There are some questions that avoidable in an interview, but the question “why do you want to work here?” is one that you will undoubtedly encounter in any interview.
Every employer needs to know that you really want to work for them; not just because you seek a job that’ll put food on the table(well we all know that is THE MAIN reason for getting a job). They want to know that as a new recruit who is enthusiastic about their company, you will work harder, be more productive and ultimately stay longer.
While it seems like a fairly harmless question, “why do you want to work here?” can be difficult to answer really well; it’s easy for a reply to be too short or generic.
Here are some pointers for making your answer stand out from the crowd:
Research! Research!! Research!!!
The importance of research during any stage of job hunting cannot be over emphasized. The key to success lies in thorough research.
While the company’s homepage is a great place to start, you’ll need to go beyond basic facts and figures to really impress. Look out for news articles about the company – what recent successes and challenges have they faced? Has there been anything in the press about the industries they work in?
When you have done that, avoid simply reeling out everything you have read. The recruiter will want to know that you have taken the time to research their organization, digested and understood your findings.
Take your answer from average to outstanding
Once you have some solid answers for why you want to work at a company, it’s time to take your answer to the next level by adding your reasoning.
Giving reasons adds credibility to your answer and is an excellent chance to show off, albeit it in a subtle way, about what a fantastic candidate you are. Remember that your application and interview are personal sales pitches – you must weave into every answer why the potential employer should choose you.
Below are some answers to this common but unique question:
Sample Answer 1: Why do you want to work here?
“Well, the John Doe’s reputation is certainly a factor. I would be proud to work for a company with such a long-standing history of leadership in the industry.
Also, a good friend of the family has been working in corporate finance at John Doe for the last two years and he told me that the culture supports learning and development on the job – and really rewards hard work.”
Why this answer would hit gold:
In this case, the candidate is interviewing for a very well-known firm. In a situation like this, the answer from many candidates would basically be, “Well, because it’s John Doe. Duh.” In today’s job market, that’s not going to be enough to set you apart from other candidates, even if your CV is stellar.
This sample answer addresses the company’s brand and history, but also demonstrates that the candidate took the time to do some additional research through his network. The answer goes on to emphasize the candidate’s interest in working hard and developing on the job.
Sample Answer 2: Why do you want to work here?
“I saw an article in Business Day about your new CEO Jane Doe and the firm’s renewed focus on technology innovation.
I consider myself an innovator and I would love to work for an organization that’s leading the future of the industry.”
Why this answer would hit gold:
It’s smart to seek out recent press on any company that interviews you. In this case, the candidate found an article about the firm’s new CEO and quoting it makes her sound smart, prepared, and interested.
She also singles out the bit from the article about innovation and articulates that this is a shared value. It doesn’t hurt that she compliments the firm as a leader in the industry. A little flattery can be effective — just be careful not to cross the line into pathetic kissing up.