It may appear to be an unnecessary question, but explaining why you are interested in a position demonstrates your enthusiasm for a company and potential growth opportunities.
"Why are you interested in this position?" is a common interview question that, while it may appear to be a simple ice breaker during a job interview, an interviewee's response provides a wealth of important information. Other variations of the question include "Why do you want this job?" and "Why do you want to work here?" A common misunderstanding is to mix it up with a question like "Tell me about yourself." That question focuses on the interviewee, whereas "why are you interested in this position" tells the hiring manager why this role is your dream job.
If the questions are correctly answered, the hiring manager can learn about a job seeker's career goals, why they're leaving their current job, how the position aligns with their career goals, their level of motivation, and the candidate's priorities and preferences. Every company has a culture, and they want to make sure that anyone they hire fits into that culture.
Not everyone looks for a new job for reasons other than paying the bills, especially early in their career. Companies that interview someone on their first job search may be aware that the prospective employee isn't in it for the long haul. In that case, a good answer to the question "why are you interested in this position" demonstrates that the applicant recognizes the role as a stepping stone.
7 Steps to Answering the Question, "Why Are You Interested in This Position?"
Being prepared for potential job interview questions can help you provide excellent responses. Here are some steps to successfully answering this question:
Recognize the job: Examine the job description and make a list of keywords that the hiring manager will want to hear and that correspond to your own skill set. This will reinforce your suitability for the position.
Investigate the company: This will provide a better understanding of the company's various aspects, culture, and long-term goals and strategies. Most company websites include a mission statement as well as biographies of company leaders who may inspire you. You can also find keywords on the website that you can use in your answers.
Investigate their media coverage: Look beyond the company website to learn how the media and the public perceive the company and its leaders. Investigate media coverage, press releases, and social media presence across multiple platforms.
Reach out to your network: If you've been in the same industry for a while, chances are your network overlaps or has connections to the company where you're interviewing. There are numerous social media platforms that will display those connections; make a list of people you can contact for more information.
Describe your career path: Consider where you want to be in a year, three years, and five years. What roles do you need in your career path to achieve those objectives?
Determine alignment: What aspects of the company and the people who work there align with your career timeline, based on your research? What keywords can you highlight from their website and media coverage to connect yourself to this company?
Find specific examples of why you should work with them. This could include admiration for the company's products or services, a desire to work with their company values and culture, or being inspired by the company's leaders.
Sample Interview Responses to "Why Do You Want This Job?"
The best interview responses match an applicant's passion and career goals with the company's goals and culture. You should be able to translate your desire to work with a company after researching why you want to work with them.
- Be an asset: "I'm interested in the position because I believe my skills could benefit your company's expansion, and I want to be a part of that growth."
- Value the culture: "Your company has a fantastic reputation that I have long admired. [X value proposition] aligns with my values and excites me to contribute to your company's mission."
- Be a fan: "I have been a long-time user of your products and am thrilled to be a part of something I adore and love."