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. 

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:

“Uh, I don’t know.  I mean, I need a job and well, you guys have a super cool website and I really like your company logo colors so I guess…give me a chance?”

Oh man, I don’t know if I should give you a job or a sympathy hug. I think I’m gonna go with hug.  Next.

5. Being inappropriately funny:

“Because you guys need me.  I’m the best of the best and then there’s the rest.”

Shockingly, out of the five example bad answers, this one is actually closest to what you do want to say…just maybe not in quite such a cocky way.  No, seriously, this is close.  Keep reading to see what we mean!

But before you do you should download our free Why Do You Want to Work Here Cheat Sheet!

This handy (and FREE!!) pdf contains everything you need to answer this tricky question at a glance, including 5 sample answers you can use to base your answers on!  Click Here To Get The Why Do You Want To Work Here Cheat Sheet!

How To Answer “Why Do You Want This Job?”

The first thing you need to do to prepare for this question is to ask it yourself.  Just “Why do you want to work for this company? 

What do they offer that makes working there enticing?  Is it just the paycheck? 

If that’s all you can find, then maybe you should continue to look for another job.  Yes, money is a great incentive…but it shouldn’t be your only incentive…especially as you continue to advance your career.

So why do I want to work here?

Remember, every job is a stepping stone to your next position and a job that offers you nothing more than money can be just as big a roadblock as no job. 

Speaking of your next position, look at your career goals.  How does this company and this job align with your future plans?  Is this job a stepping stone or a holding cell?  Does the position AND company align well with your personal brand?

(Personal Brand?  What, you don’t have one yet?  Head over to our article Personal Branding for Job Seekers 101 to learn how to build your brand now.)

If you get this job, is it one you really want?  Is it a job you can see yourself doing with enthusiasm? 

Is it a job that, when review time comes around, your supervisor can see that you are not only motivated, but a dedicated employee worthy of advancement and bonuses or are you like a prisoner…just marking time until you get out? 

Can you honestly answer why do you want this job?

Once you answer those questions, ask yourself about the company overall. 

As you’ve done your pre-interview research, have you come across aspects of the company values and goals that align with what you’re looking for?  Can you work for them in good conscience? 

Can you say that what they represent aligns with what you represent?  Would you be proud putting that job on your resume or telling people you work for that corporation in casual conversation?

What is it about the company that attracts you?  What aspects appeal to you? 

Is it the job itself or is it something within the company?  Is it their outreach?  Their community service?  Their role in the bigger global market picture? 

Ask yourself, “Why do I want to work here?

Once you start answering these questions, you can then in turn, refine them down into easy to remember answers that will not only impress your interviewer, but help answer an otherwise stupid question!

Now that we’ve answered those questions, take them and work them into your own answers for the hiring managers…and remember, tailor, tailor tailor!

When refining your answers in relation to the company, here a few key ideas to help spark your own answers:

Focus your answers to include specifics like the company’s overall core values and reputation.  These can also include non-position related things like the company’s community involvement, outreach programs, marketing campaigns, training programs…anything that you find about the company that intrigues you and draws you in.

You can also reference incentive programs and employee awards and or management philosophies.  The idea is you’re digging deeply enough that you’re not only aware of these things but that they resonate with you and make you want to be a part of the corporate structure. 

Big insider secret:  all hiring manager want to bring in people who actually want to work with them!

So, let’s practice a few!

“Why Would You Like To Work For Us?” Example Answers

So without further do, let’s have a look at a couple examples of how to answer this question.  In this first example, we’ll answer the question “Why would you like to work for us?”.


1.
  I saw a story a few months ago on the news about the outreach your company does with the community.  Giving back is a big part of my personal philosophy and I was excited to see that there was a company that felt the same way.  You can imagine how excited I was when I found out there was a job opening in my skill set here.  I would really hope to be able to come to work every day to a place where I knew not only are my technical skills valuable, but my personal philosophies are as well.”

Uh, hello.  Perfect answer!  You’re not only aligning yourself with the company as far as philosophy goes, but you’re complimenting the outreach and promoting your skills at the same time.  It’s a triple threat!  Great job!

“Why Do You Want This Job?” Sample Answers

Now let’s move on to “Why do you want this job.”

1.  I really believe in the value of teamwork and so when I saw a position with your company to join your engineering department I had to make sure my application was put in.  I believe strongly in working with other people towards a common goal and I know the skills I bring not only as an engineer, but as a team member will not only bring me work satisfaction, but will make me a valuable teammate as well.”

This answer is great because it not only highlights your skills as an engineer but also as an individual who works well with others. 

Putting It All Together

As we’ve demonstrated above, although there are definitely wrong answers, there are no set right answers to the question “Why do you want to work for us?” 

Each interview is going to require you to do your homework, your research and your tailoring…but once you do, and you really focus down your answers and target them to not only the position but the company overall, this one seemingly stupid question might just give you the opportunity to whip out your smartest answers yet!

Just remember to keep your answers short, sweet, honest (but not too honest!)…and above all…

Good luck!

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In it you'll get word-for-word sample answers that you can use in your next interview!

INCLUDES sample answers for: "why do you want this job?" as well as "Why do you want to work here?"

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45 Comments

  • Geoffrey

    Reply Reply January 30, 2016

    Thank you so much. I have seen why I have been failing. This is very impressive. I am sure I will get a job soon following your guiding answers common interview questions. thank you once again

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 30, 2016

      Great to hear Geoffrey! Good luck on your interview!

  • Rhoda

    Reply Reply February 11, 2016

    This is very impressive.This will guide on what to answer on monday.Thank you.

  • Lien

    Reply Reply March 10, 2016

    I’m grateful I found this advice! Nicely explained, clearly exhibited, and completed wrapped. Thanks for giving such helpful guide. Please write more like this.

  • Louis

    Reply Reply March 16, 2016

    Thank you, very nice advice, exactly what I’m looking for

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 16, 2016

      Great, good luck on your interview Louis!

  • jeevan james

    Reply Reply March 17, 2016

    thank you mike & jeff!!!

  • Betty

    Reply Reply March 17, 2016

    Thank you for sharing and highlighting the dos and don’ts on this particular question. I have learnt a lot here and I am happy that in the next interview I have I will prepare and mysell very well.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 18, 2016

      Thanks Betty! Good luck on your interview!

  • Arjun

    Reply Reply April 6, 2016

    I was asked same question today, though entire technical went well, I couldn’t answer this that confidently.
    This will help me in next interview.
    Thanks again.

    • Mike Simpson

      Reply Reply April 7, 2016

      Arjun,

      I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t go well for you, but am glad you were able to find our article! Best of luck to you in your next interview.

      Mike

  • kay-k slocombe

    Reply Reply April 17, 2016

    Wow thanks this iz grate.. Perfect for all interviews.. Thanks x

  • Teyana

    Reply Reply April 20, 2016

    I have an interview for Lowes this thursday and im kind of nervous. Ive been on a few interviews but never gotten past them. I dont know why but i always seem to freeze up when i get to the interview .

  • Elle

    Reply Reply May 8, 2016

    I love your advice! But I’m interviewing for jobs in healthcare and it’s a bit different than the corporate world. For example, XYZ Large Health System’s goals are “enhancing patient lives” but the doctor I’m interview with wants to know if I’m a good fit for her clinic. Any suggestions on how to tailor my answer when the doctor doesn’t necessarily care to hear (or value) the same goals as XYZ?

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply May 12, 2016

      Hi Elle,

      Instead of tailoring for the entire health system, tailor for that specific clinic. The key is to find out what problems that particular clinic (and thus that doctor) needs solving and present yourself as the solution to those problems.

  • Ale

    Reply Reply June 2, 2016

    “Dear “Interview Guys Team,”

    I’d like to show my appreciation for sharing such amazing information for free to us, job seekers…I would love to purchase your materials, but, unfortunately isn’t possible.
    I found your website/blog through google search and I really loved. It’s simple to understand and follow your tips.
    I have a hard time on interviews. I get nervous and start to talk too much, so this tips really help me stay on track and follow a “list” if I might say.

    Thank you again for creating these pages and sharing your knowledge with us.
    I wish to you and your team much success and prosperity in all you do.
    May God bless you!

    Sincerely,
    Ale

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply June 3, 2016

      Hello Ale,

      We are very glad we could help! Good luck on your job search!

  • Manolay

    Reply Reply June 30, 2016

    Hello Mike,
    thanks for that piece of great advice. I came to this site because I was seeking help in how to provide answers to job interview questions. I had an interview a few weeks a good and didn’t get the job due to my lack of experience as a new graduate. I realized it was not my lack of experiences but lack of knowing how to provide answers to the questions and the kind of connection I need to give off.

    I have two interviews and hoping to practice on this.

    Thanks again.

  • Mario Langa

    Reply Reply August 11, 2016

    quite impressive. Trust i will not stumble next time. Thanks for the notes

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply August 17, 2016

    Very good way to explain and the examples giving were great!

  • Ugwuoke Tochukwu

    Reply Reply August 18, 2016

    Thanks so much,this is indeed helpful.
    God bless you.

  • hope alison

    Reply Reply September 7, 2016

    Examples giving were great. .thanks for good explanation

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 8, 2016

      Great! Good luck Hope!

  • Mona

    Reply Reply September 23, 2016

    Hi there, This was a great article, thanks so much!
    I recently went to an interview for a casual vacation job at a well known store chain and they asked me this question in the one on one short interviews after a few team building exercises (games really). The position ad and interview were held in a very casual, cheerful and outgoing vibe, and my answer to the question as to why I wanted to work for them was:

    ” It’s a store I frequently go to even if it was just to browse, I love the vibe and environment the stores have as it really inspires me personally and also, being a people person, it would be a great to actually work there and interact with customers. Secondly, it was also the very first store I applied to the first time I wanted to work since moving to Australia, however since I didn’t have any experience with part time work at that point, I didn’t get the job. Two years later, having held down a few part time work positions and gaining significant experience in customer service, teamwork, hospitality and retail I applied once more and I made it through the screenings for this interview, so I’m very happy about it and grateful for this opportunity!”

    Is there anything I should have not said/ can improved on for this kind of interview? I’m hoping to get some practice in 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply September 24, 2016

      Hi Mona,

      I think this is a good answer. You could have zeroed in on a few more specifics in terms of what makes that store special and what makes YOU the perfect candidate that can help them achieve their goals.

  • Brook

    Reply Reply October 15, 2016

    hi

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply October 16, 2016

      hi there 😉

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply October 17, 2016

    The first time I was asked this question , I did exactly like this without even preparing. the secret is to know what the business is looking for, not what you`re looking for when responding to this question.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply October 18, 2016

      Exactly!

  • Cristi Kelly

    Reply Reply November 2, 2016

    I ordered the interview guys master guide. I have read thru the information. With thay being said I have researched the company and have aligned my interview mock question/answers to reflect the job I’m interview for. I am still a bit nervous though. I just hope I don’t get tongue tied when it comes down to my interview tmw.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply November 3, 2016

      It sounds like you are on the exact right track Cristi! Good luck!

  • sumil

    Reply Reply November 3, 2016

    This s the thing what I’m looking for thank u guys…it I’ll help tomorrow

  • Arun Km

    Reply Reply December 3, 2016

    Very nice writing, and it will be helpful for the candidate who going for an interview
    Thank you

  • shilox

    Reply Reply December 10, 2016

    First and foremost I am an artist and hate when I get the “great work” as opposed to composition, color, depth, motion, emotion, subject question … ect. This article has taught me the Why of me as opposed to the why of the interviewer. Thank you so much for that, now I can say more than “great work”. I can honestly ask myself why? Thank you for that advice for if I can answer honestly to myself, I am able to speak freely, professionally and answer any other concerns technically easily keeping it short, sweet and focused.
    Thank you Jeff!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply December 12, 2016

      Fantastic to hear! Good luck on your interview!

  • Luong Vu

    Reply Reply January 12, 2017

    Wow, I’ve recently found this web and it is really helpful and informative.
    Thanks a lot ! 😀

  • Kevine Kakou

    Reply Reply January 13, 2017

    this has to be the most enlightening job article out there. I have always thought that i was just unlucky, reason why i could never find a good job like my peers. upon my upcoming graduation i need to find something in the marketing department; and this article just opened my eyes on a couple of things: humility is not necessarily key, tailor tailor tailor, extensive research about what the company offers, can i see myself working for this company and will i be proud to put it on my resume? finally being honest with myself. thank you for the great advice through this article.

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply January 13, 2017

      I’m so glad this our article helped Kevine! Good luck!

  • Abdirisak Aden Esse

    Reply Reply January 23, 2017

    I think this is a good answer. i have get a lot of information in here and i hope will prepare my next interview well thank you sir.

  • Erick Silva

    Reply Reply January 26, 2017

    Thank you Jeff!

  • musa

    Reply Reply February 7, 2017

    i found this useful and i got hired just last week, am gonna recommend this to everyone. thank you so much guys, be blessed

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply February 8, 2017

      So happy to hear that Musa!

  • julian

    Reply Reply June 4, 2017

    Thanks a lot for the insightful information provided/ Just what I needed to answer that terrible question 🙂

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