How to Answer "Why Do You Want to Work Here?"

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You should always prepare for a job interview ahead of time by coming up with answers to some of the most common interview questions and practicing mock interviews with family members or friends. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel in the interview.

One of the most common questions interviewers ask is “Why do you want to work here?” There are probably a variety of reasons you want a job, ranging from being unemployed and needing the money to look for a new career challenge or path. When asked “why do you want to work here” in an interview, the key is finding the right way to explain why you want the job in a way that will impress and encourage the interviewer.

In reality, you could look at this question in two ways: why do you want to work, and why do you want to work here. You don’t have to answer why you want to work, but it’s important to find the right way to share why you want this particular job.

First, think about why you want this job. Why did you apply in the first place? What drew you to the job description or company? Write down a list of reasons. Then, decide what about those reasons will make you a great employee. Your answer is likely what the interviewer is looking for. They want to know what motivates you, and why you’ll get out of bed and come to work every day.

One way to look at this question is instead think about why the company would want to hire you. What do you have to offer, and how could you make a positive impact on the role/team/company?

When asking this question, the hiring manager is looking to learn about your career goals and how this position fits into that plan. They want to make sure you’re actually interested in the job and will be motivated to perform, and won’t quit in six months or a year. It’s a way for them to also understand your priorities and preferences when it comes to a job and company you work for. You should craft answers that help them understand this about you.

Here are a few sample reasons you may actually want the job, and responses you can use in the interview.

Your Reason: I need the money.
Interview Response: “I want to [insert goal here].” What is the reason or bigger picture around why you need the money? Is it because you want to support your family? Provide a stable income? Go to college? By sharing your ultimate goal, you’re telling the employer you’ll be a motivated, stable employee. They can feel more confident that you’ll show up and work hard every day because the job is important to reaching your goals.

Your Reason: I hate my current job/boss.
Interview Response: “I’m looking to explore other opportunities.” Most of the time, if you’re leaving a current job for a new one, that means you’re not totally pleased or satisfied with where you’re at. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be interviewing for a new job. However, it’s very important not to bash or bad mouth your existing job, boss or company. If you do, the interviewer may figure you’ll do the same about them one day, which isn’t good for employee retention and morale.

Instead, show that you are grateful for your existing job, and remain graceful and professional. Talk about the opportunities and learning experiences you had in your last job, but explain you are ready to look for additional opportunities and ways to grow and learn.

Your Reason: I’m bored at my current job.
Interview Response: “I’m looking to improve my skills.” Again, you want to avoid bad-mouthing your current job. However, chances are if you’re bored there, you’re not being challenged or using your skills. You don’t want to be cocky in the interview, but instead, share how you’re looking forward to learning new things and being challenged in a new role.

You can also highlight that you’re grateful for what you’ve learned in your last position to show you’re able to take the good out of a negative situation.

Your Reason: I’m looking for my first job.
Interview Response: “I’m eager to gain experience and learn how to be a great employee.” Maybe this role isn’t your dream job, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show excitement toward the position and the company. Be enthusiastic and eager, and give off positive energy to help make up for the experience you lack. The interviewer is more likely to give you a chance, even without experience, if they can feel confident that you’ll come to work, work hard, and can learn the necessary skills to do the job.

Your Reason: This is the only company that offered an interview
Interview Response: “I admire this company because [insert reason here].” An important part of interview prep is to research the company. With this answer, you’re showing the interviewer this job means enough to you to have done your homework. List a few genuine reasons you’d like to work for the company. Perhaps they’re very involved with the community, support a non-profit you feel passionate about, have an excellent employee or customer satisfaction ratings, or you admire work they’ve done in the past.

Use these tips on your next interview. Get started today by finding your perfect job fit! 

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