Interview Question: "Why Did You Choose This Job?"
Updated February 21, 2023
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Before you go to a job interview, it's important to prepare answers to common interview questions. One important interview question that yields helpful answers for employers is why you chose to apply for the specific role you’re interviewing for.
In this article, we'll discuss why the question “Why did you choose this job?” is useful to employers to ask, how to answer the question effectively and some example answers you can use to model your answer.
Why do employers ask "Why did you choose this job?"
The intent of the interview question "Why did you choose this job?" is to make you think about how you might fit into the company culture and if this position is the right choice for you. Employers want to understand your motivations for applying to the job to know if you plan to grow with the company long-term.
They want to discover your career goals or help you learn about yourself and what's appealing and important to you in the particular role you're seeking. Lastly, it's helpful to gauge your interest in the job itself and knowledge about the company and industry overall.
How to answer "Why did you choose this job?"
Standout answers to "Why did you choose this job?" generally take a little extra thought and preparation than off-the-cuff responses. Here are four steps to successfully answer the interviewer's questions about why you chose to apply for this particular job:
1. Research the company and the role before the interview
In response to the "Why did you choose this job?" question, it's helpful to be able to talk about the company with a level of confidence. Before your interview, it's important to do some research to learn about the company you're hoping to work at and the position you're hoping to fill.
Showing the interviewer that you're familiar with the company lets them know that you're aware of whether your values align with that of the organization. It also informs them of your investment in more than just securing any job but specifically a job with their company.
Additionally, if you research the role and job duties ahead of time, you can determine how your skills apply or how you can use them to succeed in the position and highlight your top two or three at the interview.
2. Let them know you're interested
When answering the "Why did you choose this job?" question, it's important to stress your interest in the job. You should state your excitement or passion about the prospect clearly and concisely. Use specifics and explain why or how those particular details or aspects of the job or company are meaningful or important to you. Describe how the job would provide you with purpose and how you could derive pride from what you would be contributing. Superior points to focus on include:
Alliance with the company's mission, culture and values
Approval of and appreciation for the company's products or services
Interest in company initiatives (e.g., community involvement or training programs)
Available company growth and development
3. Explain how your skills support your choice
It's helpful if your skills support your passion, so convey to the interviewer your dedication to constructively engage in your interests. Highlight actions you're taking to develop or improve your skills for the role you want to secure.
You might also have a natural talent for different facets of certain careers, such as creating things, researching and analyzing data or selling products and services. With that in mind, your skills might have led you to pursue a particular field and this particular job, which can explain to the employer why you chose this job to apply for. Let the interviewer know how your skills align with your enthusiasm for the job.
4. Reveal factors that influenced your decision
In addition to touting the company benefits and explaining how your skills support the duties and responsibilities of the position you've shown interest in, it's helpful to let the interviewer know who you are and why you're there. Include only positive factors that influenced your decision-making that brought you to where you're today, such as people or events that helped provide you with direction.
You can incorporate anecdotes in the answer to close out with a personal appeal and a vivid picture of your academic and professional journey. Storytelling can also solidify or reinforce your potential commitment to the role and connection to its purpose, ultimately letting the employer know your answer to "Why did you choose this job?"
Read more: Reasons for Applying for This Job
While there is no one right answer, some example responses will give you a starting point for forming your own answers that will let the interviewer know why you applied for this job. Here are four examples that answer the job interview question "Why did you choose this job?":
Example 1: When you have a connection to the company
If you identify with a company's mission, product or culture enough to deliberately seek out their job board for an opportunity to work there, you should willingly share this information. Here's an example answer to use when you know someone currently working at the company or if you share similar charitable convictions or values with the company:
Example: “Your company's reputation is certainly a draw. I love what your organization does for the community, especially your participation in and sponsorship of the annual 5K event to bring awareness to and encourage responsible pet adoption. I've adopted two pets in the past three years, and it's such a rewarding experience.
Additionally, I know a current employee of yours who works in the IT department and she truly appreciates the way your business values its employees. She told me about your different development and training programs you host several times a year, the company-sponsored employee birthday celebrations and your excellent benefits package, which far exceeds the benefits offered by other area businesses in the industry.”
Example 2: Just starting out
If you're new to the job force, there are ways to broach the subject that could cast your fresh and eager outlook in a positive light. This example answer is best used when you first enter the workplace from college or other academic or skills programs:
Example: “Just before graduation, I began a search for various firms within my field that I might like to work for. I came across a recent press release of yours announcing new technological advances in healthcare that you're currently working on.
The work you're doing was actually a primary focus for my thesis project, which I'm happy to share with you if you're interested. It's certainly a venture that's close to my heart, and I would love to participate in what you're doing here and put my education, knowledge and ideas into practice.”
Example 3: Changing careers
If you're transitioning industries, you'll want to frame it as a quest for opportunity. This example answer is relevant when you transition from one career focus to another:
Example: “As you can see on my resume, I recently left the legal industry to pursue a career in marketing. A friend and colleague of mine pointed out my natural talent for analyzing market data and projecting buyer trends.
Additionally, I attended a conference at the beginning of this year to enhance my marketing skills, specifically in copywriting, social media management and communications. Leaving that conference, I knew I found my passion. I began assisting the marketing department within the law firm I work for to further build on my skills and solidify my decision to make a move to the marketing industry.
I know this position is the perfect fit for me, and I'm ready to make that change, apply what I've learned thus far and continue growing as a marketing professional.”
Example 4: Finding your passion
Passion for one's job or company is always a good thing. Here's an example answer to use when you're hoping to apply your passion to your career:
Example: "Growing up, I always knew I wanted a job where I could help people every day. My teachers were so instrumental in inspiring me, encouraging me and making me feel as though I could accomplish anything. They taught me more than just academic knowledge, including life and social skills. I want to do the same for other children.
Your school, especially, seems to truly embrace the idea of helping children grow, learn and achieve in a safe and fun environment designed to nurture and guide rather than discipline and direct. I love the ways in which you work to engage students in their education and the community and support them through life circumstances that extend outside the classroom walls, including your bi-annual fundraiser to supply impoverished families with books and supplies to help their children succeed.
I cannot envision a better fit for myself in which to follow my passion to educate and instill hope in our youth.”
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