Teen Interview Question: "Why Do You Want to Work Here?"

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When interviewers ask, "Why do you want to work here?" they want to know that you are prepared not just for the interview, but for the company itself. Interviewers are looking to make sure you understand the position as well as how it functions within the specific company.

Knowing what to say can be hard when you have little or no work experience. But some tips can make you feel more confident walking into the interview.

What Interviewers Want to Know

Interviewers want to be assured that you are knowledgeable about the company and the role at hand. They're also looking for evidence that you're interested in more than just a paycheck, and have some passion or engagement with the company and role.

How to Answer "Why Do You Want to Work Here?"

You will need to spend time reviewing the company and the job description to make sure you're prepared.

Don't forget, it is important to ask yourself why you want to work there in the first place. Saying that you need the money isn't usually received well.

There are a variety of answers, but one thing is more important than anything else: be honest. There must be something about the company you like. Find that, and let it shine through in your response.

Examples of the Best Answers

Adapt these examples to suit your style.

I am interested in working for your company because I am a frequent customer of your store. As a customer, I've gotten to know your company well and appreciate your products and the environment that you've created here. It's important for me to work someplace that I admire, and I know that I would be proud to work here.

Why It Works: This answer shows that the candidate is familiar with the company, and feels a personal connection. 

I would love to work for your company because I have a passion for X, and I plan to study X once I am enrolled in college.

Why It Works: This response shows that the candidate's interest in "X" (whatever X may be!) is serious. This answer makes it clear that the candidate is interested in more than earning a paycheck, since this job will offer valuable long-term experience.

I try to keep myself up to date with the latest styles and trends. I feel that working for you would enable me to put my passion to good use, and allow me to share it with your customers.

Why It Works: In this response, the candidate points to a relevant skill that will be beneficial to the company.

I am looking forward to the real-world experience I would get from working in your shop. I know I don't have the strongest resume, but I am a hard worker and would love the opportunity to show you how I can contribute.

Why It Works: This response shows off some of the candidate's meaningful qualities, while acknowledging the lack of experience.

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

  • Show engagement. Do you want to work at a bookstore because you're a book lover? Apply to babysit because your future goal is to work in education? If possible, share reasons that point to a passion for the company's goods or a skill that's ideal for working at the company.
  • Display your knowledge. What does the company sell? What's the general vibe at the store? What are things that the company values? An answer that displays insight into these factors will show that you've put in a bit of research, which interviewers appreciate.
  • Show off relevant skills. If you have relevant skills or experience that you can mention, do so. For instance, you might say, "I enjoyed working at [Similar Store X] last summer, but they, unfortunately, went out of business. I'm hoping to take those same sales skills I learned there and apply them here."

What Not to Say

  • A paycheck. Employers are looking for candidates who want to do more than just earn money.
  • Friends. Similarly, even if you do want the job because a friend also works at the company, that's not a good thing to mention. Employers are not interested in facilitating socializing.
  • Because you're hiring. Again, interviewers want an answer that goes beyond, "So I can have a job or paycheck." To do so, think about the reasons why you applied to this job. What appealed to you about this role?

Possible Follow-Up Questions

Tips for Preparing for an Interview

When you are new to preparing for a job interview and do not have a lot of work experience, the experience can sometimes feel like an interrogation. You can use the following tips to stay sharp and feel prepared for that situation:

Do your research. Find out everything you can about the company and position you are applying for. The more familiar you are with the organization and the job requirements, the better prepared you will be to answer questions relating to your interests and abilities. Review the company's website, read reviews for insight into client interaction, and look up any unfamiliar skills or requirements in the posting to better prepare yourself.

Practice answering interview questions you are likely to be asked. Do this exercise with a friend or family member, or even in front of a mirror. The more practice you get, the more relaxed you will be. Print out a list of common interview questions and jot down or brainstorm simple, concise responses on which you can build during your interview.

Stay calm. Pausing for a deep breath during an interview is OK. Taking some time to answer a question makes you appear thoughtful, and that you are taking the question seriously.

Key Takeaways

Know the company. The more you know about the company, the more you'll be able to give a personal, thoughtful answer.

Don't talk about salary. Avoid answers that mention the paycheck or the job's availability as the reasons for your application.

Be enthusiastic. Smile and be upbeat in your response.