How to Answer The Big Question; Why Do You Want This Job?

You’ve received a call back for the job of your dreams but you’re feeling anxious about the interview. This anxiety and nerves you are feeling is extremely normal and no matter how experienced you are, there will always be a few butterflies flying around in your stomach.

The questions being asked in an interview are carefully selected. They aren’t there to trick you, they want to either find out more about your personality or to see how you react under pressure – that is why interviewers tend to ask complicated questions like; tell us about yourself? or why did you apply for this role? earlier on in the interview.

There is one question however, that is probably the most important question of them all…

“Why do you want this job?”

It is a very simple question but one that if you are not prepared for, can mess up your whole interview and chances of sealing that dream job. The good thing though is that answering the questions isn’t as tricky as it sounds. As long as you are prepared that is.

In this article we are going to break down the question into 3 core sections and give you some tips on how to answer it. By the end you will be so prepared that when the interviewer asks you those 6 dreaded words, a little smile will spread across your face.

3 key steps to help you answer the question

When being asked a question like; why do you want this job? What interviewers are trying to understand is why are you the perfect fit for this position in our business. How are you going to be an asset for this company?

Typically, what an interviewer is trying to gauge is, why do you want to work for their company instead of one of their competitors, what are the unique factors that make this company more appealing for you. They aren’t looking for a generic answer, they want one that is about them.

Before you even step into the interview room you need to prepare yourself and the best way to do that is by; doing your research, resources and to be energised.

1. Do your research

The first thing you need to do, something you should have done before even applying, is research on the business. You should research exactly what the company does, the services/products they sell (you might have good knowledge in what they sell), have they won any awards, are they releasing blogs, who works there, backgrounds of their employees, employee success/outings. Anything and everything about the business will help you.

Finding out about the business and then congratulating them on a recent achievement or upgrade is a great way to start your response. This indicates that you have a genuine interest in the business and you have done your homework.

Don’t underestimate the power of this step. Businesses are looking for someone with drive and real passion, and showcasing that you have spent your own free time researching them will do you the world of good.

2. Resources

After highlighting your familiarity with the company, you can lead into how your background has qualified you for this specific role. This is your chance to “sell” yourself to the interviewer.

Try to figure out what the key requirements of the position are and match them up with your strengths. Which of your past achievements do you think have prepared you to add value to this particular role? 

Think of how your previous experiences have given you something valuable for the new position, whether they are work related or not! 

3. Be Energised

What is the thing that stood out to you about the job you’re applying for? That’s what you need to focus on when ending off your “Why do you want this job?” answer. Express to the interviewer how the position fits into your career goals and how it will develop your skill set.

Be open about your passion for the new role and how you feel it will add to your life, with you adding value to the company in return. At the end of the day we all need a job but businesses are looking for people who want a career. Show them passion about the job area you are applying for. Most of our clients love candidates who are immersed in the industry. 

“I love working in sales, the thrill of getting a new sale over the line genuinely gets me excited for the day”. – trust us when we say you can’t ever go over the top here.

An example of how to answer the question

Let’s say you’re applying for the role of a Information Security Manager at an up-and-coming clothing brand and you’ve just been asked the question; why do you want to work for us?

Answering with a generic response like “The role seems like a good fit for me and your business looks great to work for….” will convey a lack of preparation and enthusiasm. Consider points like;

  • What it is about the company that excites you
  • What unique skills or experiences you have to offer the company
  • Why you want this position instead of a role at another company

All these show that you are willing to learn and grow in the position. Here is our example answer for the job above:

“I’ve kept up with your brand through social media and I’ve seen the rapid pace of the company’s growth. Your latest blog you released on how you approach implementing ISO27001 is the same approach I love to use and really excited me. I want to be a part of the growth of the business and I know my background in client facing Security engagements would be beneficial to stay ahead of the game and to help you grow.”

The interviewer’s job is to see if your goals align with the position offered so that they equally benefit from investing in your time. Your goal as a candidate should be to prove to the interviewer that you have unparalleled expertise relevant to the role.

Now you should have everything you need to go leave the interviewer no choice but to give you that job….