You’ve got through to the interview process and are preparing questions to common interview questions, but have you thought about how you’ll handle the question ‘why do you want this job?’. It’s one of the most common questions you will be asked in your interview and failing to answer it correctly can mean the difference between a job offer or not.
Hiring new talent is an expensive and time-consuming process for companies, so when the interviewer asks you why you want the job, take it as an opportunity to highlight that you have researched the company and prove you’re the best candidate for the role.
Why is the interviewer asking this question?
When you hear this question, you might be wondering why the interviewer is asking it but it’s the perfect opportunity for you to sell yourself to the employer and show that you’ve done your research and know your stuff.
When thinking about your answer there are a few things you can focus on:
Show your passion for the role and the company
Candidates who are passionate about the job role and company are usually the ones that have put the work into their research and end up getting the job. Ensure that your skills match the role and highlight how the job role will benefit you and your development as well as the skills you can bring to them.
Think about how the company values align with yours, mention what excites you about the company (eg. expansion, new technologies etc), and highlight what the company have done recently that has excited you or changed the industry in which you work.
This will help the employer to see that not only are you excited about the opportunity but that you will excel in it too.
Your skills and experiences in relation to the job description
This is your key opportunity to sell yourself to your potential employer. There are a couple of ways you can tackle this – you can choose to focus on your experiences in previous roles that have brought you to this role, or your transferrable skills (this is important if you are going for a different role or industry).
Look at the job description and try to understand what the key requirements of the role are and try and show how you fit into that. You don’t need to go into too much depth here, the key is to keep it clear and concise and focus on a few key points to show how you’d be right for the role.
Your goals and ambitions
You want to show your potential employer why this position makes sense for your career goals and ambitions. You want to show the hiring manager why this is important for your career and highlight that you want to grow within the business. The last thing your interviewer wants is to think that this is just a stepping stone to another opportunity outside of their business so make your intentions clear about your career path within the company here.
If you’re unsure how to put together your answer for this question, don’t worry – the below will give you some great hints and tips on how to structure your answers and why they work so well.
Example answer 1
I want this job because I have an eye for detail and love number crunching, two skills which are important for success in this role. In my previous role, I was able to increase profits by looking at expenses and identifying areas where the company could make savings. In this role, I am confident that I can bring my 5 years of accountancy experience to the company and help you continue to be a profitable business.
Why it works
This answer is a great example because it provides the hiring manager with a measurable example of the candidate’s achievements within the accountancy industry, as well as reminding them that they have a wealth of industry-relevant experience.
Example answer 2
Having researched the company, I know that it is a business that is continually making profits year after year. And, as I recently read on your LinkedIn and company website, you are planning to develop many carbon-neutral homes in the coming years. I want to be part of a company that is pioneering and changing the way homes are built and I know that my experience in renewable energy can help your company as you tap into this area.
Why it works
This answer is a great example because it shows that the candidate has done their research on the company. It also highlights how their industry-relevant experience could contribute to the future growth of the company.
Example answer 3
This role is incredibly attractive to me as it speaks to my passions. It offers a variety of analytical and creative work which is suited to my strengths. While civil engineering is my expertise, it is an industry that is ever-evolving and working for a market-leading company such as yourselves with a forward-thinking engineering department, will allow me to learn from the experts and progress to my full potential by utilising the company’s mentoring programs for junior engineers.
Why it works
This is a great answer as it highlights why the role was attractive to the candidate and why the company excites them. It shows that they have thought about their future within the business which is what hiring managers want to hear.
Read the blog on Questions to ask during an interview