Answers for Why Do You Want to Work Here?
In the search for a position, every job seeker will be faced with a question that may be seemingly obvious. A question that does not seem even to warrant an answer. When hiring managers ask you, “Why do you want to work here?”
They are trying to determine if you would fit in at the company and if you would add value to their existing team.
An engaged employee that is aligned with the company's mission and values will be more productive and stay at the company longer. The hiring manager is trying to find out if that person is you.
You might be panicking, wondering how to answer, “Why do you want to work here?” You never want to answer this question with a blunt and thoughtless response like, “Well, the pay is good, and I need a job.”
While this may be true, you aren’t giving yourself much of a chance.
You need to prove that you’ve done the research on the company, that your core values match the objectives of the company, and that you will enjoy working there.
The hiring manager won’t want to hire someone who is only in it for the paycheck.
It’s critical that you take the time before the interview to learn everything you can about the company.
Visit their website and read the “About Us” section, check out their social media accounts to get a sense of their culture, and search for press or articles about innovative things the company might be doing.
If you don’t find anything that sparks your imagination and drives your desire to work there, this may not be the right company for you.
When crafting your response, you will want it to be customized to the company you are interviewing with. Hiring managers do not appreciate a generic answer like, “This is a great place to work and I would love to be on the team.”
This doesn't say anything about the impact the candidate could have on the company and what they bring to the table.
Instead, design a response that demonstrates how your personal goals are in line with the values of the organization.
For example, if the company values community service, talk about your volunteer work and how you want to be a part of a team that is doing good in the community. Always tie your response back to your experience.
If you’re finding it difficult to draft your response, we’ve crafted some sample answers that can inspire your own reaction. Take your time to understand what is truly important to you and only interview at organizations that reflect those values.
Examples to help you craft your response to this common interview question:
I firmly believe in taking a collaborative approach to each project so when I saw a position with your company to join the production team I knew I had to apply. I've seen your work in theatrical production, and your behind-the-scenes video really inspired me because I saw the teamwork in action. I love working with a team to achieve a common goal, and I know my background in production has prepared me for this role. I look forward to becoming a valued contributor to this phenomenal team.
Explanation: This response delivers everything, gift-wrapped and tied with a bow, to the hiring manager. It demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of the company because they are aware of their projects and even viewed a video of their work. The candidate then relates it to their personal values and previous experience to drive home the point that there is no better person for the team.
I read an article a few months back on the outreach your company does within the community. Giving back and volunteering is a significant part of my own personal values, and I remember feeling excited that a company values the community as much as I do. That excitement grew when I saw there was a job opening in my field here. I would really love coming to work each day, knowing that I am helping to make a difference in the community through my work here.
Explanation: By responding with the values that are important and demonstrating how those align with the company, this candidate is showing that they would be delighted and fulfilled working at this company. In turn, the candidate will likely be more engaged and remain at the organization long-term. The hiring manager will love to hear responses like this.
I have used your software for many years and am consistently impressed with the innovation and developments made in the space. I also appreciate your dedication to education, providing your customers with free demos to learn how to use your products effectively. I would love to be a part of this innovative team and use my skills to continue the groundbreaking work you are doing here.
Explanation: The candidate directly refers to the quality of the company's products here, which is flattering for the hiring manager to hear. As a user of the products, this candidate demonstrates that they are already knowledgeable about what the company does, and how much they want to be a part of the team.
I've seen your company consistently listed as one of the top places to work. I've read employee testimonials and heard of your enthusiasm for encouraging employee growth through education, training, and vast resources. I already know that engaged employees produce better work, and that is evident in the most recent campaign you created. I would love to join your innovative team, continue to create great work, and grow within the company by learning new skills.
Explanation: Speaking to the reputation of the company is something that the hiring manager will love, as they are working hard to make their company a better place to work and getting recognized for their efforts is something they will like to hear. It's important to take it a step further than just speaking to what's in it for the candidate. This response is excellent at then highlighting what the employee can bring – through experience and innovation – and continue to develop.
I’ve heard of your reputation in the industry, and I would be proud to work for a company with such an excellent track record and a strong example of leadership in the industry. I have a friend that works in the accounting department, and he told me that the culture here is top notch and that management supports continuing education and learning on the job while rewarding hard work. Based on his assessment and encouragement, I think that I would fit in perfectly with the team here to make an immediate impact.
Explanation: By already knowing somebody who works at the company, the candidate has an automatic leg up because they can speak to direct perks that their colleague referenced. By demonstrating that there is a built-in network, the hiring manager might be more likely to hire this person because they know the employee will be happy at their company.
I saw an article about your new CEO John Smith and the company’s renewed investment in innovation. As a natural innovator, this drew me to the position with your company because I know that I will thrive in a situation where innovation is at the forefront of everything we do.
Explanation: For this candidate, the ability to innovate is one of their core values. In a concise answer, they reveal that they are knowledgeable about the company and that this position suits their natural abilities.
This organization is internationally known for the technology products you create, and my experience in technology and developing new products has me intrigued by this position. I saw that last year you won multiple awards for the new processor you designed, and I would love to be on a team that is collaborative, hardworking, and resourceful.
Explanation: This response ties together the company, the role, and the candidate’s values all in one. Sometimes, when the hiring manager asks, “Why do you want to work here?” they are looking for two answers, why do you like our company and why do you like this position. It could be beneficial to add in a small nod to what drew the candidate to this position.
It’s simple, I read your company’s mission and vision. After finding out more information about your company from social media, I can clearly see how my goals align with the purposes of the company. There's nothing I love more than when I am working with other engaged individuals towards a common goal, and that's what excited me about working here. My research has led me to four fundamental ways that my goals align with yours, and here they are.
Explanation: This example calls out the alignment in values clearly and directly. By saying the exact ways that the candidate’s mission matches the company’s mission, the hiring manager will recognize that this person did their homework and is excellent for further developing and upholding the values of the organization.
I first found your company several years ago, and I was inspired by the tone and style of your brand. You market yourselves to a millennial audience, which I can relate to. After following you and observing your job openings for several years while working my way up at a smaller marketing firm, I believe I am now ready to join your exceptional team, enhancing and driving forward a brand that is a natural extension of my own beliefs.
Explanation: This example ties together the candidate’s and the company’s values seamlessly. By demonstrating that the candidate already lives in the messaging and branding, it appears to be a no-brainer to bring them on as a representation of the brand and the team the company is building.
Before the recruiter called me about this opportunity, I must admit that I didn't know much about your company. I've been doing some research in preparation for this discussion, and I need to say that I'm impressed by your work and your vision for the future. I'm genuinely interested in getting more involved in the technological side of marketing, and I read that you are growing in that area. As an experienced marketer with an emphasis in technology, I know I can bring a lot of value to the team.
Explanation: Honesty is always appreciated by the hiring manager, and it’s okay to admit if the candidate had no knowledge of the company before they applied. However, that statement should always be backed up by the research the candidate did and what they found intriguing about the company. They still need to demonstrate that they want to work at the company and explain why.
There are different ways to respond when a hiring manager asks you, “Why do you want to work here?”
The most important thing is to be authentic. Only pinpoint specific values or information that relates to what you believe.
If you can’t find a way to answer the question, the company may not be right for you.
Always remember to show that you’ve done your homework and tie in the company values to your own values and this interview question will never trip you up.
If you want to make sure you’re definitely ready for the interview, check out our complete list of interview questions and answers:
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