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How to answer the ‘Please describe the job you’ve applied for?’ Interview question

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 19 Apr 2023

Describe the job yo have applied for

One of the main causes of interview stress is not knowing what will happen. Not knowing what questions the interviewer may ask you can leave you feeling anxious, but if you take some time to prepare in advance, you’ll have answers ready which will hopefully settle your nerves. 

There’s no way of knowing what they’ll ask you, but being able to prepare answers for the more obvious questions may help you out a bit. These questions may also be phrased differently to what you were expecting, which can throw you off a little. We’ll go through different ways interviewers may ask you the same question within this article. Keep reading for more!

Understanding the question

A lot of the time, the pressure of answering a question can come from not understanding what they want you to say. Being able to listen, formulate an answer and present back is all you need to do. Which for some, is easier said than done, which is why we’re here to guide you through it. 

The interviewer is trying to figure out if you have read and understood the job description and what the job actually entails. They want to know why you would be a good fit for the role, why you want the job and if you have the relevant skills they are looking for. By describing the job you are applying for, you’re giving reasoning as to why you’d be a good candidate. This question may also be phrased as:

  • Why do you want this role?
  • Why should we hire you for this job?
  • Why have you applied for this job?
  • Do you understand what this job entails?

They all technically ask about the same thing - Why do you want the job? 

Why they ask this question?

Employers ask specific questions for a reason, they’re not there to try and catch you out. The reality is, you should have read the job description before you applied and before you attended the interview. They want to know if you have paid attention as well as understanding more about why you would be a good fit. So make sure you are taking the time to prepare properly before the interview. It may even be a good idea to have notes ready if that would help you. 

They want to learn more about your skills. If you understand the job you’ve applied for, how can your experience help you make the job your own? How can your skills aid you with the day-to-day tasks of this job. They simply want you to persuade them that you are the right fit for the job and their team. 

How do you answer this question?

Make sure you know what you’re getting into. When job seeking, it’s likely that you’ve been searching and applying for multiple jobs at once. The employer knows this, which is another reason they may ask this question. So it’s good practice to do your research on each employer. Read their job description before your interview and make sure you 100% know what job you need to be talking about. It sounds ridiculous but it can be really easy to get confused. 

Call out specific reasons why you want to work for their company. If you’re mentioning the company specifically, they know that you’re interested. Research current projects that employers may be currently working on (if you can find this information) and link that to the job description. 

Also, when answering this question, make sure you are referencing specific skills and requirements they have asked for. It can be easy to be generic and come up with one answer for everyone but try to personalise it. So they know you care. 

Structuring your answer

Your answer should show that you’ve done your research. Let them know that you’re not only the right person for the job but you are dedicated enough to be offered the role. Be enthusiastic with your answer and before you start planning what to say, think about how this job can help you with your career.

Start with a few key points - It’s obvious to point out the job title but to push it the extra mile, idk out 2 or 3 key points from the job spec that really stuck out to you. Whether that be something from the day-to-day responsibilities or the requested skills, make sure to point out what they’ve said. It not only shows that you’ve read the description and taken time to think about it, but you are acknowledging that’s what you’d be doing in the role. 

Mention projects - If you’re able to talk about current projects that are happening within the company, mention these. If you can, make sure to make a connection to the work they do and your experience. Showing that you’ve done your research and you have relevant skills to be able to complete your day job. 

What skills can you bring? - Make sure to talk about you. This is predominantly a question about the role but turn it around and make it about you. You know the skills they need so tell them they need you. Point out skills on your CV and talk about your experience. 

There are a lot of points to discuss above and to make it feel more complicated, this answer, like any other interview question, should be concise and to the point. It can be easy to stray away from the original question, but always bring it back. This is why preparation can be so important. 

Example answer points

Your answer is going to be tailored to you but there are a few key phrases you can start with to get you going. 

  • As an electrical engineer, my job would be to… 
  • You mention you are looking for someone that is able to… 
  • In my last role, I was able to demonstrate this within my team and work towards our end goal…
  • Your company is currently taking part in (enter project name)… with my skills and past experience I can bring…

Preparing interview answers can be a personal thing. You need to take time to look back at your achievements. With this question the key is to point out information they’ve basically handed to you on the job spec but make it personal to you. Include your experience, knowledge, and skills to persuade them that you are the right candidate.