In virtually every job interview, you will encounter this question: ‘Why are you interested in this position?’. Unprepared candidates often choke on this one. How come? Because they cannot communicate their interest (or reveal the lack of thereof) for a job they are after.
Instead of worrying about this question, look at it as the perfect opening. Use it as a jumping-off point to share your enthusiasm for the job as well as the company.
How to Answer “Why Are You Interested in This Position” Interview Question
The interviewer wants to understand your motivation for going after this job. Serve them some by talking about your domain knowledge, skills, and overall experiences that have led you up to this stage of your career. But don’t get too self-absorbed. Ultimately, the hiring manager is concerned more about what you can do for them, rather than why this role makes you happy.
Consider giving your answer in the following order:
- Tell how the culture and work environment meshes with your work style.
- Explain why the role stood out to you.
- Mention how this opportunity fits into your career trajectory.
- State what will empower you to be most productive and successful.
With that in mind, here are several quick tips to help you structure the best response.
Bring up the Company Culture First
Researching the company culture, mission, and values is a must-do item during pre-interview company research. Once you have enough data, tailor a portion of your answer to highlight how you believe you would work at your best there, and why.
Use good judgment here. Mention how the work environment could help you exercise your key strengths, be more creative or productive. Steer away from talking about “perks” like an on-site gym or unlimited PTO. The last thing you want to leave the impression of is having unreasonable expectations regarding the job.
Instead, bring up the following:
- Your support of the company mission and goals.
- Recent projects that stood out to you.
- Overall interest in the industry.
Align The Position With Your Goals
Employers want to secure long-term hires. In fact, research conducted by Kronos shows that 87% of HR professionals are prioritizing retention.
Demonstrate your determination to stick around within the answer. Mention your career goals and how you envision reaching them if you are hired. Your goal here is to help the hiring manager not only see you in the position but also growing with the company and taking on more responsibilities.
If you’re not sure that the position matches your career goals, give a generic response. Talk about how this new role could help you:
- Take more managerial responsibilities
- Hone your leadership skills
- Solve new industry challenges
- Learn more about the domain
Leave your most important point for last so it is memorable
Think of this as a multi-staged answer. Your last statement is going to be most memorable, and have the most impact. So make it count!
Bring up your best cards and state what results you plan to achieve in the first 3-6 months after being hired. Alternatively, pick your most relevant skill and explain how you plan to use and enhance it within the new role.
Why Are You Interested in This Position? Answer Examples
Take a look at some great examples that showcase thoughtful approaches to responding to this popular question. Note how they cover cultural fit, career goals, and the ability to meet immediate operational needs.
“I’ve read quite a bit about Tesson Industries’ flat management style, and the fact that you give a lot of creative autonomy to your marketing team. I know from past experience that I really thrive in an environment like that. Also, I’m excited about the potential to work with video content and virtual reality technologies in this position. Ultimately, I hope to become more involved in digital production and believe I can do that as a member of your team. I believe my experience with emerging brands will help me make a contribution from day one.”
“I know that your organization emphasizes merit, communication, and responsibility. As someone who has spent five years in a command position in the US Navy, I believe that my leadership style will fit perfectly in that environment. I’m intrigued by the potential to learn more about the use of AI in healthcare technologies as well. That goes along with my long-term goal of becoming an application architect. For now, I’m excited to help your development team increase their productivity using proven leadership techniques I have perfected over the past several years.”
Preparation is the key to interview success. If you know the most common interview questions and have your answers planned, you will feel much more confident. Take some time to outline your answer to ensure a smooth, self-assured delivery. That will make it so much easier for you to convince the hiring manager that you are a great fit!