At some point in your interview, you can be assured that you will be asked “why do you want to work here”. This question goes straight to what your motivation is for pursuing a particular position. Like most interview questions, there is a right way and a wrong way to answer. To make sure you impress the interviewer and stand out from the competition, follow these simple steps.
To answer the question effectively, it is imperative that you take the time to determine exactly why you do want to work there. To do that properly you must learn everything you can about the organization, its people, products, and/or services. After you have completed your research write down what excites you about the organization.
- Do they demonstrate values that align with your own?
- Do they utilize technology and/or business practices that interest you?
- Does their business rely on skills that you possess?
- Are they leaders in their industry?
- Do they have visionary leadership?
- Maybe you are an avid user of their products.
Whatever the reasons for your interest, make that the basis of your response to the question. On the other hand, if you have done your research and do not find any compelling reasons to work there, then maybe it is not the place for you.
Now thoroughly review the job description and make a list of the requirements that match your skills, interests, and experience.
- Which job tasks do you enjoy performing and have demonstrated success performing in your current and previous jobs?
- What skills and experience do you possess that make you an excellent fit for this role?
- Think of specific examples of when you have done what they are looking for and be prepared to speak about those instances in your interview.
So, you have done your research, are genuinely interested in the organization, and have identified what makes you a match skill-wise. Now you need to formulate what you know into why you want to work there. Combine what interests you about the company with the relevant experience you bring to the table. For example:
“I have always been impressed with the cutting-edge software you continually bring to the market and I want to work with the industry leader. I am confident that my seven years of experience managing development teams will enable me to make immediate contributions to your continued success.”
As important as it is to say the right things, it is of equal importance not to stay the wrong things! Remember, you do not want to make it about what the company can do for you; it’s about what you can do for the company. Therefore, you surely do not want to say it is because the salary range is great or you heard they have an excellent paid time-off policy. Managers do not want to hire someone whose primary motivation is money and benefits. They’ll assume that you’ll leave for another higher-paying job as soon as it comes along. You also do not want to say it is because working with them is an opportunity to learn new skills or is a stepping stone to a bigger job. They need someone who has specific skills already developed and is excited right now about the job.
Candidates who are applying for the position for any of these reasons simply will not compare positively to someone who is truly excited about the company and using their skills to add value.