Mary (not her real name) was interviewing for a content creation role when the interviewer asked her “Why do you want this job?”
Here is Mary’s answer;
“I want this job because I’ve always loved writing—even as a kid. I used to write short stories a few times a week for my friends. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I didn’t know I could make a career out of creating content for websites.”
She got the job.
This question can be asked in various ways such as; “why are you interested in the position?” or “why do you want to work for us?’”
Just like the “tell me about yourself” question, this is one of the questions that will always come up in an interview.
It may seem like an easy question, but even this common interview question can mess you up if you are not prepared for it.
So how do you answer “Why Do You Want This Job?”
1. Express enthusiasm for the company
Even though Mary’s answer did not contain any information on the company, it is always a good idea to show that you did your research on the organization and try and include that in your answer.
So to prepare for this question, take some time and conduct some research on the company and what it does. Then pick a few aspects to include in your answer to show you are a good fit.
This is especially helpful when interviewing for a position at a small company, “it’s always impressive when a candidate knows a thing or two about what goes on at the company,” says Carolyne Kariuki a recruitment manager in Nairobi.
2. Align your skills and experiences with the role.
The next thing to include in your answer is why you are a good fit for the role and this is where your skills and qualifications come in.
Go through the job description and see what the main responsibilities are as well as the desired skills and work your answer to show that you have the skills and ability to do what the job requires.
3. Connect to Your Career Trajectory
No one wants to hire someone who after a few months of working for them quits because the job does not align with their career goals. This is why employers always want to know why you want the job and if it aligns with your career goals.
When answering this question you need to ensure that your answer tells the interviewer that you don’t just see the position as a stepping stone but you will stay for more than a few months. This will make it easier for them to invest in you and offer you the position.
You don’t have to state that you plan on being at the position for a long time, you should just imply it.
What not to include in your answer
Avoid reasons that focus on you
Even if it is true and you are only interested in the position because of the salary, location or working hours, you don’t need to tell the interviewer this. Remember it’s about showing the interviewer how you will be of benefit to the company and not the other way around.
When it comes to answering, “why do you want this job?” you can use the three steps above to come up with an answer that not only impresses the interviewer but also manages to sell your skills and qualifications as a candidate and show that you are a perfect fit for the position.
If you have ever prepared for an interview, you know how intimidating it can be. To get one on one advice and help on how to perfectly answer interview questions you can book a mock interview session to ensure you ace your next interview and land your dream job.
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