5 Tips for Answering the Interview Question “Why Do You Want This Job?”

Maddie Lloyd
by Maddie Lloyd
Get The Job, Guides - 9 months ago
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When it comes to answering interview questions, “Why do you want this job?” may seem like one of the easier ones. We all have our own reasons for why we want certain jobs, whether it’s the next step on the way to your dream job, or if you just need to pay rent and this position will get the job done.

Here’s the deal:

Even though your reasons for wanting a job may seem obvious to you, it’s important to frame your answer to this interview question in a way that shows you have what it takes to do the job, and that you’re motivated to working with the company for the long haul.

Lucky for you, we have the 5 best tips and tricks needed to give a great answer to the question “Why do you want this job?” Keep reading to learn how to answer this question and land the job.

1. Do your homework and research the company ahead of time

One of the best ways to let employers know that you’re excited about a job is to show them that you care enough to learn about the company’s background. Make sure you know their mission, a basic overview of their history, and any current projects they’re working on.

To get up to speed on the company’s background, check out their “About Us” section on their website, and read any recent articles about them to get a feel for their current projects and company goals.

“The first thing that caught my eye about your company is that you’re currently hosting a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity. I also have experience working with that organization, so it really resonated with me that you have a company-wide focus on charitable giving.”

Now when the “Why do you want this job?” question comes up, you can mention specific aspects of the company that make you excited to work for them, instead of just mentioning that you’re just in it for the paycheck.

2. Show that you’re excited for the job opportunity

Be specific about what makes you the perfect candidate for this role and what you can bring to the table on day one. Use your answer to show how you can use any valuable skills in the position, and remember to show the employer how you can be an asset to their company.

Mention any long-term projects you’re excited for and how they can help you build your skill sets. This will help you show the interviewer that you’re committed to sticking with the company, and that you won’t just ditch them when the next great opportunity rolls around.

Bring up any skills or previous work experiences that make you uniquely matched to the job. Make a list of the job’s requirements and note which ones line up with your skills experience. Then, when this question comes up, highlight these strengths to show that you’re the best person for the job.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to use my skills as a copywriter in this position. Being able to build upon my skills as a writer and editor, while continuing to develop in a growing company is important to me. It seems that there are great long-term opportunities here, and I would appreciate the opportunity to grow with the company.

3. Match your skills and qualifications to the job requirements

One of the best ways to answer the “Why do you want this job?” interview question is to show off how your skills and experience make your perfectly suited for the position.

Try to figure out the main functions of the job and describe how your professional strengths and previous work and volunteer experiences have given you what it takes to successfully perform the job duties.

Focus on highlighting your most relevant qualifications and mention how excited you are about the opportunity to work with the company:

“What really stood out to me about this position was the opportunity to use the copyediting experience I gained from my role as Junior Copywriter combined with my coding skills. I feel that this position would give me the unique opportunity to actively build both of these skill sets while also growing with a company I’d be excited to be a part of.”

Just remember to keep it concise. There’s no need to drone on and on about how awesome you are. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to do so when the interviewer asks follow up questions, and with other interview questions like “What are your greatest professional strengths?

4. Show how you’d fit into the company culture

Knowing how you’re going to fit in with the company culture and interact with your coworkers can be a big determining factor in an employer’s decision in whether or not they want to give you a job offer. So your answer needs to show the interviewer that your values and goals align with the company’s, and that you’d be an ideal coworker.

You should get a feel for the company’s values and culture when you do your research before the interview, but if you read their entire “About Us” page and still feel a little foggy on what it’s actually like to work there, check out their social media profiles, like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. These may give a more honest look into their corporate culture.

If anything you find resonates with your own values and goals, mention that in your answer.

“I’m particularly excited for this opportunity because of your company’s priorities for teamwork, ethics, and efficiency. These are all values that are highly important to me, and I see that reflected here. Having the same values and community interest makes me want to work with this company more than anywhere else.”

5. Connect the job to your overall career goals

Another great way to answer the “Why do you want this job?” question is to show that it fits into your long-term career goals. Show the interviewer that you’re looking to stick around for the long haul instead of just using them as a pit stop, and they’ll feel more comfortable investing in you as a candidate.

“I’m particularly interested in this position as junior copywriter because it ultimately fits into my long-term career goals of becoming senior copywriter for a major publication. This position would be a great opportunity to build my skill sets, contribute to a rapidly-growing company, and to see my projects and efforts flourish with the company.”

Now you know how to tell interviewers why you want the job!

Even though our biggest reason for wanting a job may be to get a paycheck at the end of the day, it’s important to show employers that your motivation goes deeper than just a salary.

Use your answer to this question to show that you’ve researched the company, you have the qualifications, and that you’re a perfect fit for the company culture. This will show employers that you’re passionate, motivated, and enthusiastic about the job.

If you can show employers that you’re qualified, excited for the opportunity, and willing to stick around, you’re sure to land the job! Good luck!