How to answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Why Do You Want To Work Here

Key takeaways

  • Companies ask “why do you want to work here?” to understand whether your values and interests align with the company and whether you’ve taken the time to research.
  • Always structure your answer with the answer first followed by context. Where possible, use a personal story to help your stand out among other candidates.
  • Take time to practice your answers to ensure a smooth, crisp, and confident delivery.

Why do companies ask the question “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

Companies asking “Why do you want to work here” are looking for a few things. First, and the obvious, is they are looking to understand what is it about the company that makes you want to apply. Companies want to understand what you find unique about them that makes you want to apply. This is also an opportunity for you to share something about your work experience and achievements that fits with the company.

Second, companies want to see if you have done some research on the business. Additionally, they want to also know that you have put some thought into how you would fit and what you bring. Too often job seekers approach the job hunt with a spray-and-shoot method. Lack of research and preparation usually leads to a poor answer to this question. As a result, companies receiving tens to hundreds of resumes for one position are underwhelmed with the types of responses.

Companies spend a significant amount of money in hopes to recruit the right person for the job. Interviewers want to know that who they are interviewing is serious about the position. Having a unique and compelling answer to this question can really help a candidate stand out.

3 steps for answering “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

Having a polished and authentic answer to this question is important for standing out as a candidate. To craft a memorable answer that will help you stand out against other candidates, follow these steps:

Step1: Conduct your research

The first step to creating the best answer is to conduct thoughtful research on the company. Browse through the company’s website to understand its culture and values. Search the company on LinkedIn to see what recent posts and initiatives they are broadcasting. Both sources are great places to learn about what is important to the company.

Additionally, search on Google News to see what the latest stories and reports are on the business. If they’ve won awards, see how these awards demonstrate and align with what you are looking for in a company. Another great way to learn about a company is to reach out to current employees and ask for a coffee chat.

Step 2: Craft your answer to match your story

The next step is to craft your answer. Your answer should align with your story, demonstrating to the interviewer why you are the best fit. Below are some questions that can help you develop your answer.

  • What is interesting about the work that is being done at this company that you cannot find at other companies?
  • What values does this company embody that align with yours? Why are these important to you?
  • What is the company doing that interests you?
  • What is special about the company’s culture that attracts you?

Answering these questions can help you come up with key points, which can then be used in your answer.

To better understand your own core values and how they align with a company’s, take our FREE Personal Annual Plan course!

Step 3: Structure your answer

The final step in answering the question is to structure your answer. Delivery is a key element in answering any interview question. A strong and organized structure will help interviewers listen and retain your answer.

For structuring your answer, always start with the answer first. This means getting right down to it with a short and crisp sentence. Interviews are long, which can lead to interviewers’ attention span waning. By starting with the answer first, ensures that the interviewer will have heard your reply.

From there, provide context. This provides the interviewer with a bit of background to your answer. When possible, use a personal story to help you stand out from other candidates. For example, your answer to “why do you want to work here” may be that the company’s customer service is truly impressive. Your context may be a story that demonstrates this:

I previously worked with your company in my last role. One time, we experienced a delay in our shipment, which would jeopardize critical deliverables on our project. Company X came through and air-freighted a shipment to us. This is the type of customer service I want to be able to provide my customers.

Other Tips For Answering “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

Practice your answer – to ensure that your answer is smooth and put together. Start by writing your answer out. Refine the answer by cutting out unnecessary words and using strong adjectives and verbs to pack more within one sentence. Record yourself practicing so you can see your facial expressions and hear any filler words you are using.

Reach out for coffee chats – connecting with current employees is the best way to learn more about the company. You may find something interesting from your discussion that you can build into your answer. This demonstrates to companies that you have really taken the time to learn about their business.

Stay on top of your news – for industries you are interested in, make a conscious effort to stay on top of the trends and news that are arising. Your employers and managers are likely to be aware of the shifts in their industry. Demonstrating that you are in tune with these shifts will signal to managers that you are thinking beyond the immediate roles and responsibilities. Bonus points if you have an opinion or perspective on any emerging trends or insights.

Practice professionalism – It is important to be professional not only in the way that you dress but also in how you communicate. It is important to convey that you are competent, reliable, and have integrity while answering interview questions.

Related Readings

Professional Leadership Institute (PLI) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in entrepreneurial leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional PLI resources below will be useful:

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