Interview Tips

How To Answer: Why Do You Want This Job?

Emily Totura
By: Emily Totura
Jun 23, 2020 • 4 min read

Why do you want this job?

The question, “why do you want this job” is pretty common on interviews, so make sure you’re prepared to answer it. Don’t worry, though, we’ll help you navigate your answer in this article! Your interviewer is asking you this because they want to know what you’re expecting to get out of this job, why you’re qualified, and, most importantly, how much you know about the organization.  Even if you don’t get asked this specific question, if you want this job, you should make sure it’s known during your interview. 

woman sitting around table holding tablet

Step 1: Preparation

First, do some research on the company. It doesn’t need to be extensive, but you should be familiar with aspects of the organization that are important to you. Maybe this is their training process or why employees choose to work there. While researching, focus on their strengths. Pick out a few key aspects that you want to include in your answer. You should be able to relate it to your personal qualifications. This is also an opportunity for you to figure out if this is an environment where you would enjoy working. 

Step 2: Enthusiasm! 

So now you’re on the interview, and they ask the question. Where do you start? Begin your answer with what interested you in the job in the first place. Let’s say you’re applying to be a waitress. Maybe you admired the friendliness of the workers or how organized and efficient it was. Be enthusiastic, but not over the top, when expressing to your interviewer what attracted you to this position. This can be especially important if you are applying to work at a smaller organization. If you can elaborate on more minor details, this will be impressive. Where can you find information like this? Check out their website. Do they have a mission statement? Are they involved in their local community in any way? If there is anything unique that you discover, mention it in your answer. This will also help you stand out compared to other people who are interviewing. 

Example: “The first thing that stood out to me when I saw this position was how diverse and inclusive your company is. I really enjoy collaborating with others, so this would be a great way for me to learn and share with others. I also saw that your team volunteers every week at XYZ and community service have always been vital to me, and I think that it is a great way to build relationships with co-workers.” 

Step 3: Talk about your skills and experiences. 

After explaining why you are interested in the job, you need to sell yourself. How do you do this? Talk about relevant skills and experiences that you have. Avoid reiterating your entire resume because they’ve already read it. Instead, you want to acknowledge the primary responsibilities and skills required for the job—if you are unsure, check out their website or the job posting. In the first part of your answer, you are highlighting the organization as a whole. However, in this part of your response, you should be more specific and focus on the actual job itself. 

Example: “I understand that your company is on the rise, and you are introducing a lot of new products. With my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and my experience working for XYZ company as an XYZ, I have a lot of experience in creating effective marketing campaigns.” 

Keep in mind, you can alter this! You can add more skills or work experiences, but make sure to keep this part of your answer simple and try not to ramble. There will be more chances during the interview to expand on your other skills and experiences. 

two women looking at person across the table

Step 4: Tie in your career goals. 

At the end of your answer, you want to make it clear that this job aligns with your career goals. This shows your interviewer that you are serious about the job and that you don’t plan to leave after a few months. It’s okay if you don’t see yourself working there for the rest of your life, but show that you’ve done your research and are confident that this job is right for you. 

Example: “I have been interested in working in retail for a while because I hope to manage my own store. With my previous experiences, I feel that I would thrive in this job position and learn a lot from the diverse range of experienced employees here.” 

More tips!

Refrain from mentioning components like pay or hours as reasons for why you want the job. Your primary focus should be on what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Additionally, as stated earlier, don’t just restate your resume. If you are talking about an experience or skill on your resume, that is fine, but make sure you are adding to it. Provide other information that your interviewer can’t get just from reading your resume. 

This can be a daunting question to answer, but as with all interview questions, if you’re confident and prepared, you’ll do great! We hope these tips will help you land your next job! Let us know about your favorite positions, we’d love to hear about them! Tweet us to share! For more helpful content, be sure to check out our blog.