Interview Question Prep: “Why Do You Want this Job?”

Fielding uncomfortable interview questions is part of the process of getting hired. The secret to nailing your answers is to know what’s coming and prepare. One question you can bet on getting is: “Why do you want this job?”

This can be tricky to answer when you only have a superficial understanding of the job and the company. However, keep in mind, the employer is trying to dig deeper and find out more about you.

What Hiring Managers Want to Know

First, they want to know if you did your homework. Your answer will demonstrate that you’ve taken some initiative to research the company and have a basic understanding of what they do and those they serve. They’re not looking for minutiae, but an answer shows them you’re taking this opportunity seriously and have at least some idea as to why you’re a fit for the job.

Second, they truly want to know if there is something in particular about the company that stands out to you. Your answer can give them a better sense of whether you’re a match for the position and the overall culture. For instance, if the company is known for internal promotions and you want to move ahead in your career – eventually into a leadership role – talking about this will help the hiring manager better understand you as a candidate and your qualifications for the job.

Finally, once you’ve set the stage with the “why,” it’s also important to move beyond what interests you in the company to what makes you an excellent match for the job. Discuss what specific strengths you bring to the table that are ideal and most relevant for the position and the employer. This will tie your background to the company’s needs, connecting the dots – with specific examples – as to why the hiring manager should consider you.

What to Avoid Saying

When you’re answering this question, focus on ways you can contribute, not so much on what the company can do for you. For instance, if they offer the highest salary and that’s really the only reason you’re interested, don’t bring that up. Other areas to avoid include commute, hours, and benefits.

Also, don’t give a generic answer that simply states that you’re qualified and have the skills to get the job done. This doesn’t make you stand out in any way from other candidates, nor will it persuade the hiring manager to consider you for the position. Keep in mind: they are only interviewing those who at least meet the minimum qualifications. So what makes you a better choice?

Need More Help Getting Interviews – and Your Next Job?

At Future Force, we’re one of the top temp-to-hire staffing services, partnering with leading companies across Orlando. We can work with you to learn about your background, skills, and personality, all to match you with positions that are an excellent fit. Search our jobs now to get started.

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