Why Do You Want This Job Interview Question

It’s just as important for the hiring manager to feel you want this job as much as being qualified for it.

That’s right, it’s not just about your education, qualifications and experience.

The hiring manager wants to have some peace of mind that you’re going to stick around this company for a while, and not get bored, or use the company’s name to jump ship the moment a better offer comes along.

The hiring process is a necessary but painful process the hiring manager must endure. As such, they don’t want to repeat it any time soon.

So how do they make sure you’re here to stay? With the all-too-common interview question — “Why do you want this job?”

Two ways you should NOT be answering this question:

  • Don’t simply repeat your general strengths already mentioned in your resume
  • Don’t talk about the prestige of working for this company

You’re better off talking about something very unique and specific to this role, and then match your strengths to those needs.

Areas you could choose as a starting point:

  • An upcoming project you researched about this company or this department
  • A specific requirement that was at the top of the job description
  • Specific technical skills that was heavily referenced on the job description
  • A company value or something specific about the culture that you researched or was already discussed during the interview

What you choose depends on when this question is asked. If it’s asked early in the interview, then your research about the company and job description should be used.

If it’s asked later in the interview after some conversation has been had about the projects or challenges, you can use that as a starting point.

Then, explain how you will excel in that specific area because it’s where your expertise lies, it’s what lights you up the most in your career, or it’s a problem you’ve already solved in the past and you’re confident you can do it again.

Personalizing your experience and strengths this way guarantees you’re giving this all-too-important question an answer that no other candidate will give.

And that’s how you stand out in an interview.