Interview questions are often deceptively simple. On the surface, they ask something straightforward to learn more about you. Underneath, every question has a secondary motive. Companies want to know “what can you do for us?” That’s even true of questions like “why do you want to work here?”
Think about it. The entire interview is a value proposition. You illustrate your expertise, sell your personality, and convert employers to your cause. Aimless talk puts your dream job at risk. That’s why your response to every question needs to be pulling double duty.
So, when asked “why do you want to work here?” your answer needs to be twofold:
- It needs to explain what attracted you to the position or company.
- It needs to show the valuable traits you bring to the team.
How do you do that? These six responses can help you say why you want to work for a company without wasting a word.
1.) A Passion for Challenge
“The product lines and services of your company precedes you, but when I reviewed the full capabilities of your team through your company website, I knew I had to apply. The projects your team pursues are exactly the type of challenges I love to overcome.”
2.) A Cool Company Culture
“Your company culture seems incredible. The photos I see of your team on your Facebook and Twitter account show me that you all can achieve great things and still find time to have fun around the office. I want to be part of that.”
3.) Similar Values
“Your company’s About Us page makes it abundantly clear that working with your team is a great fit for me. Your commitment to excellence, your natural curiosity, and your analytical approach to projects synchronize with my own values.”
4.) A Great Future Together
“Following both your press releases and blog posts, I’ve noticed that your company is growing in the same direction as my career. In fact, the challenges you are facing and the way your services are expanding line up with my 5 year career plan. Plus, I know that your job advertisement mentioned opportunities for advancement. I’m looking for a place where I can make a long-term home for my career.”
5.) A Thirst for Knowledge
“I’m dedicated to learning new things; it’s one of my greatest motivators. Looking at your job advertisement, I recognized that the cutting-edge technology and tuition reimbursement that your team enjoys can empower me to keep pace with a team that strives to be ahead of the curve.”
6.) The Name Drop
“[Name of Current or Former Employee] told me how incredible it is in your company. After hearing all of those great things, I couldn’t help but reach out to a business that is so aligned with my own work vision and goals.”
On a final note:
When answering “why do you want to work here,” you can combine a variety of these answers, when applicable, into one all-encompassing response. As long as your response manages to reveal your motivation and show off your value to the company, you’re on the right path.
by James Walsh