How To Answer: Why Do You Want To Work For Us?

The job interview has been going on for 20 minutes. You’ve been asked questions that focused on your background, technical skill, and situational ones to test your ability to solve problems.

In your honest assessment and based on feedback from the interviewer, you’ve hurdled the toughest questions with flying colors.

You can’t help but smile on your seat. The sweat on your brow and your palms that formed before the interview started have dried up. A thought balloon forms in your head: “Dry in time for the ‘Welcome aboard the company’ handshake.”

So far, so good!

And then…

“One more question before we end the interview.”

…like a bolt of lightning from the heavens, it strikes without warning, without hesitation, without prejudice…

“Why do you want to work for us?”

You begin to open your mouth, ready to fire out an answer. Then nothing. For some reason, you cannot articulate a semblance of an answer and verbalize it. Seems like an easy enough question but your brain refuses to process and formulate a response.

Like many others before you, you’ve been stumped by The Question.

Looks like you’ll need to dry those hands again – if ever you get the “Welcome aboard the company!” handshake.

Why Do Interviewers Ask “Why Do You Want To Work For Us?”

Obvious.

Simple.

Silly.

Stupid.

Well, “duh!”

These are just some of the popular – and printable – ways job candidates have described their reaction to that question.

How you should not answer would be as follows:

“Of course, I want to work for you. I need a job so I can pay my bills, have a career, and a life. And you did place a job post, right? So I applied. You liked my resume, called me up, and here I am. If it wasn’t you, another company would have called me up. Why? Because I also applied to their job post. Obviously, if you hired me now, I wouldn’t pay attention to any offer that comes my way.”

At the very least, the interviewer will admire you for your honesty. However, don’t hold your breath on landing the job.

The answer is so obvious and simple to such a silly and stupid question that many interviewees do not prepare for it. The question has caught them off-guard. They have overlooked and underestimated the possibility of the question being asked that they do not have a ready response.

Here’s the thing, just because the question seems obvious does not mean you should give an answer that is likewise, obvious.

  • The question is not simple. It definitely is not silly or stupid. Interviewers are experienced and well-trained in what they do. There are a good number of reasons why the job interviewer will ask you “Why do you want to work for us?”
  • The question is very specific: “Why our company? Why not the other companies that posted job ads for the same position in the industry?”
  • The job interviewer wants to know how well you know the company: “What do you know about our company? Have you done any research? Are you aware of the company’s current projects in the pipeline?”
  • The question is intended to dig deep in your skill set: “Which skill sets do you have that you feel will help the company reach its goals?”

The job interviewer wants to know the person behind the resume: “What are your long-term career goals? How does the company fit in your plans?”

Therefore, in order to answer the question, “Why do you want to work for us?”, you have to go through deeper layers of questioning from the job interviewer. In order for your answer to be satisfactory, it should incorporate appropriate responses to the other questions.

Now before you get your brow and palms sweaty again, finding the right way to answer the question is not as difficult as it may seem. We said the question was not simple. We didn’t say it was difficult!

The key is to find the best way to construct your answer. And the best way to do that is to break down the question.

Breaking Down The Question: Steps To Finding The Answers

The question, “Why do you want to work for us?” can be broken down into 2 questions that you need to answer:

1. “What do you like about our company?”

There are many reasons why you would choose to apply to some companies and not others.

Hint: “Its close to my house” and “The company pays high salaries” may be true but they won’t get you points.

Instead, come up with reasons that highlight your knowledge of the company and the industry. For example:

  • Company’s position and reputation as the leader in the industry.
  • Accomplishments, career achievements, and general reputation of the company’s founders and key decision-makers.
  • Depth and understanding of the company’s products, services, and game-changing innovations in the industry.
  • Knowledge of the company’s reputation of providing excellent training for its personnel.
  • Knowledge or understanding of the company’s culture; having the ability to identify and align oneself with the organization’s core values, vision, and purpose.

This question focuses on your knowledge of the prospective employer. It is intended to be a segue or an attempt to tie in with your answer in the next question.

2. “Why are you interested in the position?”

Now the ball is back in your court. You have to do a deep-dive or some introspection.

  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • What do you know of the position?
  • Do you have the requisite skills to guarantee the company results?
  • Are you 100% confident in your ability to effectively manage the demands of the position?

Another way to approach this answer is to ask yourself, “Will this job get me out of bed every morning?” And if so, “Why?”

When a company posts a job ad, it is looking to fill a position that plays a key role. You should frame your answer in a way that shows the Interviewer how you can help the company achieve its needs, goals, and objectives.

  • Present a summary of your relevant hard skills.
  • Discuss your experiences in managing the same or similar responsibilities.
  • Pinpoint current issues that the company is facing and how you could use your relevant skills to find solutions.

This question focuses on your personal brand: your UVP or Unique Value Proposition. You should reconcile your answer to this question with your answer to the first question. Tell the Interviewer why your skill sets, attributes, experience, and expertise make you the ideal fit for the position.

Thus, in order to arrive at the most effective answers, you must do research. Learn as much as you can about the company or prospective employer.

Here are some of the best sources of information:

  • Company website
  • Company social media pages
  • Community or industry websites including job search platforms and chat forums
  • Google searches
  • Your connections who are in the same industry

Sure it will take time to do comprehensive research. However, the information you get will help you construct the best answers for the question.

10 Best Ways To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work For Us”

Entry-Level Staff/Personnel

Question: “Why do you want to work for us?”

Answer:

“I have been following your company since I was a student in college because my family and I have been using your products for years. It has maintained consistency in product quality over the years. My thought was such consistency was a result of maintaining the best people over the years. This was confirmed in your website which showed many of your top managers have been with you their entire career. I wish to establish my roots with your company and build my profession from here.”

Secretary/Receptionist

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“Your law firm specializes in tax audits, insurance fraud, and family law cases all of which as you have read in my resume, I have extensive experience in. My background is in accounting but I have done insurance work and under my previous employer, undertaken sponsored courses in tax and family law. I have assisted our attorneys in research, preparing depositions, and interviewing case individuals which are a requirement in your office. Likewise, I have excellent skills in transcription which I believe could speed up the processing issues discussed in your Facebook live chat forum last month.”

Bank Position

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

“I would like to learn more about the foreign exchange market. The idea of trillions of dollars worth of currencies trading on a daily basis has always interested me. Your company holds one of the largest portfolios in FCDUs. I hope to broaden my knowledge on how currencies are traded and their impact on global trade and business.”

Nurse

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“I came across a post on your Facebook page that your hospital needed more RNs for its ER. First of all, I am certified and licensed as an RN in the state. Second, I understand from the post that this position is not popular among RNs because long hours are more frequent. However, dedication to our patients is at the core of Nursing. I trust that you will find my experience, knowledge, and attributes are ideal for the position.”

Marketing Manager

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“When I read your job post, I was thrilled that your company was looking for a Marketing Manager who could direct a video-focused campaign. This is right up my alley because video marketing is one of my strongest competencies as a certified Digital Marketer. I love the company’s content on social media. Reading through them triggered video-based ideas on content that I can conceptualize using programs such as Viewbix, Wideo, and perhaps even Slidely.”

Personal Trainer

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“Sam Arena and George Sandoval who used to work as personal trainers here are good friends of mine. They had great things to say about your gym particularly your preference for using strength-based programs for weight loss instead of traditional cardio. Strength training is my specialty. I am certified by the NSCA. I am confident my knowledge and experience in the subject will greatly benefit your clients and the gym.”

Teacher

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“I admire the Glenville High School’s holistic approach in education. It’s not just about being book smart. They have to be exposed to the real world. The outreach program which the school has sponsored the past year gives the kids excellent exposure and keeps them socially involved in the community. It gives them a practical way of harnessing the tools that the school has provided them. I would very much love to be given the opportunity to contribute to your programs.”

Content Writer

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“I became immediately interested in working for your company when I read in the job post the types of content that you need. Long and short form blogs, email and website copy, product reviews, and technical papers. These are my strongest points as a content writer. As required by your post, everything will be keyword optimized, well-researched, and referenced accordingly.”

Architect

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“I’ve always wanted to work for Matterson and Associates. I’ve admired the projects the firm has built since I was a college student majoring in Architecture. My favorites were Trident Tower, the Paramount, and the amazing Sunset View Apartments at downtown. At the very least, working for your firm will be a great learning experience. Although I remain confident that I will be able to contribute to your future projects.”

Restaurant Manager

Question: “Why do you want to work here?”

Answer:

“Gillespie is an institution in the restaurant industry. Like many, I love your food but I’ve also kept track of the growth of the restaurant over the years. I have eaten at the Mercato, Longville, Ayala, and Brentwood outlets. You have put up more than 50 outlets and have continued to maintain the excellent quality of the food and its service. I would be honored to be given the opportunity to manage the Longville branch, grow as a manager, and contribute to your success.”

Conclusion

If you want to get the job, you have to change your mindset. It’s not just about you. There are 2 parties in the job hiring process: you and the employer/company. While you know your goals, objectives, skills, and value proposition by heart, the same should be said about your prospective employer.

Human Resources are not just interested in hiring the right people for the job. They want to hire the right-fit people for the job. The term “the best talent in the industry” does not only pertain to technical and fundamental skills.

Companies want people who are right-fit or those who best fit their organizational culture. Technical and fundamental proficiencies fall under hard skills. In addition to hard skills, Hiring Managers are also evaluating soft skills – the behavioral attributes that best define a candidate’s personality or approach to work.

Hard skills can be learned. However, soft skills are the materials that comprise the person since birth. A person’s behavioral attributes are a product of his/her social circles and life experiences.

A company can hire the person with the highest achievements in education and in his/her professional career. Consequently, if the person has a destructive personality, he/she will be detrimental to the entire organization by infecting the culture with contradictory values.

As you have read, the question “Why do you want to work with us?” seeks to uncover the deeper layers of the job candidate.

The answer is not just about having a job, which is obvious. The job interviewer will not want to hear that. On average, there are 250 applicants for every job that is advertised. All of them need a job. There is one difference, however.

Motivation.

The job interviewer wants to know your motivation behind the job.

  • How much do you want it?
  • What are you willing to do to get it?
  • Why should the company hire you and not another one from the 249 other applicants?

Companies by definition are “living entities”. It has a personality; a set of values that are encapsulated by the company’s founders, directors, and key officers. A company has its own achievements, plans, and schedules to help it accomplish those specific goals and objectives.

That is why a “one size fits all” approach does not work. You have to treat each prospective employer differently by customizing or personalizing your approach to getting the job.

The job interview is not just the Interviewer learning key information about you. It is also the interviewer finding out what you know of the company.

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