Every single one of our consultants knows that interviewees are nearly guaranteed to be asked “Why do you want this job?” Nailing this question is central to acing the interview overall. But it can be a really tricky question to answer meaningfully.
So, let's explore how to respond to this question with confidence and conviction.
What’s the employer looking for?
As with all interview questions, the trick is to figure out what the interviewer is looking for in your answer. Realistically, they don’t want to know that this job works well for you because it’s close enough to your child’s school to pick them up or that you like the look of the salary. They want to see if there’s a good match between what they need and what you can bring. How do you do this?
Show your enthusiasm
Start your answer by expressing your genuine enthusiasm for the position. Explain why this particular role excites you and how it aligns with your career goals. For instance, you might say, "I'm thrilled about this job because I’m excited by your work in X field, which I find incredibly motivating."
Then, link your skills and experience to the job's requirements. Share specific examples of how your qualifications make you a great fit. For instance, "With my five years of experience in office administration and my proficiency in software X, I believe I can immediately contribute to streamlining processes and increasing efficiency in this role."
Connect with the company’s values
Demonstrate that you've done your homework about the company. Discuss how their values, mission, or culture resonate with you. For example, "I was drawn to this company's commitment to fostering a supportive and collaborative workplace. This aligns perfectly with my belief in the importance of teamwork and mutual respect."
You can then mention how this job fits into your long-term career plan. Employers appreciate candidates who see the bigger picture. You might say, "This role is an excellent opportunity for me to further develop my skills in accountancy, which is a crucial step towards my goal of becoming a manager in years to come.”
Show you recognise the challenges
Acknowledge any challenges associated with the role, and explain why you're ready to tackle them. It shows your willingness to grow and adapt. For instance, "I understand that this position may involve handling high-pressure situations. I'm excited about the chance to challenge myself and develop my problem-solving abilities."
As part of this, reiterate how well you will fit into the team and the company culture. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your interpersonal skills. You could say, "I'm confident in my ability to collaborate effectively with diverse teams, and I believe I can contribute positively to the culture here."
Be specific and practice
Avoid vague or generic answers. Tailor your response to the job in question. Provide concrete examples that demonstrate your knowledge of the role. Generic responses like, "I need a job" won't make you stand out in a sea of applicants for office support jobs in London.
And given that this question is bound to come up, you have the opportunity to practice it in advance. Rehearse your answer to ensure you convey your message clearly and confidently.
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