“Why do you want to work here?” is a question all job aspirants expect to be asked in every interview. As simple as it may seem, the question is so important that it can literally make or break one’s chances at getting a job. It requires one’s personal, honest answer, but a lot of people fear giving a wrong or unacceptable one.
“Why do you want to work here?” – It is not the dumbest question ever
Some people think, “Why do you want to work here?”, is the dumbest question ever, but it is not. The reason employers ask the question is that they want to know the reason why an applicant is applying specifically for a job with their company, although the most obvious answer is that they saw a job opening here and that they want to get in and get paid for doing something in the company.
With many aspirants vying for the job, employers need to be able to assess who is the sincerest about the application and how their being hired will help promote the company’s welfare and status.
Reasons for asking “Why do you want to work here?”
In addition to those mentioned above, other reasons why employers ask the question, “Why do you want to work here?”, include the following:
Employers need to know the applicant’s career goals and how working at their company aligns with those goals. They need to know if working for the company will lead to long-term employment and not just an in-the-meantime-while-I-wait-for-my-application-abroad kind of thing.
Employers need to make sure that the applicant didn’t just jump on the bandwagon just because their friends are also applying or that their parents coerced them to send in their resume. It is important for them to know that the applicant values the job and will contribute to the betterment of the company once they start working there.
The question is a way for employers to see if the applicant came in prepared or if he or she researched about the company. Researching before an interview is a clear indication that a person is genuinely interested in the job.
How should one answer the big question?
Anyone who has been to a job interview and been asked, “Why do you want to work here?”, can seriously vow that it sounds easy to answer but it actually isn’t. The question is so broad that there are many things that come to mind the moment it is asked.
However, as any job applicant already knows, the answers need to be straight to the point and should avoid beating around the bush. So how should one answer this question? Here are some tips:
1. Researching the company helps
For sure, anyone who applies for a job doesn’t only look at the details of the job but also at the company offering the position. Job aspirants should, therefore, be familiar with the company they are trying to be part of by checking out its website and social media accounts, if there are any.
It is important to learn about the company’s vision and mission, as well as to read news about their social advocacies. If you have friends within the company, they can be sought for advice and for some information about the corporate culture.
2. Setting goals that are aligned with the company’s mission and vision
After researching, it is time to ask which of the company’s mission, vision, and objectives are in line with one’s own career objectives. Then, the applicant can pick out one or two of these to connect to his or her own goals.
Say, for example, the company’s objective is to teach young children how to use English effectively as a second language. A good answer would be that the applicant recognizes the importance of learning English as a second language and would want to help kids learn the language by teaching through the company.
3. Giving an answer that explains how hiring an applicant is beneficial to both parties
Getting hired is a two-way street, which means it should be good for both the company and the applicant. When the benefits for both sides are explained clearly at this stage, the chance of getting hired is a lot higher.
The answer to “Why do you want to work here?” that should be avoided?
As much as an applicant wants to be very honest and say that it is the pay that is his ultimate driving force or that his friend suggested he apply for the job because of the benefits, it won’t help him land the job.
Employers, at this early stage, want to know how they can benefit from hiring a job aspirant for a specific position. After they are able to identify that, they then consider how they can make the applicant happy in the company.
“Why do you want to work here?” is a question asked not because the employer wants to be flattered but because he wants to know if the applicant has the appropriate personal motivation that aligns with the company. The question should not scare off job aspirants
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to handling the common interview question, “Why do you want to work here?”. CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional resources below will be useful: