For every job interview, you’ll need to prepare ahead for possible questions that may come up. And for each interview, you may expect to answer some pretty standard questions to prove your interest in the job. You might notice that after answering the “tell me about yourself” question, you’ll find “why are you interested in this position?” among the succeeding ones.
This open-ended question is one of the standard questions recruiters ask to learn your compatibility with the job. It allows employers to determine their motivation behind pursuing the position.
Why do employers ask this question to applicants?
In more ways than one, employers ask, “why are you interested in this position?” It could come in different phrases, begging for the same answer—why do you want the job? Or, why do you want to work here? Some other forms of questions may include:
- “What made you interested in applying for this position?”
- “Describe why you decided to apply for the role?”
- “Why are you a good fit for this position?”
All these aim to know what made you decide to pursue the job, and employers ask this question to assess your genuine interest in the position. Through your answer, they can quickly tell how invested you are in getting the job. It allows recruiters to evaluate the following:
- Your understanding of the job position and its responsibilities
- The level of enthusiasm toward the job
- The alignment of your goal and experience to the job
- Your possible contribution to the company
These four questions can quickly be answered by merely asking why a candidate is interested in the role. Remember, employers want to assess your personal and professional compatibility. It just makes sense that they want to ask you this in every possible way.
How to gracefully answer “Why are you interested in this position?”
There is only one way to ace this question—that is, preparing our answers. While you think you can ace your next interview, you will still want to guarantee that you can answer questions confidently. You can start by taking a helpful online course in nailing interviews like this one from Skill Success: Cracking that Difficult Interview. In addition, here are some handy tips to help you answer this simple question:
1. Do your research about the position.
The first step in knowing what to answer is by understanding the job description. When you know the responsibilities and requirements, you can easily tick off your personal checklist for a job. It allows you to curate a list of all the things that align with your qualification, goals, plans, and aspirations. Being aware of the job description makes it easy to curate an answer that aligns with what the employer wants to hear during the interview.
Even more, the familiarity demonstrates professionalism since you took the time to dissect the job qualifications thoroughly. That is an instant bonus point to impress the interviewer or hiring manager. And you can impress them even more by using keywords used in their own job description.
2. Research about the company as well.
Being familiar with the company, including its culture and reputation, matters. It shows that you took that extra mile to educate yourself about the company. After all, this is a potential workplace for you. It counts in the interview when you can share some things you know, like recent events, engagements, and business models.
To get more information about the company, you may check their company website, business pages, LinkedIn profile, and Glassdoor. Once you learn how the company ticks, you can mention the remarkable aspects you like about the company.
3. Inject enthusiasm in your answers.
Now that you have gathered the facts about the job and company, you probably know now the things you liked about them. So, in preparing your answer, make sure that you exude utter enthusiasm as you address the question.
You can show your enthusiasm by mentioning that you have researched about the company, followed them on their social media, and known someone who also works there, and so on.
However, avoid sounding too excited. Minimize gushing over and try to compose yourself as you speak. No matter how delighted you are in securing an interview, always act gracefully.
4. Align your skills and experiences to the job description.
The key to landing the job is knowing you are capable of handling the job. Since you already know the job requirements, you must align your skills and experiences to prove your competency.
As a helpful tip, pinpoint one primary aspect of the job related to your experience or skill. Brush on the subject and add some of the desired skills into the narrative to amplify your expertise. Having the relevant knowledge and skills is an important requirement, so highlight them to prove that you are the best fit for the role.
5. Consider your career trajectory.
Your professional growth is one of the considerations in applying for a job. This is something the recruiter wants to hear about. And most likely, they want to hear how much of a great opportunity it is to work for them. So tell them how this role is going to help you gear up your career. Also, include what made this position unique to your eyes and how it aligns with your career goals.
However, don’t sound like you are using them as a stepping stone to reach something bigger. Instead, give them the impression that you are there to stay and provide great contributions for a long time. That way, they’ll be down in investing in you as an employee.
6. Finish smoothly.
To end your answer, express your gratitude to have been given a chance to interview with them. Subtly brush over how lucky you were to have seen their job advertisement at the right moment. Saying such a thing can make you appear more desirable as a candidate. It shows respect and gratefulness for the opportunity to have been interviewed. The interviewer or hiring manager will appreciate hearing this from an applicant.
Or, you can also finish with a great question to ask the interviewer. Doing so will make the interview more conversational. It shows that you want to include the recruiter in your story.
Those are six powerful tips to keep in mind when crafting your answering, “Why are you interested in this position?” interview question. Remember, you’d want to shed light on your professional, cultural, and personal compatibility with the said job. Here’s an online course to help you crack the secret formula in acing an interview, Recruiter Reveals: Job Interview Formula.
Mistakes to avoid when answering the question
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when answering, “Why are you interested in this position?” interview question.
Giving a general answer that’s applicable to all jobs and companies
You want to be memorable during your interview so avoid saying general statements like, “It’s a good company, and I would love to be a part of it.” This is a lazy answer for someone who wants to impress potential employers.
Showing you haven’t researched for the company
Coming in for an interview without knowing what the company does is disrespectful. While this is not uncommon, it should always be avoided.
Not being too enthusiastic in your answer
When you give a passive answer, the interviewer will question your interest in working for them. “I saw you were hiring, and I grabbed the chance to be here,” this won’t cut it.
Examples of how to answer properly
Here are some example answers and good statements on how you can answer the question:
- “In my next job position, I’d like to hone my strategic prospecting and leadership skills even more. I reviewed the job description, saw the utter emphasis for effective prospecting and leadership, and realized this is a great opportunity. I’ve had a solid 10-year experience working in sales, managing multi-headed teams, and liaising with various clients in my most recent company. And I’m excited to get up my feet and start raking in good results for (company name).”
- “While I enjoyed my 12-year commitment at my previous company, I believe there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my professional goals. This role perfectly suits my existing skillset and my vision to grow in my career. I saw that you’re looking to hire someone who can handle multiple projects simultaneously across departments. I think my past experience in managing 4-5 projects at a time would help me contribute positively to the team. Can you tell me more about what kind of management style the company uses?”
- “I have heard that your company has a good reputation and consistently listed as one of the top companies to work. It would be an honor to be part of your company with such an excellent track record. I’ve read employee reviews and learned that the culture here is top-notch and that your company encourages employee growth through continuing education and training on the job while rewarding hard work. Based on my assessment, I think that I am a perfect fit and very much interested in growing within the company.”
That’s how you prepare for the interview question, “why are you interested in this position?” There are many questions to prepare for, and what will help you ace them is keeping yourself ready every time. To help you with this, here’s a five-star rated interview online course from Skill Success to guide you: Job Interview Success.
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