Job Interview Tips

How To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

Written by Peter Jones

This question comes up in so many job interviews. Surprisingly, most people are unprepared to answer it well. Think of this question as another valuable opportunity to show you’ve done your homework on a company, and to show that your ideals and goals are in lockstep with those of the company you’re interviewing with.

Don’t just blather on about how they value whatever their mission statement says they value, or praise whatever company culture you’ve been able to glean from their brochures. Have something distinctive to say.

Try these strategies and you’ll be in much better shape.

1. Word of Mouth

Have you heard from current or past employees? Now might be the time to mention that you’ve got several contacts who worked there in the past, or friends of friends who work there now. It’s fine to say that you’ve received glowing reports; it makes your interviewer feel good, and it shows you did a bit of sleuthing around!

2. Social Media

Does this company have a particularly winning social media platform? Consider mentioning their engaging use of Facebook, or their badass presence on Twitter. This also shows that you’re engaged,  and with it enough to be all up on social media.

3. Commonality

If you’ve done your digging and found contacts you know who work there on LinkedIn, for example, and you’ve noticed a particular pattern—something that most employees of that company seem to have in common—then mention it! Show that you’ve taken the time to figure out what the common thread is and then explain how you fit right in with it.

4. Leadership

It’s obviously good to speak favorably about the product or service the company puts out, but it’s even better to comment on their leadership—either within the industry or globally. Talk about their community involvement or philanthropy.

5. Uniqueness

Acknowledge first and foremost what makes the company so unique. Show that you’ve looked into them enough to really understand what it is they’re going for—then compliment them on their success. All the while showing how their uniqueness matches yours perfectly!

6. Its Past/Future

Talk about the company’s origins and past achievements… or fast forward to show how well you can think ahead and envision the company’s goals being realized in an ever-changing industry. Show that you’re already invested in the future of the company.

7. Get Personal

If all else fails, tie your appreciation of the company to some aspect of yourself. Be as specific as possible. Have you had a personal interaction with anyone at the company? Now’s the time to start chatting about that. Remember, there’s no right way to answer this, only a few extra bonus points you can score if you answer it well.

About the author

Peter Jones