarding their concerns is a great way to tackle any problem quickly and find a resolution that they are satisfied with. Not only that, I understand you are looking for a candidate who can identify trends in the marketplace and make recommendations on how we can improve our processes to serve our clients better. I am confident that my (# years of experience) working with Google and Adobe Analytics will be an asset to this job because I will quickly identify pain points in the customer journey and make recommendations to implement moving forward. That said, I want to work for your company because you offer a culture that aligns with my core values and working with an experienced team will provide me with the ongoing experience I need to transition into other progressive roles in the future.”
Take time to research the company, like its culture and core values. Why? Hiring managers will respect you more as a candidate if you understand the company’s history, current events, the executive team, and other job opportunities. You see, understanding what makes the company unique is NOT difficult since most of the information is available online. For example, a quick browse on the company’s LinkedIn page will provide you with its history, insights, events, and job postings. Next,
In your answer, mention what you have learned about the company. Here are some things to consider: their commitment to their community, the company culture, and any professional growth program they offer to current employees.
How does this job align with your future career goals? Whenever a company hires a new employee, they invest vast resources into them, for example, training them, corporate benefits, and travel expenses. So, hiring managers are looking for a candidate they feel will be an asset to the company in the long term.
So, when answering this question, I recommend adding a few lines describing your interest in staying with the company long-term and transitioning into other progressive roles. A great strategy is to LEARN as much as possible about different career paths in the company and some senior roles you may want to pursue. It illustrates to the hiring manager you have thought about your long-term career goals and plan to achieve them with this same company. Now quickly, if you plan to GAIN experience in this job role and move on to different companies, never mention this in your answer because you will be eliminated as a candidate almost immediately.
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Here are four (4) “KEY POINTS” to remember when answering the interview question: “Why do you want this job?”
Don’t forget to mention why you want to work for this company. Think about it this way: You have years of work experience and a diverse skill set, you can apply and work for any company, but you have chosen this one? Why? It is essential to explain why you pursue this company and NOT others.
Don’t forget to HIGHLIGHT “specifically” the value you will bring to the company and describe how this job also allows you to excel. Pursuing a position at a company should always be viewed as beneficial to you (the candidate) and the company.
Don’t provide an answer that’s irrelevant or goes off-topic. It’s no SECRET that you want to work for a company that can pay the HIGHEST salary and offer an impressive benefits package. However, this answer does little to describe to the hiring manager how you will add VALUE to the company. Remember, you are selling yourself to the hiring manager by highlighting how your KEY strengths align with the job requirements and how they will add value to the organization.
Don’t provide an answer which is 5-10 minutes. Longer answers tend to be less focused. The less focused your answer, the higher the chance of you saying something irrelevant. The more you talk, the more likely the hiring manager will stop paying attention to what you’re saying. So, keep your answers no longer than 2-3 minutes and laser-focused on value.
Here are some popular sample answers you can use as a template when preparing your own. Of course, these templates should be customized to match your previous job experience, skills, and qualifications.
“Throughout the years, I have worked in various industries, contributing to my vast set of KEY skills. For example, I pride myself on solving complex problems efficiently and enjoy working in a team environment because it contributes to greater productivity, leading to a better customer experience. Now quickly, my ability to prioritize and work on the MOST time-sensitive tasks helps me ensure that all deadlines are met on time. I believe these KEY skills that I just mentioned will be an asset to this job role because you are looking for someone who can contribute to a team effectively and is flexible enough to jump in to help other team members when we are working on a tight deadline. I also want this job because you are a reputable company with a proven track record of success in this industry. I have noticed from your LinkedIn profile that you have 5% growth yearly, which means you take care of your customers and employees by providing an environment they can excel. This is also evident from your mentorship program offered to current employees to help them grow and excel professionally. Your company will offer me the foundation and training I need to transition into progressive roles in the future to help me reach my career goals.”
“I applied for this job because it aligns perfectly with two of my strongest skills: problem-solving and my ability to multitask. Since this position is looking for someone who can manage customer relationships to ensure they have an excellent experience doing business with your company, I believe my previous work experience in customer service and my core skills will be an asset to this role. Not only that, you require a candidate who can work with residential and business clients. As you can see from my extensive work experience in both these industries, I can transition efficiently into this role without your team having to invest resources in training me so I can start adding value to your company immediately. After researching your company, two things stood out, which makes this role even more attractive—first, your commitment to employee growth. You have a great program that trains and mentors employees to transition into other, more senior job roles. This aligns perfectly with my career goals because I want to be with a company where I can grow and continue providing value over time. Secondly, your company has an excellent volunteer program where you provide guidance and training for free to people who cannot afford education on their own. This allows me to explore my other passion, which is to help people because I believe everyone should have an opportunity to follow their passion.”
“Your company has a solid reputation for the work they do in the online space. Your portfolio of clients includes many of the Fortune 500 companies we have all grown to love. After reading your job requirements, I know you are looking for a candidate to manage small to midsize companies with a limited budget. As you can see from my previous work history, I have extensive experience running paid search campaigns for companies of all sizes and marketing budgets. Not to mention, my experience matches perfectly with other KEY skill requirements for the job, like someone who can develop and execute new campaigns while meeting target KPIs. I also have experience designing media ads, so I can be an asset to the design team, providing valuable feedback when needed. However, what impresses me most about this job is the knowledge and experience I will gain from other team members. I have always wanted to transition into managing a larger client portfolio with an unlimited marketing budget. Managing larger online campaigns will allow me to excel further in an industry I am extremely passionate about. I can be a valuable asset to your company as I plan to transition into other progressive roles within your reputable company because what your organization offers aligns perfectly with my future career goals.”
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