How to answer: ‘Why do you want this job?’ in a job interview

Questions like ‘what interests you about this job?’ or ‘why do you want this job?’ may seem like a simple question to answer, but lots of interview candidates have flunked this ‘simple- looking’ question.

Why do interviewers ask this question?

  • They want to know how well you know yourself: if you have assessed your interests.
  • The interviewer wants to know how excited you are about the job and how genuinely attracted you are to it.
  • He or she wants to know if your target job or job position is in line with your professional plans and career goals.

How to answer ‘Why do you want this job?’

Let us talk about some important things to consider before and when answering this question.

Know your interest or areas of interest as regards the job

This is the first step. You do not go out for your interview without this knowledge. If you need to sit down and think about it, then do so. It wouldn’t be right to mention that it is just the financial benefit that interests you. Remember, the answer you choose to provide here will go a long way to give your interviewers an insight into your personality.

Match your interests to the job you are applying for

One very important aspect that people skip is checking out to ensure that their interests are relevant to their target job. Sales or marketing may interest you, but it may not be relevant to the job position you are applying. How do you know the interests that match the job position?

  • Check out the job description: you should read the job description as written on the job post. The skills and qualifications listed out there could give a clue of your interests that would match with the job.
  • Make a research on the company: knowing what the company is all about is a good way to help you match the right interests with your target job. Go to the company website, or you read some articles on the company to give you an idea of their goals, missions, and current project.

When describing your interests….

Be specific about why you are the best candidate

Don’t just beat about the bush or give general answers: be specific about why they have to hire you. You should be able to point out the skills you possess that make you stand out from other candidates. To help you here, make a list of the job requirements just as we stated above and then match them with your skills, interests, qualifications, and experiences. You might as well include positive examples from your work history.

Emphasis on the value you can add to the company

Your answer should always include what you can contribute to the company. What are your roles in that position, and how do you plan to add value to the company through those roles? Go ahead and mention a skill or quality, which you possess and have used in the past to add value to your job. Your work experience will surely give you an edge over others. If you can, use figures to quantify the values you have been to add to your past or previous job.

Points to emphasize on when asked about your interests and motivation

Your interviewers don’t just want to know what your interests in a job are when they ask interest-related questions, but they also want to know if the job satisfies those interests of yours.

Here are some points to emphasize:

  • Focus on the skills that you have improved and developed during your career
  • Mention some of your natural abilities (your soft skills) such as creativity, problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Discuss the real reasons why you chose to apply for that particular position
  • Focus on the values, effectiveness, contributions, and productivity that you would bring to the position.

A sharp response that displays all these will show your hiring manager that you are confident in yourself and your abilities and will increase your chances of acing the interview.

A sample answer to questions about why you’re interested in the position?

‘ I’m really impressed by the products and services your company has been able to push in such a competitive market. Furthermore, the top-quality customer service provided to make your products available to everybody who wants to use it is something that I always admired. I know that your company sets high targets for employees, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to be a part of a team that is not afraid to take calculated risks to push into new markets.

I have several years of experience working with tight deadlines and fast-paced work environments. Furthermore, I believe my time management abilities and team working skills can make me a valuable addition to your team. Also, I read in recent news that you are looking to expand your target markets into providing services for financial institutions as well. Is that correct? Could you please tell me more about that?’

Learn more about answering tough interview questions such as ‘why you’re interested in this position?’

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic