Job Interview Question: Why Do You Want This Job?

Young man at a job interview
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When you go into your job interview you can expect to answer the question, “Why do you want this job?” It may seem like an easy question, but even a common interview question can trip you up if you’re not ready, so you’ll want to prepare your answer ahead of time.

When answering this question, you want to show that you have researched the company and prove that you are a good fit for the job. Read below for more advice on answering this question, and sample answers.

How to Answer the Question

  • Research the company ahead of time. Interviewers will be listening for a response that shows you've done research on the company. Make sure you know some basic information about both the company and the job. You might want to read some recent articles on the company to get a sense of their current goals and projects. Also, be sure to reread the job posting. This way, when you answer the question, you can mention specific aspects of the company and position that appeal to you.
  • Be specific about why you’re a good fit. Be specific about what makes you a good fit for this role. To prepare your answer, make a list of the requirements of the job (as explained in the job listing), and then note which requirements fit your skills and experience. In your answer, highlight a few of your abilities that qualify you for the job and include successful examples from your previous jobs.
  • Emphasize what you can contribute. Your answer should also emphasize what you can contribute to the company – what will you bring to the position? Mention any skills or work experience that makes you a unique, strong candidate for the job. If possible, use numbers to express how you can add value to the business. For example, if you saved your previous company a certain amount of money, mention this, and say that you want to do the same for this company.
  • Avoid reasons that focus on you. Even if it's true, do not mention salary, hours, or commute as the primary reasons you want the job. Remember that you want to focus on how you can benefit the company, not how the company or job can benefit you.

    Examples of the Best Answers

    Not sure how to answer this important question? Below are some of the best job interview answers for when the interviewer asks why you want the job. Customize these answers to fit your particular circumstances and the job you are applying for.

    • I want this job because it emphasizes sales and marketing, two of my greatest skill sets. In my previous job, I increased sales by 15 percent in what was at the time considered a flat industry. I know I could bring my ten years of sales and marketing experience to this company, and help you continue your years of growth.
    • I understand that this is a company on the rise. As I’ve read on your website and in various press releases, you’re planning to launch several new products in the coming months. I want ​to be a part of this business as it grows, and I know my experience in product development would help your company as you roll out these products.
    • I have worked as a dental hygienist in a children’s dental office for the past six years. Not only am I experienced working with this population, I greatly enjoy it. Being able to work for your office, which caters to children and young adults, would allow me to continue to put my skills to use in a population I love. This is the kind of work environment I would look forward to coming to every day.
    • This job is a good fit for what I've been doing and enjoying throughout my career. It offers a mix of short-term projects and long-term goals. My organizational skills allow me to successfully multitask and complete both kinds of projects.
    • I want this retail job at your store because I know I would be terrific at it. I love engaging with people and providing them with assistance. I also have two years of experience working cash registers at other stores. I am a regular customer of this store, so I would love to apply my skills to a store I believe in and support.
    • I have admired this company’s successful strategies and mission for years. Your emphasis on creating a relationship between your company and the surrounding community have brought you success everywhere you have opened an office. There are values I greatly admire.

    Once you’ve customized your answer to this question, be sure to practice saying it out loud. It may help to have a friend or family member pretend to be the interviewer who asks you the question. In fact, this is a great way to prepare for a variety of interview questions.