The “Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company” Interview Question

why do you want to work for this company“Why do you want to work for this company?” or more casually, “Why do you want to work here?”  A simple question that is easy enough to answer if you’ve done your homework, but often overlooked for the opportunities to really stand out from everyone else who wants to land the same position.

First things first: make sure you’ve researched the company in advance of your interview.  To be able to identify why you are interested in working for a company, it’s smart to start with the basics: What does the company do? What are they known for? What recognition or accolades has the company achieved? What is the culture like?

Highlighting one or two points from your research about what makes the company ideal to work for in your perspective is a good place to start.  However, make sure you are genuine about the points you choose to express and that you show enthusiasm when speaking about the opportunity.  Whatever you do, don’t feign interest or make-up facts that you can’t back up.  Hiring managers will see right though you and possibly tune-out the rest of the interview.

Many people then choose to underline why the position is of interest to them from a professional growth and development standpoint and what it offers them in the form of benefits. This is perfectly acceptable in most cases provided your answer doesn’t sound desperate or petty. However, the key thrust candidates miss identifying is how the company can benefit from their being hired.

Underlying what benefits the company may see from hiring you when addressing why you want to work there shows that you have a well rounded approach to seeking the position; You have researched the role from all angles and understand why it’s a good fit from each perspective, not just your own.

Featuring how the role is mutually beneficial is also what will help set you apart from others and set the tone for how you want the hiring manager to view you as a contender for the position.  Are you a go-getter?  Will you achieve results?  Do you bring a new expertise to the position?  Does your background provide something unique to the role?

Develop your response to make sure you are addressing how you will contribute to the company’s growth and success as a part of why you want to work there.  By doing this you will also showcase an unselfish commitment to the broader scope of the business rather than just personal gain.

If you can do this well, your thoughtful and wholehearted approach will catch the attention of the person you are speaking with.  If you’re lucky and you show a clear understanding of what’s needed to succeed and your desire to be that person to help achieve the company’s goals, not just your own, it may even spur a deeper-level conversation in the interview.

If nothing else it will set the tone that you mean business and know it’s the right fit for you which will speak to your confidence.   And confidence, as we all know goes far in an interview. Do your research, be confident, be genuine, and make sure you focus on the bigger picture:  Focus on your contributions to the company over your personal gain and demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are the person who will bring success.

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About Robin Rayburn

Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog,, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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One Comment

  1. SaridnMarch 15, 2013 at 12:13 pmReply

    All good advice for the why do you want to work here/for us question. Doing homework is probably placed lowest on the totem pole of priorities during the job search. Too bad because it’s a huge missed opportunity on many levels. For me,  knowing how the company is viewed throughout that industry is essential when deciding if it’s where you want to work.   
    The other great benefit of doing homework to prepare for that question is telling them how great they are. Everyone  likes to hear they’re the prettiest girl at the party. Sharing positive information gleaned when talking to others about their experience working there, the work environment/training (whatever is your hot button) reinforces to everyone in the interview room what a great place it is to be employed. 
    Just my take on how to answer that question.

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