How to Answer the Question, “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

“Why do you want to work here?” A question that may be one of the most dreaded of interviewees and one of the first ones interviewers usually ask.

While you might think it's a strange question, employers have a reason for asking it.

Why Do Employers Ask,
“Why Do You Want to Work Here”?

panel interview

Employers what to know why you want to work for them because it gives them some information on whether you'll be the right fit for the job. How you answer “Why do you want to work her” will let them know if you really do want to work for them or if you're really just looking for any old job at all.

That's what makes this a tricky question – it can make or break your interview. It can get you the job, or it can make it so that there's no chance you're going to get the job.

Employers want to hear enthusiasm about the job, but not too much. They want to know that you know who you're interviewing with, so make sure you know something about the company. They want to learn how well you answer questions, even the most inane ones.

How Not to Answer,
“Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Before you learn about all of the things that go into the right way to answer this job interview question, you need to look at how you shouldn't answer it.

You might think that you're being quirky or fun by giving an offhanded answer, but you're more than likely giving yourself a red checkmark that will cause you not to get a callback.

1. Never Say It's About the Money

Your answer to why you want a job should never revolve around the money you're going to make. If a job pays well, they know some people will just be there for the paycheck – by saying it's all about the money you're not giving them any reason to believe you'll stick around if someone else offers you a bigger salary.

Yes, it's likely you're going to discuss money in the interview, especially if they haven't given you a specific pay rate yet, but the interview and your reason for being there shouldn't revolve around cash.

2. Don't Say It's Because Someone You Know Works There

If you were recommended to the job by another employee, it's likely the person that is interviewing you already knows this. They don't want to know that you're friends with twenty people that work there (in fact, they may wonder if you plan to use your work time as social time instead).

Sure, your cousin Bobby said it's a great place to work, but did you do any research beyond that? Why is it going to be a great place for you to work? That's what they really want to know – what is it that made you decide to apply there.

3. Don't Be Too Vague

Don't simply say, “I think this looks like a good place to work.” What does that even mean? Be specific as to why you think it's a good place to work.

While you don't need a fifteen-minute long diatribe about why you think the place is awesome, you don't want to just give them one single sentence. Impress them, don't bore them or make them wonder if there was supposed to be more to what you told them.

4. This Is Not the Time to Discuss Qualifications

The person interviewing you has seen your qualifications in your resume, they didn't ask you about them. They asked, “Why do you want to work here?” That is the only answer you should be giving them.

Be careful to stay on point when you're answering each question they ask, including this one. There will be time to tell them why you think you're qualified, right now they want to know why they're qualified to be the place you choose to work.

How to Make Your Answers Stand Out

The idea is to give an answer that really stands out because one that doesn't isn't going to get you the job. These questions are essentially a business' way of finding a reason not to offer you the job – they have tons of candidates, and they want the least amount to pick through when all is said and done.

Your answer needs to benefit the job – It needs to be a well-educated response that tells this business that you know them, and you want to be a part of their team.

Here are the things you want to know in order to answer why do you want to work here:

  • You need to know about the company – what they do, they're history, and why they're a great place to work.
  • You need to know what the position entails – study the info on their job ad, look up extra info about the specific position you're applying for so that you can go in well-educated.
  • Know your own resume – you don't want to have to look at your resume throughout the interview for reminders about what's on it.
  • Know who you're talking to – you might not know anything personal about them, but get the name(s) of the person/people you'll be interviewing with and what their position is within the company.

1. Study the Company

doing work in a coffee shop

Finding out about a company these days isn't that difficult of a task. You can get online and Google them if you don't know their website address already. It's likely they have an “About” page where you can get a good deal of info about their history, their mission statement, and any things they've done for the community.

Knowing these things is an important part of answering why you want to work for the company – you can enlist key points about the great things they've done for the community or your favorite products that have changed your own life.

2. Research the Position

searching for job vacancies

If you go into the interview knowing everything you can about the position you're interviewing for - you'll spend less time asking about it. Knowing the position also gives you more info for answering when they as why you want to work here – you want this position because it offers you something that allows you to use your training and experience and it gives you an opportunity to grow within the company (or something like that).

3. Study Your Resume

While you don't want to only answer this question with your own qualifications for the position (there are other times when you'll be able to do that), you do need to know what's on your resume.

When you're answering why you want to work at a certain company or in a certain position, some of why you want to will fall back onto your other employment experiences, and your training – you can't be staring at your resume for the answers.

4. Ask Who You'll Be Interviewing With

waiting for a job interview

When you get the call for the interview, ask immediately who you'll be interviewing with and what their position is in the company.

Do some research on them so that you know who you're dealing with – how high up are they and what part of the company do they run. This will assist you in sculpting your answer on why you want to work there.

Answer the Question
– Why Do You Want to Work Here?

There's no single right way to answer this question, as long as you answer it honestly and wisely. There are numerous reasons why a person might want to work for a specific business.

Here are some of the reasons you might want to work at a place – these are things that can be integrated into your answer.

  • The Company's Reputation – Know what the company's history is and what they do. What do other people have to say about them? The easiest way to find these things out is to do some online research.
  • The Products or Services They Offer – Do you enjoy the products and/or services the company offers? This is a great reason to want to work for them – you want to be behind the scenes helping to get some of your favorite products out to the masses.
  • The Company's Offerings – Know what you're getting. It's OK to mention that you also like the benefits packages the company offers and how they work in with your 5-year or 10-year career goals.

A Final Thought on Why You Want to Work Here

When you're answering why do you want to work here, be calm and be enthusiastic. You want this job, let them know why it would mean so much to you to be the one chosen to fill the space they need filled.

Happy job hunting!


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