How to answer the “Why are you interested in this job?” interview question

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published On: 24 Jan 2020

Why this job? Hero Image

Some job seekers may find this question frustrating and feel like it can be a waste of time. However, there could me many reasons as to why the interviewer may think this is a useful question. They may want to find out if you would be a good fit for the team, whether you are likely to stay in this role for a long period of time or simply understand your reasons for applying for the role. Although it can seem tedious, this question is not usually used to fuel the ego of the company. It is used to assess whether you have the right intentions and are going to put in your best efforts whilst working in the position. Here are some tips on how to answer the question and have a successful interview.

Prepare

Ahead of any interview, preparation is always the key. Preparing yourself for particular questions that are causing you worry can really help with pre-interview nerves. To be able to answer, “Why are you interested in this job?”, you should separate it into 2 questions.  

  1. Why are you interested in the company?
  2. Why are you interested in the job?

You should be asking yourself these questions before you submit an application to any job role. So, when it comes to interview prep, you won’t find it too difficult. If you are really struggling, ask yourself whether this is actually a good fit for you. To begin, you want to ask yourself what the company has to offer. Think about what they offer their employees that other businesses may not. Try and think about why you would make a good fit and portray this in your answer.  

Understanding why you are interested in the job, rather than the company, can often be an easier question to answer. Take another look through the job description before you attend the interview and make sure you are referring to this when answering this question. You want to let them know that you have read the job spec, understood it and are interested in what they have to offer. Are you interested in the job because of the skills you will use? Or are there learning opportunities that interest you? Make sure you have the answer before you get there to make sure you are giving them a good quality response. Interviewers can tell when a candidate hasn’t thought it through and when you use a generic or recycled answer. Try and make sure you are tailoring your responses and not saying the same thing each time.


How to research a company properly

Being able to answer this question well, depends on whether you did your research or not. The interviewer is probably expecting you to already know something about the company, so make sure you have spent time finding relevant and interesting facts about their workplace that you can bring up in the interview.

A good place to start your research is by checking the company website. Their website should have an about us page which is likely to have information on what they do and what their companies’ ‘mission’ is. The website should include pages on their latest products and achievements, giving you an idea of future projects, they may do. Some companies can be very secretive about future plans, so asking them about this in the interview could be a good idea. Company websites usually have a careers section as well, it’s worth giving this a look over so you can get an idea of any other roles that may be of interest to you.

Social media pages and blogs are also a good place to research the company. It’s likely that companies are posting about their projects on these pages, social media is a place where you can attract large audiences, so their most interesting stuff is more likely to be displayed here. Double check if you can sign up for newsletters through these pages as well. When you go to an interview, you should be knowledgeable on the company and showing that you have been keeping up to date with their website and social pages, really shows your interest.

If you still have no luck finding anything of interest, you can even check press coverage. Type the company name into google or popular news webpages and see what comes up. It’s a good idea to play about with all the resources that you have at your disposal, you can find out some interesting facts about the company. Researching the company gives you an idea of things like their upcoming projects and company culture. Based on your findings, ask yourself if you want to work in a place like this? It can really help you prepare and answer the dreaded “Why are you interested in the company” part of the question.

Structuring your answer

When you are preparing to answer questions that you may find a little harder, try and split it up into different questions that you may find easier to answer. Think about;

  1. How is this position going to help you advance in your career?
  2. How does the position align with your future goals?
  3. What is unique about this job?
  4. What makes you in particular, a good fit for the role?

Your answer should reflect the questions above. It should show that you took the time to thoroughly read the job description and pick out things that are relevant to you. Structuring your answer like this and tailoring it to each job shows the interviewer that you are interested in their specific opportunity and you don’t just say the same thing in every interview.

Taking the time to research and really think about why you want this role in particular can make things a lot easier on your interview day. You don’t have to and shouldn’t memorise your answer, you should be able to answer why you want the job with no hassle, if you have taken the time to think about it beforehand. Often, the reason that candidates find this question difficult, is simply because they have not thought about it. You want to make sure you are applying for roles that are right for you and you should be thinking about this question from the second you start reading the job spec.