Posted in Career Best Practices
There are dozens of wrong ways to answer the common interview question "Why do you want this job?" Among our favorites are:
- "Because I'm tired of watching Game of Thrones reruns."
- "Because I need some quick cash."
- "Because I didn't get the job I really wanted."
Kidding aside, it is highly likely you'll be asked some variation of the question "Why do you want to work here?" in your next interview. And this question is harder to answer effectively than you might think, for one simple reason: you don't actually work there yet!
Dodging the question isn't an option, nor is giving a ridiculous answer like one listed above. So what does work? Here's how to answer "Why do you want to work here?" the right way:
Show you've done your homework.
Today's employers expect you to do more than just spout back what's on their About Us page. Demonstrate your enthusiasm – and set yourself apart – by:
- citing recent news stories about the employer (set up a Google Alert to notify you) and how it's relevant to your potential role;
- discussing the company's development or expansion plans, and the role you could play;
- explaining how you could help the organization address a specific business challenge.
Go beyond canned responses like, "I know I'm a great fit for the culture," or, "I'm confident I'd do well in this role." Combine what you know about the job and the company to "connect the dots" for the potential employer. Explain:
- specific skills, work experience and/or certifications you can leverage in the role from day one;
- how you plan to increase your value to the organization over time;
- your personal qualities that mesh with the corporate culture
Avoid these rookie mistakes:
- focusing on your needs (instead of the ways you could benefit the employer);
- citing motivations that employers might consider trivial (e.g., a shorter commute or better benefits);
- resorting to excessive flattery (interviewers know when you're being genuine and when you're fawning).
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