How to Answer the “Why Are You Interested in This Role?” Question was originally published on Ivy Exec.
Interviewing for a new job? You’ve done half of the hard part – applying for the job and landing the interview. Now, you have to prepare for it.
Practicing common interview questions is one surefire way to prepare for the interview. And there’s one question, in particular, that’s likely to crop up: Why are you interested in this role?
Maybe you saw an attractive number in the salary section of the job advert, so you decided to apply. Or maybe you’re just desperate for any job, applied to a whole bunch, and happened to hear back from this one. While competitive pay and needing employment are totally fair reasons to apply for a job, however, they’re not necessarily good reasons to share with your prospective employer.
The hiring manager interviewing you is going to want to hear something a little more substantial – something that sells you for the position. So here are three better answers to give when you’re asked why you want the job, plus tips on how to respond well.
4 Ways to Explain Why You Want the Job
Here are four potential answers for why you want the job. Make sure you pick one that resonates best with you. After all, interviewers can sniff out honesty and authenticity from a mile away.
1️⃣ You share the company’s values.
If the company seems to have a culture that resonates with you, that’s something you should absolutely share. Company culture – and fitting into it – is a big part of the job. And hiring managers want to know that you can not only do the job well but that you will also be an asset to the team. If you share their values, you’re more likely to work better together.
2️⃣ You align with the company’s mission.
Maybe you use the company’s products or services, or maybe you just believe in what the company is doing. Aligning with the company’s mission is important. In fact, many leaders spend their time making sure that their teams are aligned, so this is important to hiring managers.
3️⃣ You look forward to the challenge (and have the experience to take it on).
Perhaps the company is hiring someone to fill a role that would help them solve a problem. If you have experience solving that same or a similar problem in a previous role, looking forward to helping this company by leveraging what you already know is a great answer to why you want the job.
4️⃣ You are looking for a change.
Maybe the role is new for you. It may even be in a totally different field. While it may be trickier to sell yourself with less experience, craving change to pursue a passion, exercise different skills, or learn new ones is a valid reason to be interested in the role.
3 Tips to Nail the “Why Are You Interested in This Role” Question
Follow these three tips to be able to give your best answer.
1️⃣ Do your research on the position.
Make sure that you fully understand the role for which you’re interviewing – before you interview for it. You can’t explain to someone why you want the job if you don’t totally understand what the job even is.
If it’s a position you haven’t held before, make sure you 100 percent grasp the responsibilities tied to it. Don’t just read the job advert. Also, research more about the job title in general and, if you can, reach out to people in the same role at the company to learn more about what they do.
2️⃣ Understand the company at large.
You can better answer why you want a job if you know the company well. Do your research on the company – how long it’s been around, what products and services it offers, what the different departments are if it has any specific competitors (and who), what its unique selling points could be, what its challenges are, etc.
When you know the most you can about the company before actually working for it, you can speak to the parts of it that entice or motivate you. Maybe the products are products you regularly use, and you’re excited to be part of perfecting them for consumers. Maybe the challenges are the same challenges you got to help tackle in the last position you loved, so you’re looking forward to sharing your previous experiences to help the team.
3️⃣ Be honest.
Don’t lie (unless your answer is simply that you want the paychecks). Be honest about what draws you to that specific role with that specific company. A good hiring manager will be able to determine if you’re being candid or just answering the question how you think they’ll want you to answer it.
The more honest your answer, the more unique it’s likely to be. And uniqueness, in this case, is ideal in an interview when the goal is to stand out from other candidates for the same job.