Interviewing Job Searching

3 Elements to Consider When Asked “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Sarah O’Mahoney

Marketing Specialist and Freelance Writer


If you are currently preparing for an interview, chances are you have come across the “why do you want to work here?” question, right? Although the reasons you have for wanting to work for a company may seem obvious to you, there is in fact a correct way to go about answering this question. 

This blog article will guide you in preparing an answer that will impress your interviewers.  Remember, an interview is all about saying the right thing – while remaining honest. Once you have a strategy on how to answer this question, it will most likely aid you in preparing other interview questions alike. So, let’s get into it… 

Why is This Question Relevant?

Asking a job candidate why they want to work at a company is a great way to get some insight into the person. This question may seem like a typical interview question. While it is, it is also super important to get right. Hiring a new member of staff is a process which requires a lot of resources from an organization, such as time and money, so employing the correct person for the correct reasons is crucial. The business will be looking to hire someone who is a good fit for the team, will contribute value and be an asset overall to the organisation.

Alternatives to this Question

Having an answer prepared for the “why do you want to work here?” question will be super helpful when going for an interview. Be sure that you don’t get thrown off on how the question is asked during the conversion. If they don’t ask exactly “why do you want to work here?”, they might ask the same question, using different words, such as:

  • “Why are you interested in this position?”
  • “Why does this role interest you?”
  • “Why do you want to work with us?”

It’s important to keep in mind that all of these variations of the question require the same style of an answer. So if you have one prepared, it should work for any of the above.

What to Avoid

How NOT to answer 'Why do you want to work here?"

Knowing what not to say when it comes to this interview question can be a great place to start. Initially, when asked this question, the answer might seem obvious… “Because I need a job”, right? Even if you are just looking for a job to fill a gap for a while, answering like this may come across as unprofessional. With unprofessionalism in mind, here are some other pointers to keep in mind when thinking about what to avoid saying… 

1. “I need money.” Bad summary example

Even if there is some element of truth to this answer, it is not advisable to explain that you are only interested in the financial aspect of the job. A company will be looking for a job candidate that is committed to contributing value to the organization. Someone with this objective in mind will be focused on doing their job well before they solely think about money. 

It would be nonsensical to deny that one of the primary reasons people want to work. Everyone wants to earn a salary. Although this may be the case, during an interview, you need to illustrate that you have other interests besides earning money.

2. “I saw you were hiring and I need a job.” Bad summary example

Again, this is another example of an answer that you should avoid. Being in serious need of a job is a position which many people find themselves in at some stage of their working career, and that’s okay! Although you may really need this job, try and focus on what you can offer in terms of your skills and experience. The fact that you really need a job will probably only benefit you in seeming enthusiastic and serious about the job at hand.

An answer like this is something someone may say if they are unprepared and caught off guard, but luckily this will not be the case for you. So, remember that even if the case may be that you really need a job at the present moment, you should try and illustrate why you are suited for the job instead. 

3. “I need a job until my dream job becomes available.” Bad summary example

Here is yet again another answer that you shouldn’t say in an interview. A company is looking to hire someone that sees themselves becoming an important part of the team and building a career with the company. More often than not, an organization will not be looking for someone who has plans to get up and leave after a short period of time. 

How to Really Answer ‘Why do You Want to Work Here?’

Example answers to “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

As you sit and prepare for your interview. Ask yourself “Why do I want to work here?”

Now that you have an idea of what to avoid saying, it’s time to look at some options of what you should say and focus on in your interview prep.

1. Focus on your skills and experience Good resume summary example

Focusing on your skills and experience is a great way of explaining why you want to work with a company in a certain role. If you have previous marketing experience, for example, you can talk about how this will help you excel in the marketing manager role. Try and talk about how you see this as an opportunity to use your skills, and build on them further in this fast-moving environment. 

You are probably aware from applying for jobs, that most job posts require some years of experience. If you were in a position previously for a number of years, make sure to talk about your time in this role and how it can translate to working for this company.

2. Adding Beneficial Value Good resume summary example

Interviewing panels love to hear about how you can add value to their organization. The company will be on the lookout for someone who is able to do the job well, so make sure you can explain how you plan to do that. When discussing how you could add value to the department or company, it can be useful to use specific numbers and time frames. For example:

  • “I was able to increase our online sales by 15% in 2019 by creating more interactive social media campaigns.”
  • In 2018, our team won an award for the most productive department, after beating every target by over 10%.”

These examples should give you an idea of the type of answers the interviewers will appreciate in terms of adding value. 

3. Your Values Align With the Company Good resume summary example

Sharing values with a company or organization may encourage you to work with them. For example, if the company does a lot of work in creating more sustainable packaging for products, you could talk about how sustainability is a big interest of yours and a cause you want to contribute to. Companies love to see candidates who are passionate about the work that they do. This shows them that you care enough to put a lot of effort into your work because you are concerned about the outcome. 

If you have an interview coming up with a company and you are not sure what their values are, find out. Most companies will have their mission statement on their website, along with some information about their values and what they stand for. Having a look at this information online will help you figure out if the companies values align with your own. 

Conclusion

Now you should be more equipped to answer the “Why do you want to work here” question (or any of its variations). The most important thing to remember when answering this question at an interview is to focus on how you can contribute to the company and why you are the best person for the job. 

Having this answer well-prepared will ensure you don’t get caught off guard and say anything you should have avoided. In an interview, it’s super important to put your best foot forward, and this question is a great way of emphasising why you are the perfect person for this role. This question is designed to find out if you are a good match for the company, so make sure you focus on this the whole way through. 

Once you have taken the time to think about how you would answer this question, it will take some of the pressure off. Remember, an interview is not designed to embarrass you, it is a way of finding out more about you. So sell yourself well!

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