The job interview question “why do you want to work for us?” or “why do you want to work for our company” or simply “why do you want this job” may seem similar to being asked why the company should offer you the job, but look again. It’s a different question! (You can find a link to how to answer that question later on.)
When an employer asks why you want to work for them, they’re looking to see how you connect the dots from you and your past (choices you made, what you value, what matters to you in a job) to the position that they have available now – and the company itself.
Sample answer (template) for why you want to work here
Although I said that the best way to answer why you want to work for “us” (their company) is not the same as answering why they should hire you, you still want to leave them with a feeling that you are exactly the new employee they are looking for!
So they want to feel secure that, in explaining why you want this particular job, that you truly get what the job is and have done some research on the company:
=> READ MORE: Answering “What Do You Know About Our Company?”
As always, this is only a SAMPLE ANSWER, and you need to use it as a template, adapting it to your individual situation and personality. So here’s an example of why you might want to work for this employer:
“I was very excited when I saw your ad for a Senior Bookkeeper and then did some research. For me a job is not only something that pays me (although I really like that part of it), but for all the hours and energy I put into my work, I want to feel good about the company I work for. I’ve always been interested in widgets, and you’re (one of) the best in your field. I’d be proud to be part of helping this company continue to grow.”
And, if applicable, adding something like this might be a good thing to show that you match the company culture – once again, adjust it to fit the truth for your own situation:
“Also, I spoke with someone who (used to) work(s) for you, and she has only good things to say about QRZ. It’s important to me that you value your employees and show it in various ways. I put a lot into what I do, and it’s this type of workplace that makes it worthwhile. She also says if I do a good job, I’ll get to move up in the company. If you give me a chance, I’ll do my best to become an essential part of your company. I’d really like that, and will do all I can to make sure you feel the same.”
Now the question of why they want you to work for them
So we’ve taken a look at why you want to work for them. But what about why THEY should hire you? Should you use the exact same answer? Probably not. Once again, it helps to show you are listening to their words, and not just spouting prepared answers.
While you always need to adjust your answer to fit your situation and the precise question the employer asks you, the idea is still to draw a connection between you, your history, and the job you want. Here’s an article to help you give your answer a different slant:
A few more thoughts
An employer is looking to find someone who fits in well with the company, even while bringing their own unique ideas and experiences. So when asked why you want to work for them, if you can find a way to weave into your answer some similarities between you and your goals and the company culture, it will probably leave a good impression.
And as with all interview questions, create your answers in a way that clearly shows the match between the job and your situation and personality. Don’t forget eye contact, body language, etc.
Also, when it comes to answering interview questions, so much of how well you do is about how natural and conversational you are. “Be yourself” may sound corny, but it works.
Finally, don’t assume anything. Help them see the connections as best you can. Your goal in any job interview is to help them see the you that they hoped for when they first spotted your resume come to life before their eyes.
Let’s go over a few related questions:
Why should we hire you for this position?
The best way to answer this question is to address the employer’s needs and then explain how you fulfill them. Let’s say that the employer seeks candidates who care deeply about the customer experience. You could say, “You need someone who cares about the customer, and I consider myself customer-obsessed.”
What are your salary expectations?
Before coming into the interview, you should research the company, the job, and the median salary for the position. Consider your education and years of experience, too. Come to the interview armed with this knowledge. When the employer asks you this question, give them a figure and back it up based on your research.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Don’t overthink this question. Instead, share strengths that relate to the job at hand. Reveal a weakness, then discuss how you have worked to overcome it. Share lessons you have learned along the way. Above all, prove that you have excellent self awareness and willingness to continue growing and improving.
What does customer service mean to you?
This is a great opportunity to share a personal experience that showcases your customer service skills. Start by summarizing your main idea, then delve into your story, and close by reiterating your point. Ensure that your story proves that you care about the customer and always put them first.