money·4 min read

3 Great Responses to the Interview Question 'Why Do You Want to Work Here?'

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Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
Aug 1, 2022

The job hunt can be a challenge. And not just because it means writing A LOT of cover letters. But because once you’ve made it through the application phase, it’s time to prep for the interview. And while there’s no way to know every question the interviewer will ask, there is one standard question that you can expect to come up: “Why do you want to work here?” Here’s how you should (and shouldn’t) respond.

How to answer the common interview question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Interviewers ask this question so they can find out if you’re excited to take on the role.ICYMI: Happy employees are usually more productive than those who don’t enjoy their job. It’s also a question hiring managers use to learn how much you know about the company.If you’re prepared, this question gives you the chance to highlight your pre-interview research. So…

Do your research.

Spend some time learning about the company's mission and culture. Read the 'About' and 'Careers' pages on their website. Plus, being able to speak to the company’s values and mission in your interview lets the hiring manager know you’d be a diligent employee. 

Example: “When I initially saw the job listing, I knew I could make a positive impact in this position since I have experience with [TWO SKILLS THEY ARE SEEKING IN AN APPLICANT]. When I further researched the organization, I was impressed to see how much [COMPANY] values [VALUE]. That made me even more excited about the chance to join your team.”

Find common ground.

Mention the values you noticed while researching the company, and why those values are important to you on a personal level. Because aligned values are a good indicator that you’ll be a long-term employee. 

Example: “I really resonate with [COMPANY]’s values and mission to [MISSION]. [VALUE] in particular is a professional value of mine, and I believe that makes me a great fit for this role.”

Share your goals.

If the company or brand is one that you’ve admired for a while, this question is the perfect time to share that with the hiring manager. Especially if landing this specific role is #goals for you.

Example: “I’ve been inspired by [BRAND, STYLE, OR TONE] for [AMOUNT OF TIME]. I’ve worked to develop professionally in that time so that I could become a part of this team and provide real value to the company.”

Are there any wrong ways to answer?

Yes. And the wrong answer can quickly end your hope of snagging that new gig.

Design: theSkimm


Here’s what not to say if you plan on getting hired:

For the perks.

Even if the company has an amazing benefits package, you shouldn’t mention this as a reason you want to work there. Because that could mean you don’t plan on staying with the company long-term. 

For the salary range.

A good rule of thumb: Don’t be the first to mention salary. Instead, wait until the hiring manager asks about your salary expectations. Read: Negotiation time

For the title.

Your potential new title isn’t the best reason to give the hiring manager when the question “why do you want to work here?” comes up. Because it says you’re using the new role as a resume boost, not a long-term career move.Psst…Moving on to a new role isn’t the only way to get a career boost.

theSkimm

It’s important to show up to your interview prepared. And “why do you want to work here?” is definitely a Q you should be ready to answer. Find common ground and answer honestly, and you’ll nail it.

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