How Best To Answer: “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”
At some point in the interview process, potential employers may ask why you’re interested in working for them. Regardless of how the interviewer phrases this question, it’s crucial for you to be prepared to explain why their company and the open role appeal to you.
In this article, we discuss how to answer "Why do you want to work here?" and review example answers to this common interview question.
Why do employers ask this interview question?
When hiring managers ask, “Why do you want to work here?” they’re not trying to trick or challenge you. With this common interview question, they’re attempting to assess if you’d be a good fit for the team and the company, and if what you’re looking for in a job is a match for what their job offers.
Variations of "Why do you want to work here?"
Interviewers could ask you this question at any point in the hiring process. This might be the first thing you’re asked or it could be the last question. Further, the question “Why do you want to work here?” could be asked in different ways, including:
“Why do you want to work for us?”
“What made you want to apply for a job with this company?”
“Why are you interested in our open role, specifically?”
In your answer, hiring managers are looking for assurance that you’re familiar with their company and the role, and that you’re not only applying blankly to any open position.
How to answer “Why do you want to work here?”
Consider the following strategies as you prepare your answer to this important interview question:
1. Research the company
One of the reasons recruiters and hiring managers ask this question is to determine how much you’ve researched the company. An interested and excited candidate is not only familiar with the company, but they’ve explored the company’s background, history and mission statement as well. To do this:
Review the company website: Start your company research by examining the company website—especially the “About Us” section and “Careers” pages which usually also share information about the company culture.
Familiarize yourself with the company’s products and services: Get to know the products or services, the customers and any notable accomplishments or awards the company has received.
Read the company’s blog: If the company maintains a blog, take the time to read a few articles and note the company’s brand voice, topics covered and common themes.
Review the company’s social media accounts: There, pay close attention to what the company posts on their social media accounts, especially relevant industry news, customer comments or feedback.
Search the company’s Indeed Company Review page: You’ll be able to see photos, learn about benefits and read what current and previous employees loved about their roles.
2. Study the job description
In addition to being knowledgeable and excited about the company, the interviewer also wants to make sure you understand the role for which you’re interviewing and all the duties it entails. This will also help them better understand why you want to work for their company.
To begin, list your favorite things about the job. Once you’ve got your list, make a second list—this of your career objectives. Compare the lists and look for ways the position will help you achieve your goals.
When responding to the interviewer when they ask, “Why do you want to work here?” mention the things listed in the job posting that align with your career objectives and highlight duties that would make use of your best skills.
3. Identify your core values
Focusing on your own career goals and core values to find similarities to those of the company can help employers understand why you’re a good fit for the job. If you’re unsure what your core values are, take a moment and try asking yourself the following questions:
What kind of culture do you want to work in?
What qualities do you feel make strong, healthy relationships?
What qualities do you admire most in your role models?
What motivates you?
What qualities do you wish to develop in yourself professionally and personally?
What qualities will it take to achieve your future goals?
Once you identify your core values, practice talking about them and find ways to bring it back to what you’ve learned in your research into both the company and role.
Example answers for “Why do you want to work here?”
Here are a few examples of different ways you can answer “Why do you want to work here?” which will be different for every person. These simply provide you with different approaches when forming your own:
Example 1: I’m ready to apply my expertise.
“I’ve been working in the travel industry for more than five years. I’ve expanded my experience in customer service, and I’m ready to apply that expertise with a global company that is committed to its employees and is consistently ranked one of the city’s best places to work.
I love working with people, and I am particularly excited that this role will allow me to use my bilingual skills to communicate with customers all over the world.
My ultimate objective is to rise to a leadership position in customer service, and I know having the opportunity to grow my experience and improve upon my skills will help bring me closer to achieving that goal.”
Example 2: Your company ranks at the top of the list.
“While your company has been around for several decades, you’ve never wavered from your mission to give people a comfortable and memorable travel experience.
The company has always been forward-focused and used technology to help improve customer experience. Your app is ranked as one of the top travel apps, and you’ve won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry year after year.
When I began looking for a new position, I purposefully sought out companies that are committed to integrity, philanthropy and innovation, and your company ranks at the top of the list.”
Example 3: I would love to grow my career.
“I’ve been a loyal user of your product for many years. I’m consistently impressed by the cutting-edge technology and great user experience it provides.
A few months back I had an issue and called customer support. The representative I spoke with was helpful, personable and sharp. I remember thinking at that time that your company must be a good one to work for.
When I saw the opening for the Product Manager position I decided to research your company values and culture further, all of which supported my intuition that this is a place I’d love to work. I would love to grow my career at a company that is passionate about user experience and innovation.”
Example 4: I’m looking for a company that empowers.
“I’m impressed by your company’s commitment to the growth and development of its employees. One of my friends works in your marketing department and she has praised this company for its excellent treatment of employees for years.
I’m looking for a company that empowers and challenges its employees to be the best professionals they can be. In my research, I’ve found that you invest in ongoing education of your employees through education reimbursement, onsite training and mentorship programs.
In addition, you have a great reputation for leadership in the industry. This is a company at which I would be honored to grow my career.”
What you should not say in your answer
When answering this question, it’s important to be genuine. The research you do into the company, the role and your own core values will give you all the information you need to form a memorable answer.
However, while it’s important to be authentic, you don’t want to ever say you’re only interested in the role for a reason that makes it clear you’re not interested in the company, in particular.
Things to avoid saying include:
"I’ve been applying to many places and seeing what comes back."
"What really drew me to this job was the salary/perks package you offer."
"This job seems like an ideal stepping stone to my 'One Day' job."
When you might be asked this question
You could be asked this question at any point in the interviewing process. Hiring managers might want to ask right away why you want to work for their company, which could establish your level of interest from the start. It could also be posed in the middle of the interview or at the end.
Regardless of when it’s asked, your answer will make an impression. If you’re asked at the beginning of the interview, it could set the tone for the entire interview. If it’s the last question you’re asked, it’s your chance to leave the interviewer with the answer they were seeking.
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