At some point in the job interview process, you are likely to be asked the question “why do you want to work here?”
There are many variations to this question—such as “why did you apply for this job?”—but one reason why the company is asking it: it wants to know if you would be a good fit.
Before you walk into an interview, make sure you are ready to discuss why you applied for the position. You should be able to clearly express what excites you about the role.
Providing a clear answer to this question helps the employer gain a deeper insight into your long-term career goals and your general work ethic.
In this guide, we’re going to help you answer this dreaded question and walk you through a few example responses so you know what the ideal response looks like.
How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
The company will be expecting something better than “to earn a paycheck!” as an answer. To give the best response, consider these tips.
Tip #1: Research the company
Part of the reason this question is so popular among recruiters is that your response gives them an insight into how much time you have spent researching the company.
If a candidate is excited about a position, they are more likely to do some research on the company’s history, mission, and goals. If you want to be perceived as someone who has done more than just fill in an application form, make sure to do your homework and research the company in advance.
The first step in researching the company is to visit its website. Pay particularly close attention to the “About Us” and “Careers” pages. You also want to take a look at the “Culture” or “Team” pages.
Spend time learning about the products and services the business offers and familiarize yourself with the basic facts of its history. How did the business get to where it is today? What are the business’ long-term goals?
Take a look also at what the company posts on its social media accounts and blog. This will give you a deeper understanding of the company’s branding and corporate identity and may uncover a few useful facts that could come handy during the interview.
Tip #2: Analyze the job description
It is always helpful to revisit the job description to refresh your memory regarding what the company is looking for in a candidate. Reading the job description again will help you craft a response in line with the needs of the business.
Tip #3: Reflect on what excites you about the role
Once you have researched the company in depth, spend some time reflecting on what excites you about the role.
Why do you think the company will be a good employer? Are you attracted by a particular element of its corporate culture? Do you find its commitment to remote work and work-life balance interesting?
It can be helpful to make a list of your long-term career goals. You can compare it with the notes you have been taking during your research. Look for any overlap between your professional goals and what the company has to offer.
These are some questions that can help you figure out your personal and career values:
- What kind of company do you want to work for?
- With regards to corporate culture, are there any particular features—such as support for remote work, or collaborative working opportunities—that you want to see in your next employer?
- What qualities do you admire most in teammates and managers?
- What motivates you to do good work?
- What types of environments allow you to produce your best work?
Tip #4: Show what you have learned
This research not only gives you a better understanding of how the company aligns with your goals; it also gives you the opportunity to learn some facts you can use during the job interview.
When the recruiter finally asks you “why do you want to work here?”, show them what you have learned in your research. A candidate may say something like, “I have been using your product for years and I find it easier to use than the competition’s. I believe that your commitment to remote work culture and work-life balance aligns well with my personal working goals.”
This is an effective answer. It shows that the candidate has researched the company’s culture and products. The candidate says they have experience using a specific product and hints at having tried a similar product by the competition. This shows they have some knowledge of the market. Likewise, the second half of the answer shows they have spent time researching the business’ culture and work environment.
Tip #5: Stay up-to-date
Make sure to stay abreast of the latest developments in the company. You may want to bookmark its blog and check it again before the interview. This will allow you to answer the question “why do you want to work here?” equipped with the latest available information.
The best way to stay up-to-date is to read the latest press releases and blog posts, and check any social media channels the business uses.
Example Answers for “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
Now that we have discussed a few tips on how you can answer the question “why do you want to work here?” we are ready to go through a few example answers.
Use the examples below to inform your answers in your job interview.
Example #1: Full stack web developer job at a developer tools company
Not only is your business a leader in the developer tools space, but when I was looking online, I noticed that the reviews of your company from current and former employees are favorable.
I especially like how supporting new ideas is part of the corporate culture here at X. I often have random ideas on how to improve my work, and I’d love to work for a business that is so supportive of anyone with an idea, irrespective of their experience.
In this response, the candidate mentions they have done research on the company. They cite a specific element of the company’s culture that came up during their research and tie it to their personality.
Example #2: Administrative assistant job at a book publisher
While your business has only been around for a few years, it is clear that you have never abandoned your mission to provide a more streamlined experience to less experienced writers looking to publish their first title.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Your company has always retained a focus on helping people break into a career in professional writing, which has helped create many great works for the world to read. When I started looking for a job, I was looking for a company with strong values and a focus on helping people jump-start their literary careers. I would be thrilled to apply my three years of administrative experience to help your organization.
In this response, the candidate makes it clear that the business’ values align with their own. The candidate shows they have reflected on how the business helps new writers. The response also shows the candidate’s enthusiasm for the position.
The question “why do you want to work here?” is one of the most important questions asked during job interviews. It helps the company learn more about your interest in the position and allows it to assess how much research you have done beforehand.
To answer this question effectively, do as much research as possible. Look up the company on social media, read over their website and check out their press releases. Don’t forget to take notes. The more time you spend looking into the business, the easier it will be to express why you want to work there.
Make sure to practice your response before the interview. This will help you make a good impression and be considered for the job.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.