Job Interview Question Answered: Why do you want to work here?

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You have finally landed that job interview. After a long, frustrating job search, all efforts have paid off. It is quite momentous in your life.

However, as you prepare, you have to worry about your attire for the day. You worry about that research about the company of interest. You wonder which questions, you should prepare on. You Google search them and you get a host of suggestions. Many of them with a few suggested answers.

The worst thing you can do, at this juncture is to memories the answers. This is because, interviewers are not fools, they will know if your answers are not original and that, will send red flags against you. In particular, there are questions that will almost always show.

For instance, in response to the question, “Why do you want to work here?” some people will say things such as:

“I’ve worked in this industry for 15 years and been very successful. I feel I can make a difference in your organization. I have a proven track record of leadership. I’ve read in the paper that your company is having some problems, and with my experience as a Director of XXXXX, I can help straighten those out.”

That answer may sound good and appear to suffice, but on a scale of 1 – 10, it ranks about a 4!

Why? The answer shows no research, no thought, no consideration. It sounds stock and could suffice for any number of companies. Overall, unimpressive.

Let’s look closer.


It is important that you seriously take some time to think about your answer at this point. Your answer should be in line with both your personal or career goals and the company objectives for the position.

Demonstrate to the employer that you have what it takes to meet their needs. Make sure you have a working knowledge of the company culture and show why you will thrive in it and are, therefore, a smart investment. Your knowledge of the company will not only enable you to fit your skills and competencies, but will also communicate to the employer that you have taken interest in what they do and, as it is, know who they are.

Here’s where you get to show off your research. Tell the interviewer what you’ve learned about the company, and why it’s appealing to you. SPECIFICS are the key here.

Relate those specific examples from your experience to what you’ve learned about the company, their focus, and their market. Look to your personality and what motivates you and how that relates to any details you learned from the ad, your recruiter, your friend who referred you, or from where you learned of this opportunity.

For instance, perhaps their ad stated that they were looking to establish a marketing department from ground up. If you thrive on growth, challenges, making things happen – there’s your answer – along with examples of how you have grown, established, or done market research in a parallel situation.

And you might ask, “What if it’s not a high profile company? What if it’s on the small side and local?” Right. Not every company is the size of Microsoft or even a regional public powerhouse.

Share what you can do and why you feel you can make a contribution and benefit the company. This question is about how YOU can benefit the company, not how the company can benefit YOU.

The worst thing you can do is to, in hopes of sounding relevant, try to think of the company objectives at the expense of your personal and/or career goals. Remember, you’re to impress people not machines or systems. So your answer should bridge the space between who you are as an individual and the company needs.

Do your homework before EVERY interview! There’s no chance to make a second good impression!


Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.