In every interview, regardless of the industry or job role, one question always comes up and causes many to panic: Why do you want to work here? Interviewers and hiring managers aren’t trying to catch you out — they just need to know whether you’d fit in at the organization and if you’d bring some extra value to the existing team.
They want people who will be there for the long run, someone who lives and breathes the company values. If you respond by saying you need a job and the pay is good, it’s likely you won’t receive that job offer as interviewers want someone who wants to work at the company for more than just a paycheck.
If you have interviews lined up for your dream job and crafting the answer to why you want to work at that company keeps you up at night, here’s what you need to do beforehand and how to create the best response.
Research the company
One of the reasons interviewers ask this question is because they want to see whether you’ve researched the company. Someone who is genuinely enthusiastic and interested will be familiar with the position; they’ll show they’ve done their research and will get a sense of the culture before the interview.
Reading through the about us section, the company’s blog and also their social media accounts will give you a good feel for the organization and what they’re all about. These areas will provide you with insights into the background, history and core values of the company.
If there’s nothing that gets you excited or makes you more eager to work there, then that company or position might not be suitable for you.
Platforms like Indeed and Glassdoor give employees a chance to provide honest reviews into their current or former place of work. You can see photos, learn about unique benefits, and discover what other employees loved (or hated) about their job or the company. There’s always a chance you’ll find out interesting and exciting facts that make you want to work there that the company doesn’t necessarily shout about.
It’s also a good idea to review the employer response to any potentially negative reviews. If they’re aggressive and in denial, that could be a warning sign. If they’re apologetic and want to fix it, it shows a much more positive side to them.
Read the job description
Doing your research and getting excited about working at the company is one thing, but you also need to show the interviewer you’re genuinely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the position you’re interviewing for. When explaining why you want to work for the organization, bring in aspects of what interests you about the company but also highlight specific responsibilities that stand out to you.
What do you like about the position and the company?
After researching the role you’re interviewing for and the company you want to work at, create lists of what you enjoy about them based on what you know so far and what you’re looking forward to. It’s also worth making a separate last about your personal career goals, so you can compare them to see how the new position will help you achieve your ambitions.
Note down your core values
Employers want to sense your passion. There’s no better way to do this than highlight how the company’s mission statement and core values match your own, making you the perfect fit. Ask yourself about the type of culture you want to work in, the qualities you admire, your motivations and what you need from the company to do your best work.
Why do you want to work here? — Example answers
When creating your response, make sure you tailor it to the position and company you’re interviewing with. Choose to play it safe with generic answers like “the place looks amazing to work in and I can’t wait to join the team” might not go down as well as you think.
The best answers that tend to work well are those that reference a company’s vision, mission, culture and core values. That’s why research is essential and so is preparation so you can leave a positive impression. Unsure about where to begin? Here are some examples to inspire your response.
“You’re working in a really vibrant city and I like the fact you have a diverse team, which is exactly what I’d like so I can bring the best out in myself and bring the best out in others. All of your employee reviews are great, too, so I’m confident I’d be happy here and that you’d help me achieve my goals as well.”
“Your company has been around for a while and I like that even with the world shutting down last year, you pivoted and didn’t change your mission in putting your people first by switching to remote working. I like that you offer this option as it suits people at different stages of their lives. This is exactly the type of company I’d want to work for as it’s clear with your policies and your happy, energetic team that you put your people first so they can perform at their best.
“When I started looking for a new role, I intentionally looked for companies like yours that have integrity, passion, consistently delight their clients and keep their team happy. Your company is at the top of the list and I know I can add value here.”
“I’ve actually purchased your courses for many years now. It’s how I’ve built up my skills and how I know so much about the company. I’m always impressed with the level of detail in your courses and the fantastic user experience you offer too. What I loved the most was when I needed some extra help and one of the team reached out to me and guided me every step of the way. I could really sense that passion and how much they loved working here. It’s infectious so I thought it must be a great place to work.
“I’m a people person as well, so when I saw an opening I had to jump at the chance to work with a friendly team like this and help customers just like you guys helped me. I researched your company and your culture — it’s everything I want and makes me confident that I can grow here.”
“I want to work here because I know all of the good things to help your employees grow and how you continue to keep your clients happy. A friend of mine interned here for a while and she kept telling me about the growth and progression opportunities you provided to help her get to where she is today in a management role. No other company I’ve worked for has put that type of emphasis on learning and growing their employees and I value that a lot.
“I’m looking for an organization that treats its employees well, fosters a brilliant culture and makes it a great place to work. I also want somewhere where I’m challenged. I hate being stagnant and I love facing new problems and working with people from different walks of life to develop innovative solutions.
“You also have a great reputation. You have a high employee retention rate, you regularly win awards and you have a respected name in this industry. I’d love to be even a small part of that in a place where I can help the company grow while progressing myself.”
Whether it’s because you know somebody at the company or you genuinely want to experience the culture, always tie in the values and mission statement with your response.
Preparing for your interview
Remember, these answers need to be customized to the company you’re applying for and also the position. Anything too templated is something hiring managers and interviewers notice right away. If you’re genuinely excited about working somewhere, it’ll shine through in your response after you do your research.
Just be yourself and be authentic. If you can’t find a way to answer the question, maybe the company isn’t right for you. Do your homework, highlight the values and responding to this question shouldn’t catch you out.
To get to that stage, though, you need a strong resume that’ll stand out above the rest. With VanHack, you can create an engaging profile today to help you land an interview for your dream role.
But that’s not all. If you need guidance on the interview process, including how to answer some problematic interview questions, the VanHack Premium Academy is also on hand to help you get prepared with effective interview answers. Get started today.