How To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work With Us?” – Drilling Down Into The Job Interview
We continue to explore common job interview questions and provide insightful advice to craft compelling answers.
The “Why do you want to work with us?” question is a particularly revealing line of inquiry for employers. It helps them determine which candidate is a right match for the role. Recruiters may phrase the question in several different ways, such as “Why do you want this job?” or “Why do you want to work here?”, but the underlying motivations behind the prompt are always the same. Employers want to be certain that they’re hiring someone who’s genuinely passionate about their business and believes in their mission.
Naturally, this can be a tough one to answer as you’re essentially being asked “Why, from all the jobs available on the market, from all the companies out there, do you want this specific job?” So, where to even begin?
In this article we investigate the question deeper and provide insightful tips to prepare a persuasive answer that will win recruiters over.
Why do interviewers ask this question?
While it may seem fairly obvious why an employer would ask about your motivation to work with them, the truth is there’s a little more to this question than first meets the eye.
Firstly, your answer will quickly reveal whether you have conducted your homework on the company and the role you’re applying for. A generic answer about taking the next step in your career or wanting a new challenge will simply not cut it. Instead, interviewers expect candidates to showcase their knowledge about the company. Which of the company’s values chimed with yours? Was there any achievement or industry recognition that inspired your decision to apply for the role? Does the company excel in a particular area you wish to gain more expertise in? Such specific information will enable interviewers to assess whether you’ve invested time and effort into researching the company.
An added outcome of such preparation is that it tends to show the sincerity of your interest in the job. If you are genuinely interested in the company, and can prove why you want this specific job, then interviewers will feel more confident that you’ll be willing to apply yourself to make a success out of the role.
Finally, this interview question is an excellent opportunity for employers to understand your considerations and motivations when choosing a job. Is your decision led by salary and benefits? Are work-from-home or remote opportunities a factor? Is there a specific aspect of the company culture that enticed you to apply? Are you inspired to work for a company whose goals align with yours?
All in all, your answer will give a good indication of whether your values and ambitions align with the company’s. This will help recruiters better understand whether you’re a good fit and would likely settle into the role.
How to prepare your answer
To craft an effective answer to this question, you’ll first need to conduct research into the company. Be sure to visit the company website, especially the About and Careers pages, to gain a better understanding of the company’s mission statement, the company’s culture and core values, notable accomplishments and industry recognition, as well as the company’s market differentiation. It’s also worthwhile going through the company’s social media pages, recent news stories, and the actual job description, all of which may prove insightful when formulating your answer.
Another crucial piece of advice is to try and tie your answer into your long-term personal and professional goals. Think beyond immediate benefits to consider how this job will put you on the right track in your career path. This will help create greater consistency throughout your interview and will paint a more compelling picture of you as a worthy candidate.
What NOT to include in your answer
There are a few simple things to avoid outright when preparing your answer for the “Why Do You Want To Work With Us?” question.
First of all, never say that you just need a job. This doesn’t show any genuine interest in the role, nor does it give recruiters any confidence that you’re looking to stay around for long. Likewise, while employers understand that few recruits are looking to commit to one job for the rest of their life, they do expect you’ll be looking to stick with the role for a few years at least. That’s why you should never imply that this job is merely a steppingstone to get you to your ultimate job. This would indicate that you’ve already set your mind on leaving before you’ve even begun.
Another important tip is to not frame your answer around how it merely benefits you. Instead, demonstrate how you’re looking forward to contributing to the company and helping in its success. Any benefits you enjoy should be revealed as an extension of how the role will help you gain greater knowledge and expertise in your field. For the same reason, don’t bring up money when answering this question. If the salary is your key motivation for wanting the position, then it shows there’s no genuine interest in the role and you’d soon as likely apply for any other job if it offers a better pay.
What you SHOULD include in your answer
As we’ve already explored, recruiters are looking to see whether you’ve adequately researched the role and company. So be sure to include some key points in your answer that demonstrate your preparation. There’s no need to go into a lengthy overview about the entire company, its history, and achievements. Select crucial bits of information that genuinely excite you about working for the company. This could include aspects to do with the company culture, its mission and values; specific company initiatives that you admire; or even key people within the company who you admire and wish to learn from.
You’ll also want to align what you know about the company with the skills, qualities, and knowledge that you can bring to the table. This will help move your answer away from how the job would benefit you and show recruiters that you’re looking to get stuck into the role and contribute. So, for example, if the company has recently won a major tech award, you could say that you’re excited to work for a company that values innovation and forward-thinking ideas. This could lead you on to explain how in a previous role you helped introduce smarter ways of working through digital systems, and you’d like to expand your knowledge even further by working with a leader in the industry. Injecting your answer with genuine passion and enthusiasm is a sure-fire way to win over recruiters.
For more insightful tips on how to approach your next interview, be sure to check out our extensive guides and articles in our Candidates Resources.