How to answer “Why do you want this position?”​

This question might look simple but can be surprisingly tricky to answer, especially without knowing what the interviewer wants to know. Your answer might determine the outcome if you are hired or not, or even if you will be moved to the next interview stage or not. 

Why do interviewers ask this question?

When the interviewer asks you this question, they want to find out the following.

  • How much research have you done about the company?
  • How will this role fit into your long term career goals?
  • How will this role help you develop and grow specific skills?
  • Why does the company appeal to you?

How to prepare

The key to any interview is preparation, research, practice, and authenticity. 

  • What exactly made you apply in the first place? What excites you when you read the job description; what stood out? What are you passionate about? This is a great way to start your answer to this popular interview question. 
  • Do your research about the company. Go beyond the basics of only looking at the careers page. Check reviews on Glassdoor, news articles, CEO interviews, quarterly reports, CSR projects etc. 
  • Read about the company’s values, mission, and vision. If you stand for the same values and are passionate about them, you can impress your interviewer by saying that you want to help them on their mission and that you are aligned with their company values. 
  • Think back to any past projects that you have worked on that can be related to the role you’ve applied to. To impress the interviewer, mention examples of how you can help the company achieve its goals and mention any other skills that match the job description. 

What you can reply

  • “This is where I want to be in five years [insert plans here], and this is how this role fits into that plan [insert how here].”
  • “I want this position because your company values align with my personal beliefs, and I believe in your company’s mission and vision [insert why here]”.
  • “I feel excited about this role because I will get the chance to improve my skills within this area [insert skills & area here] and grow in my career.” 

Example reply 

“In my next career move, I want to find a role to help me grow my leadership skills. I saw your job ad on LinkedIn and it immediately stood out because one of the main responsibilities mentions leading a dynamic and international team across three countries. I have experience doing this from my current employer for the past two years, but now I want to try something new and lead a bigger team for a more stable company with a strong vision like yours. This will help me grow further as a manager, and since I have a lot of experience managing teams, I will have a short learning curve. I also feel your company values match what I am looking for in an employer. That is why I want this position”. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Employers want to know why YOU believe you are a good fit for the role, and how you answer this question will help you make it or break it.
  2. Researching the company goes a long way, and showing your passion for the role is vital.
  3. Preparing and practicing your answer to this popular interview question will help you ace your interview!  

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