“Why do you want to work here?” It’s a question you’re likely to hear in every interview. There’s a good reason for this: it shows the interviewer whether you are genuinely interested in and excited about the company and position. A strong answer should spotlight the company’s vision, mission, and values, along with how they align with your personal experience and goals. As with any interview question, the best way to leave a stellar impression is to research and prepare.
The question could also be phrased as:
- Why do you want to work with us?
- Why do you want to work at our company?
- What do you know about the company?
- What is your impression of us as a company?
Table of Contents:
- Why do interviewers ask, “Why do you want to work here?”
- How to answer “Why do you want to work here?”
- Example answers for “Why do you want to work here?”
- Common mistakes when answering “Why do you want to work for this company?”
Why do interviewers ask, “Why do you want to work here?”
Interviewers ask this question to weed out the applicants who are not interested in the company as a whole. An excited, engaged employee will have much more interest in the company’s success than an employee who has no genuine passion for the company’s goals. In short, passion and excitement is the point of this question.
As an open-ended question, “Why do you want to work here?” prompts a longer, honest answer. Ideally, this answer should reflect the applicant’s interest in the company’s core values and highlight what the candidate shares with the company. This could be a passion for the industry, shared goals, and vision, or similar values. After all, having an underlying passion for the job will help the employee be as reliable, diligent, and proactive as possible.
Another reason why interviewers ask this question is to avoid unnecessary (and costly) employee turnover. Employees who lack excitement are more likely to become frustrated, dissatisfied and ultimately choose to leave the company. This results in high employee turnover rates, which costs the company a lot of money. It’s thus better for the recruiters to take the time to find an applicant who is most likely to stay with the company in the long term.
How to answer “Why do you want to work here?”
The best way to answer this question is to determine how your passions align with the company and job. And, to find out how they align, you need to gather a solid understanding of the company and yourself and your interests. Try following these four steps to creating an impressive, honest answer:
1. Research the company website
Find out about the recent development within the industry and the company itself. Are there any particular challenges they are facing? Have they recently released new products? What are their core values, and what’s the company culture like?
Try to get a clear picture of where the company stands at the moment and how it got there. The company website and social media accounts or their blog will tell you a lot. This can help you identify the skills, traits, and experience you have that could be valuable to them.
2. Reread the job description
Now, go back to the job posting. Carefully read through the job requirements and the tasks you’ll be expected to carry out. Then, think about why you’re the best person to perform those tasks. What skills and experience do you have that could help you succeed in this position? Moreover, try to pinpoint what about the job will feel the most rewarding to you. This will help you get a better idea of why you want the job and your motivation to perform well.
3. Identify your favorite aspects of the job
Look at the position and your career goals side by side. In what ways can the job help you get closer to where you want to be in life? Perhaps they operate in the industry you’ve been trying to get into for years. Or maybe, you’ve been an avid user of their products for as long as you can remember. In your answer, highlight both the things that excite you personally and those that align with your career objectives.
4. Map out your core values
Focusing on your values in your answer can help the interviewer understand whether you’d fit in. If you’re not sure what values to focus on, think about the qualities and environments that you typically seek out in your life. Do all of your role models share the same defining quality? What type of culture do you thrive in? What motivates you? Once you’ve got the answers to these, consider how they align with your career objectives. This will help you narrow down the values that you should be looking for in a job. Then, all that’s left is identifying which of them can be found in the position you’re applying for.
Example answers for “Why do you want to work here?”
I've interacted with this company's customer service many times, and it's always been a great experience. The team was always so polite and professional, and I always received terrific service and issue resolution. It became clear to me that the teamwork, training, and company culture must be outstanding here. This is why I was excited to see a customer service position open at your company and why I'd love to work here.
Why is this answer effective?
- The candidate has first-hand experience with and knowledge about the company.
- Their values and interests align with the company culture, which shows they would be an excellent fit for the team.
Since I was little, I have been passionate about car engineering, and [Brand] cars have been my favorites for a long time now. In fact, they were what inspired me to study and work in the engineering field. Your offer for the position of head engineer resonated with me because I believe in the superior quality of your products and have extensive experience in similar jobs. It would be fascinating to be able to bring my skills and knowledge and put them to use in a company that I have looked up to for so long.
Why is this answer effective?
- The candidate displays a strong understanding of the company’s history and products.
- The answer reflects a genuine passion for and excitement about the opportunity to work for the company.
This company has a wonderful reputation online as both a retailer and a fair place to work. I can tell from the reviews and your company's social media that you value your employees and encourage professional and personal growth among them. Having spoken to a person who has worked in your company for years, she had nothing but great things to say. I strongly believe in collaboration and the importance of healthy, encouraging work environments as the key to growth and learning. Seeing these values reflected within the company abundantly makes me excited about the opportunity to work here.
Why is this answer effective?
- The candidate clearly shows that they have an interest in and experience with the company.
- They also mention that they got a recommendation for the job, which often catches the interviewers’ attention and boosts the candidate’s chances.
I'd love to learn more about the internal processes of [Company]. I have worked in a non-profit organization on structural support before but in a completely different location. I'd like to see how the development of residential facilities works in this area, as I'm sure there are very different challenges and aspects to consider. At the same time, I believe I could bring my knowledge of the field and a new point of view that could help the company overcome some of these challenges.
Why is this answer effective?
- The candidate shows interest in growing professionally and learning about the things that they are passionate about in their career.
- They highlight how the position could differ from their experience, proving that they have a solid understanding of the field.
Common mistakes when answering “Why do you want to work for this company?”
- Giving an answer that is too general – This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but all of the applicants are looking for an “interesting job.” Although giving a generic answer about simply needing a job might be honest, it shows you put no work into preparing your reply. Also, it might raise some red flags. After all, who’s to say you won’t leave the company as soon as another opportunity comes along?
- Focusing too much on how the job would benefit you – Of course, most employers don’t expect all the employees to stay with them for the rest of their careers. Still, saying that you see the job as a stepping stone or only mentioning how the job could move you along in your career won’t impress the interviewer.
- Mentioning the compensation – Most companies recognize that to hire top talent, they must offer competitive salaries. On the other hand, most companies will want to avoid hiring employees whose only motivation to perform well is the money.
The key to a compelling answer to “Why do you want to work here?” is research and preparation. You should develop a good reason why you’re interested in the company or evaluate why you’re applying to the job if you’re struggling to think of one. Remember that your answer should tie into the company’s core values, goals, and vision. Then, it should spotlight how these align with your personal goals and values. The aim is to emphasize that there could be an equal exchange of value between you and the company should they hire you. But, most importantly, show that you are genuinely interested in and passionate about the company and all of its aspects.