One interview question that you should prepare for is, “Why do you want this job?” Now it may be that you want the job because you need a job (you’re unemployed) or you badly want to get out of the job you are in (you’re unhappily employed). But of course neither of these reasons will be compelling to a potential employer. You need to come up with a reason that not only works for you, but also for the employer.
Here are some ways that you can answer this question to the satisfaction of your interviewer:
Tie your background and skills to the requirements listed on the vacancy announcement. Don’t assume that the interviewer will automatically see what a great fit you are with the company based on your resume alone. You need to make the match explicit in the mind of the interviewer. Talk in specific terms about how you have used the skills the company is looking for in previous positions.
Speak enthusiastically about what you know about the company based on your research. Your company research should prepare you to speak knowledgeably about the company’s products or services, its customers, and any new initiatives that are coming down the pike. Again, you should make it clear that you are a great fit because of your previous experience and your knowledge of the company’s needs.
Talk about how the company’s mission fits with your personal mission. You can usually view a company’s mission statement on the company website. In preparing for the interview you should think about the alignment between the company’s mission and yours. If the company mentions in its mission statement that it has a commitment to the highest level of customer service, for example, you can speak about your commitment to customer service and tell a story about how you have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide customer service in an emergency situation.
Discuss how your values align with the company’s values. Many companies list their values statements on their websites. By reviewing a company’s statement prior to the interview, you can prepare to talk about how your values are in harmony with the company’s and make a good case for being hired. So if the company lists integrity as one of its values, you can talk about how important integrity is for you and even give a personal example of how you have demonstrated integrity on the job in the past.
So when an employer asks you why you want the job, you can give an answer that will confirm for them that you will be a great new hire.
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