By Amy @BubbleJobs
Whatever kind of new job you’re looking for, you’re bound to end up at a job interview sooner or later – and, inevitably, there are some questions that are bound to pop up, regardless of the industry you’re hoping to work in.
Now, being a jobs and careers blog, we’ve covered a lot of these fairly generic job interview questions before such as; “What attracted you to this job?”, “What has been your biggest achievement?” and “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”, so today I thought I’d have a look at another question which sounds fairly simple but can actually be quite tricky to answer – the “Why do you want to work here?” question.
As I just said, this question sounds fairly simple and as such, the answer should be fairly simple – but that isn’t necessarily the case. Why? Because it’s really easy to get this answer wrong – so much so in fact that a terrible answer could bring your interview to a pretty swift end and could actually end up costing you the job.
This question is tricky to answer because it’s really easy to just fall into the trap of listing all the material things and benefits the business offers such as 30 days holiday, a pretty nice bonus scheme and private health care. Yes, OK – they might be the reasons that you work for that company but it’s probably not a good idea to say that! Why? Because the interviewer will think you’ve only applied for the job for the perks and not the career progression and opportunities that are available.
With this question, the employer is trying to find out how much you know about the business and how you see yourself fitting in – not how attractive you think their benefits are – so you need to carefully craft an answer that demonstrates your knowledge of the business and the role on offer.
When preparing your answer for this question, it’s really important to do your research. Find out where the company has come from (ie. their history), where they are now and where they plan to be in the future. Try and find out what they’re doing differently to their competitors (ie. their USPs) and how they treat their staff and consider how their business fits into your overall career plan.
Ask yourself honestly why you applied for the job with the business and really what it was that appealed to you. Was it the opportunity to work for a major global brand? Was it the opportunity to work for a brand that is becoming the market leader in its industry? Or was it the opportunity to join an already established team who have a clear roadmap and KPIs?
There’s no harm in mentioning the benefits that are on offer, such as free gym membership or a day off for your birthday, but be sure to balance the answer out with valuable comments about their business as a whole and the opportunity on offer. This shows that yes, while the benefits are impressive, they’re only a small part of the reason you applied for the role and why you want to work the company.
With this question, it’s best to be honest – because if you fib here, the answer could come back to bite you on the bum should you get the job. What do I mean? Well, if you don’t really care about their training and progression plan, don’t say you do because your new boss could expect you to go on every training scheme available…. not fun if you’re not a big fan of training courses!
When answering this question, it’s important not to sound too selfish – so try not to make it all about you. That might sound silly since they’re asking you a personal question – but what I mean is try and bring your answer back to the company and what you can bring to them. So, for example, you could say “I applied for this job because I’m a big fan of your brand and respect your business values…” and then you could finish the sentence off by saying “… and I think I could bring a fresh perspective and new skills to the company that could really help the business progress in a competitive market”. This answer demonstrates your knowledge of the business – but also shows the interviewer that you’ve thought about how you could fit in and bring value to their business overall.
All in all, the best advice I can give you for this answer is to do your research, be honest and try and always bring the answer back to how you can benefit the business overall. This way you’ll demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re enthusiastic about their brand and you could become a real asset to their business should they choose take you on.
Have any more tips on how best to tackle this job interview question? Leave a comment below.