How To Answer the Question: "Why Do You Want To Work Here?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 October 2022

Published 20 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Having an answer to the question "why do you want to work here?" is essential to preparing for a job interview. A clear and concise answer can demonstrate your commitment and interest in the position. In this article, we describe what interviewers are looking for in an answer, detail how to plan a response and provide examples of how you might answer this question.

Why do employers ask this question?

Employers may ask why you want to work for their company during an interview to find out more about you and see how well you prepared for the interview. This is a way for you to demonstrate how your values, work ethic and overall qualities align with the company. You can also show your dedication to the opportunity and how much time and effort you spent researching the company.

It's important to answer this question honestly and thoughtfully. Your answer will help the interviewer decide if you would be a good fit for the position and if you would excel in the company's working environment.

Related: Interview Question: "Tell Me About Yourself"

How to answer the question "why do you want to work here?"

There are a couple of things you can do before the interview to develop an effective response to this question:

  1. Research

  2. Be specific

  3. Write a list

  4. Highlight your attributes

  5. Be confident

1. Research

You want to research as much as possible about the company, the position and who will interview you. One reason the interviewer asks this question is to find out how much you know about the company culture. Begin the research process on the company website. Here you can find out about the company's history, mission statement and general hierarchy. It's also a good idea to research the company's social media accounts. Here you can see how the company interacts with customers and the general brand of the company.

While on the company website, you can also research the position and job description. The interviewer wants to be sure you are aware of all responsibilities associated with the position. It's always a good idea to review the key responsibilities and duties before interviewing.

2. Be specific

Giving a specific answer proves that you have done your research on the company and given a lot of thought to what this job means to you. A specific answer may mention attributes you have and how they fit with the company mission. Remember, the job interview is not just about you but how you can contribute to the organisation. Mention specific responsibilities or duties listed in the job description and explain how you might perform these tasks. The more specific your answer, the better the interviewer can picture you in the position.

3. Write a list

Writing a list of the things you like about the company and position can help you plan a straightforward answer. Make a list of your career objectives and what you would like from this job. Then compare this list to what the job description mentions and see if they match up. Clearly listing your career plans and comparing them with what the company is offering can clarify your reasons for applying for a job.

4. Highlight your attributes

Your answer should highlight why your specific attributes make you the perfect person for this position. You want to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Focus on the qualities that match up with the requirements of the position and explain that this is one reason you want to work for this company. If the interviewer sees qualities that are in agreement with the company's objectives, they may be more likely to consider you for the position.

Related: Interview Question: "What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?"

5. Be confident

It's important to convey confidence and assuredness when answering this question. Even if you are currently interviewing for many jobs, you want to treat every interview with importance. It's also a good idea to avoid talking about any doubts you have about the position regarding compensation or hierarchy. Answering the question confidently shows off your personality as well. Even if you are nervous or excited, try to remain calm and explain why this job is important to you and why you see a future for yourself in this company.

Example responses to the question "why do you want to work here?"

There are many ways to tailor your response when answering this question. Here are some examples:

Focusing on company reputation

One way to organise your response to this question is by focusing on the company's reputation. Focus on the positive things you've heard about that company and why this makes you excited to work for them. Showing you understand the reputation of the company proves that you would uphold this reputation as an employee.

"I've heard many positive things about [Company Name] and it's been on my list of potential places to work for many years. I've also met quite a few people who work at [Company name] during networking events, and I'm always impressed by their professionalism and genuine excitement for the company.

I once went to a conference sponsored by [Company Name] and it helped change and improve my use of CAD to optimise my results during a project. After this experience, I knew that [Company Name] was the best place to elevate my engineering skills and further my career. I want to work for and represent [Company Name] because it is the only company that utilises groundbreaking procedures in engineering and project management."

Highlight your professional history

You can answer this question by focusing on your professional history within the industry. It's good to focus on this if you have a lot of experience and expertise within the industry. Mention any experience that you feel sets you apart from other candidates and explains why you are the best candidate for this position.

"I've been a registered nurse for over 15 years. I know that my expertise and experience within this industry will help me make the decisions required as the head of nursing for [Hospital Name]. I believe this position requires a candidate with varied experience in many working environments. I have such experience.

I started as a night nurse for a small hospital, providing overnight care with limited supervision and few resources. From there I worked at a large hospital in London, dealing with a sizeable amount of patients and creating a schedule for a staff of over 200 nurses. I even worked in the private sector for a few years, learning how to deal with billing and treatments outside the NHS. I feel my many years of varied experience make me the perfect candidate for the head nurse at [Hospital Name]."

Related: Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

Talk about your history with the company

You can also focus on your experience with the company's products or services. If you have not interacted with the company, try to test their products or services before the interview. This initiative may impress your interviewer. You can also talk about certain aspects of the product or service as reasons why you want to work for the company.

"I've been aware of [Company Name]'s products for years. I recently started using your travel app that the company launched last year. I love how easy it is to navigate and how fun the design is. The app really highlights the company's vision of making luxurious travel accessible to all.

As a front-end engineer, I know I can take products like your app and make them even better. I know how to design for [Company Name]'s demographic because I am a part of it. I can't wait to help grow and improve a company whose services I use regularly."

Focus on the company's future objectives

Talk about how you want to help the company reach its future objectives. When you are researching the company, look for future initiatives or areas of expansion. Focus on how hiring you can help them reach their goals. You can also talk about how the company's plans fall in line with your own plans for the future.

"I feel my eight years of experience in marketing make me a capable and unique employee. I also believe my experience can benefit [Company Name] as you expand into specific data targeting.

I noticed on the company's website that you want to use data in a way that benefits both the company and your clients. I think this is not only an exciting prospect but also the next big change in digital marketing. Big data is the next frontier for [Company Name] and I want to be a part of the growth and expansion I see coming in the next few years."

What you shouldn't say

When asked why you want to work here, there are a few things you should avoid mentioning. They include:

  • Avoid mentioning salary or benefits as the reason

  • Avoid mentioning that you need any kind of job at the moment for financial reasons

  • Avoid mentioning that you see the job as a way to gain experience quickly so you can advance to a job you'd rather have

Related: 31 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)

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