Every job seeker has been faced with a maybe apparently obvious interview question. A question that at first glance seems so basic that it feels kind of insulting. And yet, these questions are the ones that are meant to trip us up, a stumbling block placed directly in the path of an otherwise stellar interview.
The recruiter is trying to determine if you would fit in at the company and if you would be able to add value to their existing team.
An employee that is aligned with the company’s operations, messages, and values will be more productive and stay with the company for a longer period of time. The recruiter is just trying to find that if you’re that person.
You might be panicking, thinking about the most accepted interview question “ Why do you want to work here?” You don’t wanna answer this question with a thoughtless and blunt response.
If you give a response like “ The pay is good, and I need a job ”, this may be true, but you aren’t giving yourself a chance here.
You need to prove in the interview that you’ve done the research for this company, that your fundamental values align with the objectives of the company, and that you will enjoy working in the company.
They don’t just wanna hire anyone who is only there for the paycheck.
While crafting your response, you want it to be customized to the company that you are interviewing for. Design a response that will demonstrate how your personal goals align with that of the companies values.
Do Your Homework, we are referring to research and preparation in three key areas:
Before you go for the interview or even network for positions, you need to have a very strong grasp of what you can offer them.
You should be able to talk about your strengths and accomplishments and to readily give concrete answers to questions related to your strengths, skills, your principles, and your reason to be interested in that job.
Get to know the companies you will be giving an interview too. When you know details about them, you will be able to talk about yourself and your fit into the company.
Visit their social media accounts, Google the company, and read all about them, also visit their company website to learn more about them.
You need to know where would you fit in the company, and whether there is a current advertised or unadvertised opening. Resources like LinkedIn will help you in search profiles for staff in target departments.
For example, if the company gives value to the community service, then talk about your volunteer work and how you want to part of a team that is trying to help the community. Always end the answer by talking about your experience.
Once you have done all of your pre-interview homework, the reason you wanna work for this employer should be more clear to you. If want, you can reference your research, which should impress the interviewers.
I have been using your products for a long period of time now and have always been very impressed with the innovations and consistent concern for helping your customers learn how to use them effectively. With the quality of your products, marketing them almost feels like a public service.
I would very much enjoy helping you to continue to innovate and increasing your market share.
This response complements the company’s’ work over the years, it also demonstrates that the candidate is aware of the work done by them over the years. The candidate then showcases that they have trust in their product, hence relates to the company’s value.
This company has a big reputation as a great place to work. You place a high value on the employees and encourage them to learn, grow, and innovate inside the company. That means that employees happily work here for many years, far beyond the average length with an employer.
And, according to your customers, the high quality of the products and services that you provide reflect your high employee satisfaction. This feels like a win for all stockholders, employees, and customers, and I would be delighted to join this organization.
This example in the interview will deliver everything, like a gift-wrapped and tied with a bow, to the recruiter. It demonstrates the candidate’s awareness of the company because they are aware of their projects and products. The candidate then relates to their values hence showcasing there understanding and interest for the company.
I read a story some time ago about the outreach your company does with the community. Giving back is a big part of my philosophy and I was excited to see that there was a company that feels the same way. You can imagine how excited I would have been when I found out there was a job opening in my skill set, here. I would be delighted to be able to work every day in a place where I knew not only are my technical skills are valuable but also my philosophies are as well.
By responding with the values that are important and demonstrating how those align with the company, the candidate is showing that they would be delighted working at this company. In turn, the candidate will likely be more engaged and remain at the organization for a longer-term.
I want to work for this company because I am interested in your product, a meal plan subscription service. As a passionate foodie who is always too busy to cook, I have an in-depth understanding of your target audience.
The interview question is being answered by linking the interviewee’s skills and interests to the job role. The response shows that you understood the company’s product and explained why you want to work for this particular company. It also showed what you can bring to the table for the company.
I was initially drawn to this position because I’ve heard so much positive feedback about your internal training programs. I’ve spoken to people who worked with this company, and I’ve been impressed with their level of expertise.
I’m very excited to have an opportunity to work for a company that provides this kind of stimulating learning environment which generates innovation and professional development.
With this answer, the job seeker highlights the company’s reputation within the industry. It also shows the genuine interest and respects the seeker is showing for the company’s initiative for providing the employees with a learning environment.
I've seen that your company is consistently listed as one of the top places to work at. I've read employee references and heard of your enthusiasm for encouraging employee growth through education, training, and vast resources.
I know that engaged employees always produce better work, and that is evident in the most recent campaign that you have created. I would love to join your innovative team, will love to create great work, and grow within the company by learning new skills.
Speaking to the reputation of the company is something that the recruiter will love, as they are probably working hard to make their company a better place to work, and getting recognized for these efforts is something they would love to hear.
This response is excellent at highlighting what the employee can bring – through experience and innovation – and continue to develop.
This organization is internationally known for its products that you create, and my experience in technology and developing new products has me fascinated by this position. I saw that last year you won multiple awards for your designs, and I would love to be part of a team that is collaborative, hardworking, and resourceful.
This answer ties together the company, the role, and the candidate’s values all in one. Sometimes, when the recruiter asks, “Why do you want to work here?” in the interview, they are looking for two answers, why do you like the company and why do you want this position
It could be beneficial if you add in a small nod to what drew you to the position.
I first found about this company of yours several years ago, and I was inspired by the tone and style of the brand. Your market consists mostly of the millennial audience, which I can relate to.
After following and observing your job openings for several years now while working my way up at a smaller marketing firm, I believe I am ready for joining your exceptional team, enhancing and driving forward with a brand that is a natural extension of my own beliefs.
This answer ties together the candidate’s and the company’s values. By demonstrating this the candidate already aligns with the messaging and branding of the organization, it brings them on as a representation of the brand and the team the company is building.
Well, there are a lot of reasons why I want to join your company. However one of the major reasons for my desire to work for your company is that your organization has set a benchmark in the field of education.
I am highly impressed with the last project of yours, which has become a case study for professionals like me & has been following exemplary work that your organization has worked on.
I feel with my experience, the type of groundbreaking work that your organization has put forward, I would be able to confidently chip in the best of my knowledge in your future projects.
This response shows that the candidate has followed the company’s project before they appeared for the interview. Since the interview question is purely targeted to know how you will be the choice for the company, so by telling that you have experience with similar projects you will only hit a score.
Before I was contacted about this opportunity, I must admit that I didn't know much about this company. I've done some research in preparation for this discussion, and I need to say that I'm very impressed by your work and your vision for the future. I'm genuinely interested in getting more involved in the technological side of your marketing, and I also read that you are growing in that area. As an experienced marketer with a specification on technology, I know I can bring a lot of value to the whole team.
Honesty is always appreciated by the recruiter, and it’s okay to admit if the candidate had no knowledge about the company before they applied. However, that statement should always be backed up by the research done by the candidate and what they found intriguing about the company. They still need to demonstrate that they want to work for the company and explain why.
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