Why Do You Want To Work Here? – One of the Most Important Interview Question

First off, let’s explore why this question is even asked. 

As we stated above, this isn’t really just one single stupid question, but two much more complex and dynamic questions rolled into one:

1.Why do you want to work for this company?

2. Why do you want this job?

Now rather than deciphering the more complex layers, most job seekers will simply answer the question in a straight forward manner: 

Because I need the work and you guys are offering a great rate of pay.

Okay, that’s honest…which might win you some points, but if you really want to impress your interviewer, you need to make sure that you’re not only answering it, but that you’re answering the layers…and tailoring youranswer. 

(Don’t know how to “tailor” your answer? Check out our blog post Job Interview Questions and Answers 101).

Remember all that research you did on the company before you even got to the interview stage? 

Here is yet another opportunity for you to not only showcase what you know, but wrap it up with what you can provide skill wise. 

Not only are you taking a mature approach to what could otherwise be seen as a dumb question, but you’re using it as an opportunity to springboard forward in the interview process by providing thoughtful, intelligent, tailoredresponses.

Again, your number one goal is to always be the perfect candidate and that includes making sure you align your skills and qualities with the values and needs of the company.

First off, let’s start out with what not to say to an interviewer who has just asked you this question. 

Mistakes To Avoid

1. Being too honest:

“Uh, because I’m totally unemployed and sorta desperate at this moment which means my standards for what I’ll do for money are pretty low and flexible right now, including working for you.” 

Again, bonus points for being honest…but although we always encourage you to tell the truth, there is a fine line between being upfront and being escorted out the door.  Next.

2. Being too generic: 

“Well, it seems like this is a super cool company to work for and it would be great to be able to get a job here.”

Aww, I bet you tell all the hiring managers that.  Not only is it generic, but it doesn’t showcase any of the research that you’ve done on the company or the position.  Next.

3. A boring apathetic answer:

“I dunno.  I saw you were hiring.  Guess you wouldn’t be advertising if you didn’t have a job opening and I could really use one…a job that is.  So…we gonna do this or what?”

Wrong.  Your job is to convince the hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate…and this job seeker is definitely not the perfect candidate for anything…except maybe going back to bed and getting some sleep.  Next!

4. Being wishy washy:

“Uh, I don’t know.  I mean, I need a job and well, you guys have a super cool website and I really like your company logo colors so I guess…give me a chance?”

Oh man, I don’t know if I should give you a job or a sympathy hug. I think I’m gonna go with hug.  Next.

5. Being inappropriately funny:

“Because you guys need me.  I’m the best of the best and then there’s the rest.”

Shockingly, out of the five example bad answers, this one is actually closest to what you do want to say…just maybe not in quite such a cocky way.  No, seriously, this is close.  Keep reading to see what we mean!

But before you do you should download our free Why Do You Want to Work Here Cheat Sheet!

This handy (and FREE!!) pdf contains everything you need to answer this tricky question at a glance, including 5 sample answers you can use to base your answers on!  Click Here To Get The Why Do You Want To Work Here Cheat Sheet!

How To Answer “Why Do You Want This Job?”

The first thing you need to do to prepare for this question is to ask it yourself.  Just “Why do you want to work for this company?“ 

What do they offer that makes working there enticing?  Is it just the paycheck? 

If that’s all you can find, then maybe you should continue to look for another job.  Yes, money is a great incentive…but it shouldn’t be your only incentive…especially as you continue to advance your career.

So why do I want to work here?

Remember, every job is a stepping stone to your next position and a job that offers you nothing more than money can be just as big a roadblock as no job. 

Speaking of your next position, look at your career goals.  How does this company and this job align with your future plans?  Is this job a stepping stone or a holding cell?  Does the position AND company align well with your personal brand?

(Personal Brand?  What, you don’t have one yet?  Head over to our article Personal Branding for Job Seekers 101 to learn how to build your brand now.)

If you get this job, is it one you really want?  Is it a job you can see yourself doing with enthusiasm? 

Is it a job that, when review time comes around, your supervisor can see that you are not only motivated, but a dedicated employee worthy of advancement and bonuses or are you like a prisoner…just marking time until you get out? 

Can you honestly answer why do you want this job?

Once you answer those questions, ask yourself about the company overall. 

As you’ve done your pre-interview research, have you come across aspects of the company values and goals that align with what you’re looking for?  Can you work for them in good conscience? 

Can you say that what they represent aligns with what you represent?  Would you be proud putting that job on your resume or telling people you work for that corporation in casual conversation?

What is it about the company that attracts you?  What aspects appeal to you? 

Is it the job itself or is it something within the company?  Is it their outreach?  Their community service?  Their role in the bigger global market picture? 

Ask yourself, “Why do I want to work here?”

Once you start answering these questions, you can then in turn, refine them down into easy to remember answers that will not only impress your interviewer, but help answer an otherwise stupid question!

Now that we’ve answered those questions, take them and work them into your own answers for the hiring managers…and remember, tailor, tailor tailor!

When refining your answers in relation to the company, here a few key ideas to help spark your own answers:

Focus your answers to include specifics like the company’s overall core values and reputation.  These can also include non-position related things like the company’s community involvementoutreach programsmarketing campaignstraining programs…anything that you find about the company that intrigues you and draws you in.

You can also reference incentive programs and employee awards and or management philosophies.  The idea is you’re digging deeply enough that you’re not only aware of these things but that they resonate with you and make you want to be a part of the corporate structure. 

Big insider secret:  all hiring manager want to bring in people who actually want to work with them!

So, let’s practice a few!

“Why Would You Like To Work For Us?” Example Answers

So without further do, let’s have a look at a couple examples of how to answer this question.  In this first example, we’ll answer the question “Why would you like to work for us?”.

  I saw a story a few months ago on the news about the outreach your company does with the community.  Giving back is a big part of my personal philosophy and I was excited to see that there was a company that felt the same way.  You can imagine how excited I was when I found out there was a job opening in my skill set here.  I would really hope to be able to come to work every day to a place where I knew not only are my technical skills valuable, but my personal philosophies are as well.”

Uh, hello.  Perfect answer!  You’re not only aligning yourself with the company as far as philosophy goes, but you’re complimenting the outreach and promoting your skills at the same time.  It’s a triple threat!  Great job!

“Why Do You Want This Job?” Sample Answers

Now let’s move on to “Why do you want this job.”

1.  I really believe in the value of teamwork and so when I saw a position with your company to join your engineering department I had to make sure my application was put in.  I believe strongly in working with other people towards a common goal and I know the skills I bring not only as an engineer, but as a team member will not only bring me work satisfaction, but will make me a valuable teammate as well.”

This answer is great because it not only highlights your skills as an engineer but also as an individual who works well with others. 

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