How many interviewers will ask the question, “Why do you want to work here?”. To be on the safe side, create an honest and positive answer beforehand. If you can’t, then I question why you’re interviewing for this job in the first place?
There are two different ways to answer the question of “Why?”: For your own personal reasons and then the reasons to tell an interviewer:
For your own personal reasons
- This is the kind of organization for which you have been looking for a while: Larger responsibilities, growth industry, compatible culture, a promotion, opportunity to advance, ability to significantly contribute to results, the style of management, total compensation package, warmer climate, or other positive, personal reasons
- Find out what’s going on in the marketplace, other opportunities, or competitive positioning
- Need to sharpen my interviewing skills with more practice, but not sure about the job itself
- I need to get away from my current situation: It’s stifling, heavy-handed, confining, dead-ended and just a negative situation
- My spouse and children are unhappy: Too far away from family, education, social connection
For reasons you would tell an interviewer:
- This position is what I’ve been looking for as a growth experience: Right job, organization, boss, and exciting opportunity
- This position is right for me to both contribute in a meaningful way, but also learn and expand my capabilities
- I can see my experiences and skill sets being used in a significant way to help support the growth of the organization
- The reputation of the corporation as a good place to work is consistent with my values: People are treated with dignity and respect; promotion based on merit; with fair personnel policies; and integrity of senior management.
The lists above give you some examples of both a personal and professional rationale in response to the question of why you want to work at an organization for which you are interviewing. There are many more answers, but it’s more important for you to define the reasons for yourself. If you have trouble answering the question, you’ll be stuck for an answer when asked by an interviewer. Then you have to answer, “I don’t know”, or make something up on the fly. Both responses are a sure way to flub your chances to be a finalist candidate if for some reason it turns out to be the job you really want. In this competitive environment, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Preparation is the key to any interview. For my clients, I have a list of the 100 most asked questions, including “tricky questions”, that we practice for the most positive answers that cover about 90% of screening interviews.
In that way, you’re ready with the perfect answers before the questions are even asked.
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