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How to Answer, “Why do you want to work here?”


This is one of the most common, and most critical, job interview questions:  

The question is often phrased in a variety of ways such as; 


Why are you interested in the company? 

Why are you interested in the job? 

Why do you want to work here? 

What attracted you to this position? 


You must be able to respond confidently to any these questions to ace your interview. 


Why do interviewers ask this question? 


The interviewer is looking for similar things whether asking about the company or position. The interviewer wants to: 

Learn about your career goals and how this position fits into your plan. 

Make sure that you are sincerely interested in the job and will be motivated to perform if hired. 

Find out what you know about the company, industry, position (and if you took the time to research) 

Understand your priorities and preferences -- which aspects of the company and/or job are appealing to you and why? 




What do you like about this company? 


The interviewer is looking for someone who will fit in at the company and enjoy working there. 

A good answer will demonstrate a knowledge of the company and industry. That means you must do your homework so that you can identify specific reasons for wanting to work for the firm. 


Please note: "It's close to my house" is not a good reason. 


These reasons could include one or several of the following: 


Company general reputation 

Reputation of key leaders 

Reputation of products/services 

Appreciation of other company initiatives (marketing campaign, community involvement, training programs) 

Referral from current employees 

Company values 

Company positioning in market 

Company growth/success 

You can probably think of other reasons that would also work.  


Common Mistakes: What Do You Like About This Company? 


A too-general answer that could apply to any company. Many candidates make this mistake. They say something like, "It's a great company and I'd love to work there." That's nice, but it's also not very memorable or believable. 


An uninformed answer that shows you haven’t done any research. The worst thing you can do is demonstrate that you don't even know what the company does -- or that you only have a vague idea and expect the interviewer to fill you in. 


An unenthusiastic answer that makes the interviewer wonder if you really want the job. You want to convince the interviewer that you are excited about the idea of working for his company. Avoid an answer like, "I heard there were some open positions, so here I am." 


Sample Answer: What Do You Like About This Company? 


“Well, the Fuji Xerox reputation is certainly a factor. I would be proud to work for a company with such a long history of leadership in the industry. 

Also, a good friend of the family has been working in one of the dealerships for the last two years and he told me that the culture supports learning and development on the job – and really rewards hard work.” 


Why We Like It: In this case, the candidate is interviewing for a very well-known firm. In a situation like this, the tendency for many candidates is to basically answer, "Well, it's Fuji Xerox. Duh."  


In today's job market, that's not going to be enough to set you apart from other candidates, even if your resume is stellar. 

This sample answer addresses the company's brand and history, but also demonstrates that the candidate took the time to do some additional research through his network The answer goes on to emphasise the candidate's interest in working hard and developing on the job. 


A little flattery can be effective -- just be careful not to cross the line into pathetic kissing up. 


Why are you interested in the job? 


So, you love the company and you can prove it. Think you're all set? Not so fast. You must also be prepared to speak about the position. You must prove that you are the perfect fit for THIS JOB at THIS COMPANY


Ask yourself: What is appealing about this job? Why did you respond to this job description? 


You must be able to discuss what excites you about the work. After all, every manager wants to hire someone who will love the work required and be committed to doing a great job. 


A great answer will also allow you to sneak in information about how good you are at the work required, after all, it's much easier to love your work when you're good at it. While the interviewer wants to know why you are attracted to the job, they'll be even more interested in hearing about why your experience has prepared you to excel in the position. 


Bottom line: Companies like to hire people who will be good at the job – and enjoy what they do. Clearly communicate both your interest and ability. 


Common Mistakes: Why Are You Interested in This Job? 


A too-general answer that could apply to any position. You don't want to give the impression that you're only interested in this job because it's available. No company wants to hear, "You were the only one who would give me an interview." It's the same with job interviewing. You have to woo the company and talk about why the position was made for you. 


An uninformed answer that shows you don’t understand the job. If you don't comprehend every word on that job description, take some time to research. 


An unenthusiastic answer that makes the interviewer wonder if you really want the job. If you can't provide details about why you're into the job, the interviewer will likely assume that you're NOT. 


Sample Answer: Company + Role 


"Well, I have great respect for your company's products and services and I would welcome the opportunity to work with the best in the business. At the same time, I have friends in the industry who have told me about your company's respect for employees and how you create a great environment for rewarding innovation. I think my proactive style would fit in really well here -- especially in this particular role." 


Why We Like It: This sample answer addresses both the organisation and the role. The candidate compliments the products, the employees, and the work environment (companies do love to say they are innovative, don't they?), then talks about how the proactive style would fit in well.  


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