As a job candidate, you want to get the “Why do you want this job?” question in your next job interview. Compared to all the other challenging brain-teaser questions, this is the best one to use to your advantage—if you handle it correctly.
At the most basic level, an employer wants to learn about your motivation to interview for a specific job. The hiring manager or job interviewer wants to investigate if the applicant truly desires the position. Sometimes, the question can also help them understand if you’re a candidate that only cares about the compensation or the prestige of a role or company’s brand or merely seeking any job.
How to answer “Why do you want this job?” in a job interview
When a job interviewer asks, “Why do you want this job?” they are asking you to sell yourself why you’re the right person for the position.
By framing the question this way, you now know you have to pull out your elevator pitch. You should share details of how your background, experience, talents, interests and education make you a great fit for the open position.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to show off your research into the company. Offer solid reasons why the company appeals to you, including the corporate culture, reputation and the ability to advance your career.
Stay away from generic answers that everyone else gives. This is your opportunity to stand out, be yourself and speak from the heart. You want to be enthusiastic, engaging and highly motivated.
How to prepare your elevator pitch for your next job interview
Be authentic in the job interview process. The probability of success measurably increases if you possess the right background, are genuinely interested in the job and company, and can demonstrate your interest.
Your elevator pitch will ring true if you are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity. Conversely, your answers will ring hollow if you are not going after the job for the right reasons.
5 tips for answering “Why do you want this job” in a job interview
Here is a cheat sheet with five tips to answer the “Why do you want this job?” question in your next job interview:
- Compliment the job interviewer and company by acknowledging their reputation, products and services.
- Explain what jumped out about the job when you applied.
- Match up your skills, experience, academic background and personality to the open job so that their relevance is clear.
- Share why the company would be a good fit for you and the value you would bring and vice versa.
- Outline why you believe this job will help you grow and advance your career.
This article was written by Jack Kelly for Forbes and was lightly edited and published with permission.
Also published on Teamblind's blog