One of the most common questions you’re likely to encounter when interviewing for a job is “Why are you interested in this position?”
This seemingly straightforward question can be deceptively tricky to answer, as it requires you to convey your enthusiasm for the role while also demonstrating your fit for the position and the company. Luckily, with a little research and preparation, you have a stand-out answer ready to go!
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why employers ask this question
- How to answer this question
- Example of a good response
- Do’s and don’ts to remember
Why do employers ask this interview question?
When an interviewer asks this question, they want to know if you are a candidate who is excited about the company’s mission and vision and has a genuine interest in the role.
It’s also a good way for them to determine who has done research on the company and whether you understand the responsibilities of the job.
A well-thought-out answer that reflects key aspects of the company or role demonstrates that you’ve looked into the company, know what they are about, and understand what would be expected from you in the role.
How to answer “Why are you interested in this position?”
Formulating an answer to this question can be done by taking three simple steps.
1. Research the company and the role
Before your interview, take the time to research the company and the position you are applying for. Start by reviewing the company’s website, mission statement, values, and any recent news or press releases.
Look for information like:
- The company’s history
- Products or services
- Target audience
- Industry trends.
All of this will give you a better understanding of the company’s culture and goals and will help you align your responses with their needs.
Additionally, be sure to research the job description and requirements carefully. Look for keywords and phrases that indicate what the company is looking for in a candidate. This will come in handy in the next step!
2. Align your skills and experience with the job requirements
Your answer to “Why are you interested in this position?” should demonstrate how your skills and experience align with the job requirements. After you’ve identified the skills and experience that the company is looking for, think about your own relevant experience. Be specific and provide examples of how your past work experience has prepared you for the role. If possible, quantify your achievements and provide measurable results that demonstrate your ability to excel in the position.
In addition, consider how your unique qualities and attributes make you a good fit for the job. Perhaps you have excellent communication skills or a natural talent for problem-solving. Highlight these traits and explain how they will enable you to perform well in the role. By doing so, you’ll show the interviewer that you’ve taken the time to understand the role.
3. Get excited about the role and the company
Your answer should show your enthusiasm for the role, the company, or the industry. One way to do this is to highlight specific aspects of the job that excite you. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to work with a talented team, the challenge of taking on new responsibilities, or the chance to make a positive impact on the company or its customers. Be specific and genuine in your response, and explain why these aspects of the role appeal to you.
And— again going back to the importance of research— another way to demonstrate enthusiasm is to simply show that you’re knowledgeable about the company and its products or services.
Referencing specific products or projects the company has worked on or initiatives they’re involved in will show that you’ve taken the time to research the company and are genuinely interested in their work. By expressing your genuine passion and excitement for the role, you’ll help the interviewer see that you’re the perfect fit for the job.
“Why are you interested in this position?” example answer
Still not sure what your answer will look like? Here’s a template to help you see how your response may flow.
“I am excited about this position because it aligns perfectly with my experience and skill set. I have been following the work of [company name] for a while now and I’m impressed with their commitment to [company mission or values].
In particular, I’m excited about the opportunity to use my expertise in [specific skill or experience] to contribute to [company goal or project]. I believe my experience working on [relevant project or accomplishment] demonstrates my ability to succeed in this role. Overall, I am passionate about this industry and I believe that [company name] is a leader in [specific aspect of the industry], so I’m eager to be a part of the team.”
It’s essential to remember that the example answer provided is just a guide. While it can be helpful to see how to incorporate the key points, it’s crucial to come up with a unique response that reflects your personality and experience.
If you simply repeat the same words or phrases, you run the risk of sounding rehearsed or insincere. Instead, use the example answer as a starting point and tailor your response to your own background, qualifications, and passion for the role. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your answer sounds genuine and will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Do’s and don’ts of answering this interview question
To recap, here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when answering this particular interview question.
When answering “Why are you interested in this position?” do:
- Research the company and the role beforehand
- Align your skills and experience with the job requirements
- Express genuine enthusiasm for the position, company, or industry
- Highlight your relevant accomplishments or achievements
When answering “Why are you interested in this position?” don’t:
- Be too generic or vague in your response
- Focus too much on salary or benefits
- Speak negatively about your current or previous employer
- Come across as insincere or unenthusiastic
The bottom line
Answering the question “Why are you interested in this position?” can be a crucial moment in the job interview process. By researching the company and the role, aligning your skills and experience with the job requirements, and expressing genuine enthusiasm, you can demonstrate your motivation and fit for the position.
Remember to avoid common pitfalls and speak confidently and sincerely about why you want to work for the company. With a well-prepared answer, you’ll increase your chances of standing out from other candidates and landing the job.
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