The ‘why do you want this job?’ interview question

Interview questions can be unpredictable…

You can get asked character questions, that are all about finding out more about your personality. Others try and test you, to see how you handle being put under pressure. But the truth is, they aren’t all about you – and that’s exactly where this question comes in. You probably already know how to answer some of the most common interview questions that could come up, but here’s our advice for how to answer: ‘Why do you want this job?’


The reality

What they’re asking: ‘Why do you want this job?’

What they’re actually asking: ‘What is it about our company – and this position – that excites you? And what can you bring back/contribute to the business?’

This may look like a simple question, but what the employer is actually trying to figure out is how much you really want the role – and why you feel their company is right for you.

  • Step 1: research – You need to show the interviewer you’ve actually looked into what their company does. Not only will it demonstrate that you’ve given the role real thought, but it will also give you an opportunity to play up to the employers’ mindset. Look up a brief history of the company, as well as any current news items, press releases or recent developments they’ve made, and use them as a template to help explain why they appeal to you – and how they help them stand out from the competition.
  • Step 2: Be enthusiastic –  You need to show genuine interest in the role. What is it about the position that really excites you? Is it a chance to work on a particular project, for example? The most effective candidates let their enthusiasm shine through – both for the position you’ve applied for, and for the company itself. So it’s not about considering it as just any old job. It’s something you’re passionate about, and feel is the best fit for you – and your skills.
  • Step 3: Shift Focus – Finally, instead of thinking of this question in terms of what the company and the positon can do for you, switch your approach. What can you bring to the job – and how will hiring you positively impact the business? Focus on what your own personal contribution to the company could be, and use any previous achievements to reinforce your claims.

Still need help for an upcoming interview?

We can’t help you predict exactly which interview questions will come up on the big day. However, we can help you prepare for common interview questions, and increase your confidence. Find out more here.

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