How To Answer “Why Are You Interested In This Position?” (With Examples): Job Interview Question

By Ryan Morris
Jan. 30, 2023
Articles In Guide

Find a Job You Really Want In

Summary. To answer “Why are you interested in this position?”, explain how your skills and experience make you the right fit for the position. You can also use this as an opportunity to show that you’ve done your homework about the role and the company you’re applying to.

One of the most common questions you could encounter in a job interview is, “Why are you interested in this position?”

To help you get ready to respond to this question in your next interview, we’ll walk you through what hiring managers are looking for in an answer, provide tips for coming up with your own, and show multiple approaches with real example answers.

Key Takeaways

  • Hiring managers ask this question to learn how well you understand the position and company and how well you’d fit in that position.

  • You can use your answer to emphasize your interest in the role, expand on your career goals, and/or show off your knowledge of the company.

  • To answer this question well, you’ll need to research the position and company, come up with a few main points about why you’re interested in the position, and think through what you’d add to the company in this role.

Why Are You Interested in This Position

Why Interviewers Ask “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

Hiring managers and recruiters ask about why you’re interested in the particular position to learn a few things about you:

  • How well you understand the position. First and foremost, interviewers want to make sure you have a solid grasp on the ins and outs of the role. Your answer can show the hiring manager that you know exactly what the job entails and what function you’d serve on the team and, more broadly, in the company.

  • Why you’re excited about the position. Recruiters don’t want a candidate who’s perfectly qualified but entirely uninterested in the work. Interviewers want to hear why you’re passionate about the job and excited for the opportunity. Don’t leave this aspect out of your answer.

  • How well your experience and skill set align with the position. Of course, passion is important, but so is a well-matched skill set. As you show your understanding of the role, you should also be drawing your interviewer’s attention to how you have all of the necessary qualities to perform this job well.

  • How well you know the company. Additionally, your answer may reveal, in a general sense, what you know about the company. This is especially true if your answer revolves around talking about corporate values or big-picture goals that align with your personal values.

  • What contributions you can make in this position. Finally, a really impactful answer will go beyond an understanding of the role. It will show that you’re already thinking like an employee about the contributions you can make.

    If you can incorporate what specific and unique value you’ll bring to the job, you’re one step closer to getting a job offer.

Tip: Common variations of this question include “why do you want to work here,” “why are you interested in this job,” “what interests you about this job” and “why do you want this job?”

How to Answer “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

Your answer ultimately depends on your motivation for applying for the job. However, there are still steps you should take to prepare the perfect answer:

  1. Research the role. Start by reading the job description carefully and noting any important skills, adjectives, or action verbs that get used a lot or emphasized. Once you thoroughly understand the job’s responsibilities, you’ll have a good foundation on which to build your answer.

    For example, if the job posting mentions client interactions a lot, you can mention how much you love meeting new people and helping solve clients’ problems.

  2. Learn more about the company. Researching the company will help plan many of your interview answers, but it’s especially important for this question.

    Look at the company’s website, their LinkedIn profile (as well as those of employees, especially in your department), and news articles about the company. If you can tie in how the company’s values match with your own, it can help paint you as a perfect cultural fit.

  3. Prepare key talking points. Your answer should never sound memorized, so we don’t recommend writing a script to practice. Instead, jot down some bullet points of the important information you want to cover.

    You can talk about how this role aligns with your skill set, interests, and career goals. You can also use that research from the first two steps to talk about how your background makes for an excellent fit within the company and for the role.

    Bonus points if you can come up with reasons why this specific role is different than countless other job listings for similar positions.

  4. Focus on value added. Finally, bring your answer back around to what value you can contribute to the company. Your answer should do more than answer why you are interested in them; it should also answer why they should be interested in you.

Example Answers to “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

Your answer to this interview question ultimately depends on your motivation for applying for the job. However, these sample answers can help you see all of our advice in action.

Adapt your answer to suit your reasons, but keep the tone, timing, and general strategy in mind as you craft your answer:

  1. Example Answer: Skills

    I’m interested in this position because it revolves around my two greatest assets: creativity and technical prowess. Designing web pages to optimize the user experience is something that I excel at and enjoy. Seeing how excited my former clients were with my previous work, and witnessing impactful changes like 50%+ boosts in website traffic is immensely satisfying for me.

    I know that this role is all about working closely with clients to achieve their needs and goals, and my experience in this arena could help improve your average website traffic growth at the 20% year-over-year pace I discovered in my research.

  2. Example Answer: Company Values-Focused

    Well, I first heard about XYZ Inc. in a news story about how a local start up was achieving astonishing results in cleaning up the region’s drinkable water. As someone who grew up in a place with unhealthy tap water, I know how important achieving this vision is to create healthy and productive communities.

    That’s why I became involved in hydrology, and I’d love to put my technical know-how and strong passion for the project to good use. Working together with your engineering team, I think we can come up with exciting solutions to these and other emergent problems.

  3. Example Answer: Growth

    I’ve worked with ABC Corp. for a few years, and while I’ve valued the friendships I’ve made and skills I’ve learned there, there’s no more room for growth. What excites me about this position is that I would get to use some of the new and innovative data analysis solutions I’ve been learning and working on.

    I understand that this role is a big step up in responsibility, and I’m excited to take on new challenges and grow alongside the organization. My research also showed that ABC has a great professional development program to upskill workers, which to me indicates a commitment to collective improvement that I appreciate.

  4. Example Answer: Passion

    I’ve been passionate about interior decoration since I was a young boy helping my mom remodel our kitchen. There’s something magical about turning a vision into reality. As I’ve gotten more involved in the trade, I’ve realized it’s even more exciting to help others realize their goals, even if they don’t have a clear concept in mind to begin with.

    I understand that your company has some of the highest satisfaction rates among local firms, and I’d enjoy working somewhere that values excellence.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Answering “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

Some common interview questions have a lot of potential for horrible mistakes. “Why are you interested in this position” is a hard question to mess up, but here are some common mistakes to look out for as you prepare your answer:

  • Focusing too much on yourself. It’s inevitable that you’ll bring up your skills and suitability for the job in your answer — heck, we suggested doing just that. However, that doesn’t mean you should get into more personal reasons for wanting the job like salary, commute times, benefits, flexible scheduling, etc.

    Most importantly, your answer should show how the company would benefit from hiring you, not how you’d benefit.

  • No enthusiasm. You may have sent your resume all over town and this is just the first place to call you in for an interview. You don’t really want this particular position for any good reason.

    That’s fine — just don’t let the interviewer know that. Do your research and have a plan. Without that, you’ll seem unprepared at best and uninterested at worst.

  • Resume repeats. This is not a question about walking the hiring manager through your resume. The interviewer isn’t looking for a story like when she asks a behavioral interview question.

    What the recruiter wants to hear is “why” and “how” you’ll do the job, not the “what, where, when” of your previous work experience.

Tips for Answering “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

As you prepare an answer, keep these ideas in mind:

  • Reflect on your past achievements. When preparing an answer, look back on moments in your career when you’ve accomplished something special. Don’t just think of external praise or financial gains — think of moments where you felt really proud of your work and genuinely enjoyed the process of getting it done.

    Even if you don’t directly bring those moments into your answer, it can help fuel a more heartfelt response that sticks with the interviewer.

  • Be positive and authentic. This might seem like a paradox, if you’re not a naturally positive person, but bear with us. What we mean by positive is that you should focus on the “why” rather than the “why not.” For example, discussing how the new role involves exciting new technology is good; moaning about how your current job is so boring is bad.

    As for authenticity, that pre-interview self-reflection will go a long way. This is a question with multiple workable approaches, so there’s no excuse to not choose one that feels genuine.

  • Don’t forget the employer. It’s important to bring all your answers back around to what’s in it for the employer. If you can seamlessly move from why you’re passionate about the work to how that’ll bring great results to the company, you’re in good shape.

  • Ask follow-up questions. While you should come across as company- and role-knowledgeable with your answer, don’t be afraid to segue into follow-up questions directly after your answer.

    For example:

    • Your company mission statement really resonates with me — can you expand on how it plays out in the day-to-day lives of employees?

    • I’m really passionate about [job responsiblity you enjoy]; could you talk a little more about how often someone in this role would be performing that function?

    • By all accounts it seems like a great place to work and a stellar team to join — what’s been your favorite part of working here?

    • My research indicates that this position also has room for growth, and I was curious if you could touch on the typical trajectory for someone in this role.

“Why Are You Interested in This Position?” FAQs

  1. How do you answer, “What has interested you in this position?”

    You answer, “What has interested you in this position?” by naming specific aspects of the job that align with your skills, goals, and passions. Being as specific as possible shows that you’ve looked into and are invested in this role, which will make you a more attractive candidate.

    It also shows hiring managers that you’re well equipped to handle this role, which is also vital to making a good impression. At the end of your answer, it’s also always a good idea to talk about what you’d contribute to the company in this position and ask a follow-up question.

  2. What are some examples of reasons why you want a job?

    Some examples of reasons why you want a job include:

    • The job is a fit with your professional skills, goals, and experiences.

    • The company culture is a great fit with your personality and passions.

    • The job is a great fit with your personal preferences and goals.

  3. What are some common job interview questions?

    Common job interview questions include:

    • “Tell me about yourself.”

    • “Why are you the right fit for this job?”

    • “Why do you want this job?”

Final Thoughts

“Why are you interested in this position” is a refreshingly direct interview question, but that doesn’t make it any simpler for interviewees. Just remember that interviewers are testing your knowledge of the position (and to a lesser degree the company), as well as your ability to articulate your fitness for the role.

Self-reflection, research, and authenticity are the three pillars of a good answer. Once you’re able to tell a good story about how this job fits in perfectly with your professional goals, you’ll be on the way to a job offer.


  1. U.S. Department of Labor – Interview Tips

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Ryan Morris

Ryan Morris was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog who tried to make the job process a little more entertaining for all those involved. He obtained his BA and Masters from Appalachian State University.

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