Are you one of the four in 10 U.S. workers considering a job change in the next six months? Chances are, you will get the question “Why do you want to work here?” It’s a common interview question, but also one that can be challenging to answer, especially when you try to wing it.
Not having solid response to this question is risky because it could make all the difference in whether a potential employer extends a job offer to you — or not.
Here is some advice from our recruiters at Southwest Search on how to best answer this question.
How NOT to respond
Let’s start with how you should not respond to this question.
“I just need a job, and this one looked interesting.”
This answer does not demonstrate a sincere interest in the role or the company. This could also pose concerns for the hiring manager that you might be quick to leave if you find another opportunity more compelling.
“I see this as a step to bigger and better things.”
Not every employer expects a hire to stay with them for the long term, but this answer makes it seem like you are more focused on the future than the present. It can also suggest that you might have one foot out the door before you have even been hired.
“I’ve heard this company offers good pay and benefits.”
Any company wants to be viewed as an employer of choice, and leading firms recognize that they must offer competitive compensation to hire top talent. That said, they don’t want to recruit people whose primary motivation to work for the business is money.
Better Options for a Response
One of the keys to coming up with a compelling answer to “Why do you want to work here?” is to flip the question like this: “Why would this company want to hire me?”
In other words, think more about what you have to offer and how you could make an impact rather than why getting the job would benefit you. Consider using one of the following lead-ins as the inspiration for crafting your tailored response to make it seem genuine and natural:
- “I am excited about this opportunity, and I believe it would allow me to….”
- “I believe my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because …”
- “I believe I have the type of knowledge to background needed for this role and at the company because …”
- “I see this opportunity to be a part of an exciting/ fast-moving company and I feel I can do so by/with my …”
When faced with the question “Why do you want to work here” or other challenging ones you might tend to freeze up or say the wrong thing. Practice makes perfect. Take time to prepare an answer before the interview and you’ll avoid feeling flummoxed — and your chances of getting hiring might rise.