Some of the most simple questions seem to be the ones that also catch us off guard. We prepare for these meetings thinking of the tough questions that could be asked and then we forget to consider the most basic ones like, “Why do you want to work here?”.
I remember early on in my career I had an internship interview with the Toronto Blue Jays. There was a panel of three interviewers and one of the questions asked was something along the lines of “why here, why this position?”.
I cringe a little thinking about my response which was something like, “the leaders I currently work with see their future career paths moving towards Major League Baseball and they think this would be a good step for me”. 🤦🏼♀️
I said NOTHING about growing up going to Jays games, NOT one mention about my future career goals in professional sports, I definitely DIDN’T share about how I can apply what I’ve just learned the last year and a half in the Canadian Football League or how I could add value to their organization.
I totally missed the mark. And in case it’s not obvious…I didn’t get a second interview 😂
While you may not be sitting in a room with MLB executives for your next job interview, thinking about WHY you want the job you’ve applied for is an important question to ask yourself before your meeting. You may be thinking, I want this job because:
- It’s going to help me achieve the next step in my career
- It’s going to pay more
- I’m bored and I’m ready for a change
And while these all may be true, answering this question in a way that’s enrolling to the interviewer and answers “how is hiring you, going to benefit them” is key to your interview success.
To help you answer this question in a relevant, concise way that ensures you’re underlining for the interviewer why they should hire you, here are two must haves to include in your response.
Must Have #1. Your past experience and what you’ll bring to the role.
Share with the interviewer how this position allows for you to apply what you’ve learned from your career to date. Consider what skills and abilities you can highlight from the position description and how you see yourself applying your relevant experiences to this role that will add value to the organization’s initiatives.
“The skills that I have honed throughout the years are exactly what this position is calling for. It’s as though the role was written for me. I have been building my career and seeking opportunities like _____ and _____. With this position, I have the opportunity to apply my learnings (ex. Managing budgets, project managing, leading teams of 10+ people) and contribute to the success of XYZ company.”
Must Have #2. Your passion for the work, the culture and/or the values of the organization.
Next up, tie in your eagerness for the position and let the interviewer know a little more about who you are as a person.Think about what excites you within the role. What are you looking forward to working on once in the position? What aspect of the company or role intrigues you the most?
“I’ve always seen myself in a position that _____. I can remember having a conversation with _____ and sharing with them that the impact I hope to have at work/within the industry/in the world is _____. When I saw this posting, I was really excited to see that the role was also responsible for _____ etc.
Taking on this position allows me to fulfil this desire while doing something I love every day in a company whose values are aligned with my personal values.”
As an interviewer, I ask this question to understand a candidate’s genuine interest in the position and the company, to hear what motivates them and to understand how the candidate will support the growth and stability of the company.
By keeping your answer focused on these two areas, you’ll be sure to touch on what the interviewer is looking for.