Why Do You Want To Work Here? (Sample Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

There comes a time in every job seekers quest for the perfect position when they come across a question that just seems…stupid. 

A question that, at first glance, seems almost insulting it’s so basic. 

And yet, those questions are the ones that are meant to trip us up, a stumbling block placed directly in the path of an otherwise stellar interview. 

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And it’s tempting to come at that question, hot on the heels of a flawless interview (full of right answers and quick responses), and toss in a half-assed sarcastic response meant to make the interviewer laugh and see you as a down-to-earth, “relatable”, totally “hireable” person… 

For many people that question is the almost inevitable “So, why do you want to work here?” (Can also often be rephrased as “Why do you want to work for us?”)

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Groan.  Really? 

Shouldn’t it be obvious?! 

I mean, come on, bottom line is you need a job…they have a job they need filled…it’s basic math, right?! 

Actually, it’s not, and like any and all questions an interviewer is asking you, it’s not as simple as it might seem.  

In fact, this question is far from simple and while it seems like they’re asking you for just one straightforward bit of information, they are actually asking you for two very complex answers…and therein that complexity lies the stumbling block.

Two questions?!?  In one?!  Are you serious!?!signs-trip

Are you confused?  Of course! 

Who knew such a simple question could actually be something so layered?  Well, don’t worry…unlike the average job seeker, you have us to help guide you and give you what you need to not only answer this question…or rather, both questions…and knock the interviewer’s socks off. 

Are you ready?  Let’s get started!

Why They Ask The Question “Why Do You Want To Work Here”

First off, let’s explore why this question is even asked. 

As we stated above, this isn’t really just one single stupid question, but two much more complex and dynamic questions rolled into one:

2-in-11.Why do you want to work for this company?

2. Why do you want this job?

Now rather than deciphering the more complex layers, most job seekers will simply answer the question in a straight forward manner: 

Because I need the work and you guys are offering a great rate of pay.

Okay, that’s honest…which might win you some points, but if you really want to impress your interviewer, you need to make sure that you’re not only answering it, but that you’re answering the layers…and tailoring your answer. 

(Don’t know how to “tailor” your answer? Check out our blog post Job Interview Questions and Answers 101). tailoring-method

Remember all that research you did on the company before you even got to the interview stage? 

Here is yet another opportunity for you to not only showcase what you know, but wrap it up with what you can provide skill wise. 

Not only are you taking a mature approach to what could otherwise be seen as a dumb question, but you’re using it as an opportunity to springboard forward in the interview process by providing thoughtful, intelligent, tailored responses.

Again, your number one goal is to always be the perfect candidate and that includes making sure you align your skills and qualities with the values and needs of the company.

First off, let’s start out with what not to say to an interviewer who has just asked you this question. 

4193332430_d45ae6100c_zMistakes To Avoid

1. Being too honest:

“Uh, because I’m totally unemployed and sorta desperate at this moment which means my standards for what I’ll do for money are pretty low and flexible right now, including working for you.” 

Again, bonus points for being honest…but although we always encourage you to tell the truth, there is a fine line between being upfront and being escorted out the door.  Next.

2. Being too generic: 

“Well, it seems like this is a super cool company to work for and it would be great to be able to get a job here.”

Aww, I bet you tell all the hiring managers that.  Not only is it generic, but it doesn’t showcase any of the research that you’ve done on the company or the position.  Next.

3. A boring apathetic answer:

“I dunno.  I saw you were hiring.  Guess you wouldn’t be advertising if you didn’t have a job opening and I could really use one…a job that is.  So…we gonna do this or what?”

Wrong.  Your job is to convince the hiring manager that you’re the perfect candidate…and this job seeker is definitely not the perfect candidate for anything…except maybe going back to bed and getting some sleep.  Next!

4. Being wishy washy: