One of the most common interview questions you’ll encounter during the hiring process is “Why do you want to work here?” The answer to this simple question can impact your candidacy for the position, so you’ll need to practice your pitch carefully. The key to delivering a compelling reply is to tailor your responses toward individual companies. The hiring manager is less likely to be receptive if you provide a generic answer that could be said of any organization. Over the course of this guide, we’ll provide you with sample questions and answers to help you ace your next job interview.
Ask Yourself this Question Before Applying
Before you even apply for the position, you should take some time to research the company’s work culture and industry reputation. If you’re lukewarm on a particular job opportunity and are simply applying out of necessity, you’re far less likely to present yourself as enthusiastic and engaged during the interview. Ask yourself why you’re interested in the position with this company and why you want to be a part of their team. After some self-reflection, if you find this isn’t the right fit for your long-term career goals, you may want to consider passing on the job opportunity altogether. Once you’ve answered this question for yourself, you can tailor your response accordingly for the hiring manager.
Ask Yourself What Makes this Company Unique
To make a positive impression on prospective employers, you want to deliver a response that draws attention to something unique about the organization that you find compelling. You can find a job at countless other companies, and hiring managers want to know why you choose them or someone else. Take the time to reflect on your own professional background and experiences as you create a response. How do the company’s goals align with your industry expertise? What new ideas do you feel you can bring to the table? What makes you excited about this organization? Keep these thoughts in the back of your mind as you move forward in the application process and learn more about what the company offers.
Avoid Giving a Generic Response
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is providing generic responses to questions during the interview process. The hiring manager is trying to better understand you as a professional. You won’t differentiate yourself from the crowded applicant pool if you provide a cliche response. Many candidates believe that they need to play it safe during the interview. While you want to ensure that you provide smooth and professional answers, you should also use this opportunity to highlight aspects that make you unique. This will help organizations determine whether or not you’re the right fit for their work culture and team.
Highlight How Your Skills Can Support the Company’s Mission and Long-term Goals
To properly market yourself during the interview, you want to demonstrate how your professional background can be a valuable asset for the organization’s long-term objectives. Think about the broader aims of what the company is trying to accomplish and how your unique qualifications can help their team achieve these goals. By bringing a fresh perspective and unique ideas to the table, you can make a compelling case that you’re the ideal candidate for the role.
Analyze the Job Description
Prior to the interview, you should take the time to refamiliarize yourself with the initial job posting. The key is to incorporate elements of the job description into your response in a way that feels compelling and natural. Talk about how your background and skill sets will allow you to fulfill the duties and responsibilities that the role requires. This will show hiring managers that you’re truly engaged during the interview process and have a genuine interest in the company.
Refine Your Pitch but Don’t Over Rehearse
Although you want to take the time to practice your responses to sample interview questions, you don’t want your answer to feel overly rehearsed. You want the interview to be a fluid and organic conversation, and you’ll be much less likely to make a positive impression on the hiring manager if it sounds like you’re reading from a script. You should think about your answer and gather ideas but be sure to use these as a guideline rather than a rehearsed speech. Try incorporating things you’ve discussed with the hiring manager into your answer if possible.
Sample Question and Answers
Now that you understand some strategies for responding to this question during the interview, we’ll provide a list of sample responses to show you how to put these tactics into practice. As you read through these responses, you will notice that each mention something specific about the company and industry. The best way to make a positive impression on prospective employers is to show your genuine interest in the organization while branding yourself as a thought leader within your space.
Why do you want to work here?
Why do you want to work for Mavis and Rayne Legal Associates? What is it that drew you to apply to our firm? What do you know about our organization? +
Mavis and Rayne’s reputation for providing legal representation to elderly clients and underprivileged individuals is the primary reason I applied for this role. As an aspiring lawyer, I am passionate about social justice and equity. I believe that joining your team is an opportunity to support legal cases I believe in and continue growing as a legal professional.
What made you choose to apply to Excelsior Technologies? What do you find interesting about our company? What ideas do you feel you can bring to our team?+
Your company’s contributions toward autonomous vehicle technology drew me to apply for this position. As a machine learning expert, I am passionate about building innovative AI solutions that can solve real-world problems. I believe that self-driving cars are the future of the automotive industry, and I want to be a part of bringing this vision to life.
Why do you want to work here at Castle Brands Marketing? What about our company excites you? What new ideas do you feel you can bring to the table?+
As a marketing leader, I have a passion and history of developing successful brands from the ground up. Castle Brands Marketing has a prestigious reputation for building new brands and leading impactful rebranding efforts for established companies. I believe my unique experience can help you further drive brand exposure across untapped markets and verticals for your clients.
What made you apply for the brand ambassador position with Philadelphia Brewing Company? What excites you about our products over our competitors?+
As a former brewer with a strong marketing background, I believe I’m uniquely positioned to serve as a brand ambassador for your product line. Any company can produce an IPA, but it takes special creativity to deliver a product with a unique balance between hops and citrus. The flavor profile of your latest release stands out from your competitors, and I believe I can help expand your brand’s reach to a larger audience.
Why do you want to work here at Corsair Gaming Inc.? What makes you excited about an opportunity with our company?+
Having worked as a video game developer for several years, I’ve had a longstanding interest in working for your company. Your organization has a prestigious reputation for having a collaborative work environment that empowers your team members to channel their creativity. I’m excited about the opportunity to be a part of this team culture and work on innovative gaming projects.
What are your weaknesses?
What is your greatest weakness?+
I don’t know what I’d single out as my top weakness. But one issue I’ve struggled with before is getting clear next steps in place for ongoing projects. I’m a “people person” because I love discussing ideas and having productive conversations with my team. But sometimes, I’ve struggled to turn those great ideas into a tangible next action or task for myself or my team. As a result, I feel some projects stayed in the “brainstorming” phase too long. I’m still working on it, but I’ve made a lot of progress on this issue in the past few years. I read the section of that business advice book, “Getting Things Done,” which discusses how to give each meeting a more targeted focus. I’ve incorporated those tips into how I structure team meetings, and it’s made a huge difference in moving our projects forward, especially the more long-term ones.
What is a key growth area you’d like to work on? +
My knowledge of HRIS. I’m definitely proficient in the programs your company uses. But I’d love to get a firmer grasp of some of their more advanced features. I know there are ways I can be a bit more nimble on HRIS, so lately, I’ve been reading up on some of the software’s new features and shortcuts. I think it’d be great to keep building and using my HRIS knowledge in this position.
What is a work area you’ve struggled with in the past? +
The area that comes to mind for me is team communication. It’s not that I don’t get along with my team members. But I definitely have a “technician” mindset – I love diving into the details of a complex problem and working out a comprehensive solution. As a result, I sometimes forget to let my colleagues and managers know how my projects are going. But I got a lot better at this in my last position. My company offered a teamwork training session that showed me how to make communication touchpoints a more regular part of my daily and weekly schedule. The session was beneficial to me. From that point on, I could get the necessary updates to my colleagues, regardless of my workflow or level of immersion in any project.
What are your greatest strengths?
What are your greatest strengths? How have you used these qualities in the past to help your team and organization improve?+
One of my greatest strengths is my ability to pivot and adapt quickly during projects. When I was employed as a project manager at Salient Technologies, we encountered a critical issue during the development of an enterprise software solution for a multi-million-dollar client. I was able to reorient my team to identify the root cause of the product defect and provide a resolution in a matter of days. This prevented a significant delay in the development lifecycle that might have endangered our relationship with the client account.
Tell me about your greatest strengths. What are some of the unique attributes that set you apart from other candidates? +
My greatest strength as a sales professional is my commitment to integrity and transparency when communicating with sales prospects. I believe that long-term business relationships need to be built on a solid foundation of trust. When I educate potential clients on product benefits during sales consultations, I provide honest assessments of how our technology solutions can create value for their organizations. I feel confident that my integrity has played a significant role in my high close rates throughout my career.
Tell me about your greatest strengths. What are some of your unique attributes that set you apart from other candidates? +
I believe my greatest strength as a leader is my ability to collaborate and empathize with my team members. Having worked in various management positions within the financial services industry, I strive to build inclusive work cultures that facilitate creativity and innovation. I feel that as a manager, I have a responsibility to my staff to provide guidance and mentorship to support their long-term professional development. I believe that my dedication to my team members has had a strong positive impact on both performance and engagement.
Walk me through your resume.
Could you walk me through your resume? What are some of your most valuable skill sets? +
After graduating from the University of Syracuse, I began my career as a social media marketing specialist for a small consulting firm. My success in growing a social media presence for one of our largest clients ultimately led to me being hired by the company in a brand marketing position. Through these experiences, I developed expertise in product marketing and brand messaging.
What are you passionate about?
What are you passionate about?+
Having spent much of my early career as an IT professional, I eventually grew into leadership positions that required me to serve as a technology instructor for internal teams, end users, and client stakeholders. These experiences helped cultivate my passion for technology education and adult learning, my core focus over the past five years. I feel my expertise in translating high-level concepts into accessible language for non-technical audiences is one of my most valuable skill sets.