One of the most common and disliked questions you may hear from a hiring manager in a job interview is, “Why do you want to work here?” Yet, it’s still very much a standard part of interview questions. So why do employers still ask this seemingly outdated job interview question? And how can you give a good answer when asked why you want to work at a specific company?
The truth is that even though these basic interview questions may seem pointless, different applicants can give starkly different answers to them. So in this post, we’ll cover the ten best answers to the “Why do you want to work here?” question, discuss some dos and don’ts, and propose sample answers.
The Best Answers to “Why Do You Want To Work Here?” Interview Question
During a job search, general advice for job seekers is to “be yourself” or other similarly bold statements. And while this could be an excellent way for some people to present themselves, it doesn’t come as easily for others.
Most people get understandably too flustered to paint themselves in the best light in an interview. Even if they have solid reasons for wanting a particular dream job, it may not come to mind when an interviewer asks. That’s where this list comes in.
Matching your reason to a well-thought-out answer to a common interview question such as this saves you a lot of the tension that comes with having to respond eloquently and win your interviewer over. A planned reply can give you more confidence, allow you to speak freely, and keep your career goals in sight.
On the flip side, it can sound rehearsed and dispassionate, hurting your chances of getting that job. That’s why it’s essential to examine your unique reasons first before stringing an answer together.
We won’t be including fully scripted answers for you to memorize before your interview. Instead, we’ll cover ten different ways to communicate your reasons why you want to work there so you can put together a unique answer.
1. Express Why You Love the Company
If you’re passionate about the company you’re applying for, you’ve already got something most employers actively look for: motivation and loyalty.
Imagine having always dreamt of working at Intel, for example. You already know a lot about the company culture and mission statement and admire how it operates, and you’ve seen enough of it over time to perceive it as a good fit.
That probably means you’ll be happy to participate in whatever your team or department is working on. These are the things that your answer should highlight.
First, think of reasons why you like this company. Is it their branding or quality of work? Is it how they handle new projects? Whatever the reason, choose the top three things you love.
Next, go over how you’ll explain this to the potential employer. Here are some important things you can say and a great way to present them:
“I’ve always wanted to work at/admired this company because their work shows dedication/high quality/creativity, etc.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to develop these traits and prove myself as a team member who aligns with your company’s…”
2. Explain That It’s the Perfect Position for You
If this job opening seems tailored to your skills and experience, you may have the edge over other applicants. The advantage is especially true if you’re applying for a relatively uncommon job with a unique job description.
So if you’re applying for a customer service vacancy, for example, this may not apply. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a customer service vacancy in an equestrian equipment company and have experience in customer service and equestrian management, you’re a catch!
Don’t forget that you must paint this as a massive advantage for the company, not just yourself. After this answer, you want your interviewer to think that your skills perfectly suit their needs; you’re the solution to their problem.
Example answers to express this include:
“This is one of the most suitable positions for me to utilize my experience, which will enable me to help the company solve X’s problem.”
“This opportunity allows me to combine my experience in this and that, enabling me to give my best performance as an X.”
3. Discuss Your Research and What You Know About the Company
Most interviewers ask this question to gauge how much you know about the company. After all, they don’t want someone applying to just any random job to which they fit the requirements.
This question gives you an excellent chance to showcase your knowledge of the company in the interview process. Bring up recent news or information you’ve heard about the company over the years that made you interested in working there.
The relevant research shows that you’re diligent and took the time to prepare well for your meeting, but you’ll probably need other, more personal reasons for this one to ace one of the most important questions.
4. Relay That Based on Your Findings, It’s an Excellent Match
Of course, thorough research isn’t always possible, and some companies are more obscure than others. You can spin this to your advantage depending on why you couldn’t find a lot of information about the company.
For example, if there isn’t much information available, you could say that you’re intrigued by what you’ve seen so far and curious about what happens behind the scenes.
Suppose the company is still relatively new and doesn’t have a solid online presence. In that case, you can say that you see an excellent opportunity for growth both for you as a professional and the company.
5. Express How Previous Experience and Future Career Opportunities are Aligned
Experienced caliber is hard to come by, so if you’re an experienced professional, you can use this advantage to answer the question at hand.
Depending on the position you’re applying for and your experience, you can say, “I’m eager to apply my hard work and experience in X in your field of work.”
It’s important to remember that employers want flexible employees who are ready to learn new things from their coworkers and management.
If you play the experience card too hard, you may appear arrogant or rigid. So think of ways specific to the company or your field that you’d be learning from them.
6. Discuss Career Growth Prospects at the New Company
If you read that last point and thought, “I’m never going to get this job,” think again.
Interviews can get more intimidating if you don’t have a lot of experience in your field or the job you’re applying for. But everybody’s got to start somewhere.
As a young or inexperienced professional, you stand to gain a lot of experience in any job you get.
Flexibility, working hard and smart as part of a team, and questioning the former ways of doing things are advantages of working with new professionals. Having fresh eyes can help an innovative team improve its processes.
On top of that, young professionals who learn are sometimes less likely to be confused or resistant to how things are being done at a new company.
But remember that this applies to any job or company you apply to. That means that you need to find ways this particular company can put your career on the right path or use any other reasons listed here.
An example answer or two a prepared job seeker can use include:
“As a dynamic and proactive learner, I’d like to be involved in every task or project I can work on to learn as much as I can from your company.”
“Working with your company/team/management will help me build the kind of career I’d be proud of and grow my skill set.”
7. Emphasize That It’s an Excellent Job
While it’s a valid reason, you must be very careful mentioning it. There’s no shame in wanting a well-paid, secure job, but no employer gets very excited about hiring you with this answer.
So instead of saying, “I need a good job,” consider how having a good job can enable you as an employee to perform well. A well-taken care-of employee thrives on both personal and professional levels.
For example, a well-paid job can mean you’re in a better state to perform, create, and collaborate. This also goes back to having a good work culture where employees can thrive.
Here’s the best way you can express this and have a positive impact:
“I’ve heard many great things about the supportive work conditions in your company, and I’m eager to work in this environment to give the best performance I can.”
8. Explain Why You Admire Their Work Culture or Mission
The company’s culture is probably one of the most neglected reasons to want to work for a particular company, despite having the most impact on your performance.
Whether you found out from your research, knew someone who worked at the company, or concluded it from the company’s website, knowing the work culture, core values, and management style go along with yours shouldn’t be underestimated.
A company that deals with challenges and new ventures summons the best out of you as an employee, and it’s what employers look for. You can learn skills from their training programs in weeks or months, but values and mindset take longer to instill.
You will thrive as a team member there, but you’ll also have more confidence in your decisions and projects than in other companies that don’t necessarily uphold the values you believe in. And that’s precisely what you want to highlight in your answer.
9. Relay That You’re a Loyal Customer of Theirs
Imagine that after years of being a die-hard Spotify user, enjoying every one of their quirky campaigns and curated lists, you get an interview to work for them. Indeed, you’ll have a lot to say about how they work, the company’s products, and how they can improve.
Having the customer perspective before you work at that company gives you deep insight into the mind of the essential side of any business. You know the positive and negative aspects of their customer experience.
This means that you’ll also be able to contribute to the experience they provide and improve it over time using your unique perspective.
You can say this by highlighting some examples in your interviews, such as changes that happened in the service that users loved or hated, positive experiences you’d like to replicate in other aspects of the service, etc.
10. Highlight Your Interest in The Company’s Products or Niche
In more recent years, many businesses have been trying to focus on a specific and unique niche to secure the right customers and their place in the market.
Many businesses may not consider how this helps them find the right employees. If you’re passionate about the specific area this company operates in, you’ll quickly find a common goal and a great answer to why you want to work there.
A great interview response with the company’s niche in mind includes:
“I’ve always had a passion for… and was thrilled to see a vacancy that matches my experience and interests.”
“Your work in the field of… has caught my attention long ago since this is one of my favorite activities, hobbies, etc.”
How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” Summary
The ten best examples of answers to “Why do you want to work here?” aren’t something you should memorize and rehearse; they should be something you examine before any interview to set yourself up for success. When you do that, your answer can drive the message to your interviewer that you’re motivated to excel in this new job.
Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to want a job; many reasons may be specific to the company, field, or position you’re applying for. The bottom line is it’s a good idea to find your unique motivations and add them to your answer.
At MatchBuilt, we’ve explored other common and challenging interview questions, such as “What makes you unique?“, “Tell me about yourself,” “What are you passionate about?“, “What areas need improvement?”, “What is your greatest achievement?” and “Why should we hire you?” and we invite you to review them as well.