There’s a question you can count on in almost any interview: Why do you want to work for us? In fact, this question is one of the most frequently asked questions—and for good reason. (But we’ll get into that later!) So, if you’re headed into a job interview, you need to be prepared to answer why you not only want the job, but why you want to work for the company, too. Luckily, this guide has everything you need to know about this question, including the right way to answer it.
Why Do Interviewers Ask, “Why Do You Want to Work for Us?”
It’s easy to understand why a company would ask this question: Businesses want employees who not only want the job, but are invested in the company, its mission, and its customers. Not only will that make for a better fit overall, but if you want to work for them—and not any ol’ place—it’s more likely you’ll stay with the company. And retention is important to businesses: Looking for the right candidate and investing in his training is a costly prospect for many companies. By hiring someone invested in the business, companies can get a better return on their investment.
But that’s not all. Interviewers are looking for more than your interest in the company when they ask this question. They also want to see how well you know the company. Candidates who have spent time researching a company should have compelling reasons for why they want to work at the company—whereas those who haven’t done their research could struggle to name them.
How to Prepare for the Question, “Why Do You Want to Work for Us?”
To answer this question well, you not only need to convey interest in the company, but show that you know the company inside and out—and prove how you’ll fit within it. Here’s how to do that:
Research the company and its mission. You need to know the company’s history and mission statement in order to explain why you want to work there. You can start by reading through its website, paying special attention to its “about” and “careers” sections. You should also familiarise yourself with its products and services, and the type of customers it attracts. Finally, search for the company online, reading up on recent news articles. Armed with this information, you can explain what appeals to you about the company and why you’d like to work there.
Study the job description. For additional information about the company and why you’d like to work there, read the job description. There, the company may have listed additional reasons why it’s a great place to work, or the responsibilities listed may reveal how you’d fit into the business.
Identify your core values. In your research, you’ll likely find the company’s values, from its company culture to the perks it offers and how (or if) it gives back to the community. Weigh these values against your own. Do any align? These could be reasons you want to work there.
Examples of How to Answer the Question, “Why Do You Want to Work for Us?”
Now that you know how to prepare, you may be wondering what a good answer actually looks like. Here are a few examples of how to answer the question, “why do you want to work for us?”
Example 1: I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to a forward-thinking company. I read that the company recently [insert something the company did that shows it’s progressive], and I was really impressed. The [project/product] sounded a lot like a [product/project] I worked on at my last job, which tells me that our visions for the future of [the industry] are aligned.”
Example 2: I really love how dedicated the company is to giving back to the community. Since it launched in [insert the year], it’s given more than [amount of money/volunteer hours] to charitable organisations. I personally volunteer a lot of my time, and I would be proud to work for a company that values giving back to the community as much as I do.”
Example 3: I noticed in the job listing that teamwork was really important to this role, and to the company in general. I really liked seeing that, because I really enjoy working with people toward a common goal, and thrive in team environments.
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