Although it’s definitely exciting to get a job interview and know the hiring manager is interested in your skill set, you now need to demonstrate plenty of knowledge about the company, your field, and your own core values that align with the company’s mission. The question “Why do you want to work here?” is one of the ways hiring managers test this. Here’s how you can answer this question.
In general, an interviewer is asking you this question because they want to know that your career goals will help the company. Answers like, “I just need the money” may be honest, but they’re not going to impress an interviewer. You need to show them why you’re the person for the job and how your goals will help the company you’re hoping to work for.
To do this, review the company’s website, check social media sites like LinkedIn and do some research on the company’s major goals and initiatives. Your knowledge of the company will help you determine how you should respond to a question about why you want to work at this company.
First, explain what inspires you about the company culture. An example answer for this option would be, “I want to work here because I appreciate the fact that the company is pushing for change in the field of coding. As a woman, I know that women are underrepresented in many tech fields, and I appreciate the desire at this company to change that.”
Second, talk about what interests you about both the company and the job. An example answer for this option may be something like, “I know the company focuses on the user experience and has recently launched an initiative to create more accessible websites across the internet. I’m passionate about accessibility, and I really want to be part of that initiative.”
Third, highlight ways you can benefit the company. A good answer might be, “Well, I pride myself on my ability to cut down on ‘spaghetti code’ and streamline the behind-the-scenes elements of coding. I know this is a problem your company has highlighted before, and I want to bring my skills to this difficult issue.”
There are some things a potential employer definitely doesn’t want to hear when they ask, “Why do you want to work here?” Avoid the following in your replies:
You need to give specific information that will provide insight into why you should get this new job. You’re one of many job seekers that a recruiter is looking at, and it’s crucial that you give answers to job interview questions that show your benefit to the job and company. Talking about how much the job could benefit you or giving a generic half-baked answer won’t push you through to the next interview.
Yes, it’s important to hint at this information in your cover letter. In a cover letter, you’re typically indicating all the reasons you’ll benefit a company, piquing a recruiter’s interest and giving them a reason to bring you in for some questions and answers. When they’re asking you these questions during an interview, you should follow up on these same points you made in your letter, and explain how you can be a contributor to the company.
It’s not a good idea to memorize the exact answers to job interview questions. You want to have general thoughts for some of the most common questions including, “Why do you want to work here?”, “What motivates you?” and “What makes you unique?”. However, you shouldn’t have an answer memorized because it won’t appear authentic. Instead, use previous elements of the interview and answers you’ve already given to build a powerful, thoughtful answer that fits right into the experience.