When preparing for an interview in this job market, it is surprising to find that even the simplest questions can seem overwhelming. When a potential employer asks you why you want to work at their company, it can almost seem like a trick question. This is actually a very common job interview question, which is why it is helpful to always be prepared to stay on your toes during the interview process.
If you are interviewing for a new job, then you do need to expect to be asked why you would like to work for the company. This is actually a very revealing question, and the employer is hoping to find out if you know anything at all about the company that you are interviewing with. This question will also reveal if you really want to work for that company, and if you would fit in with the company if you were to work there. This is a standard and recommended interview question, so be prepared for it to be asked of you more often than not.
Start out by doing your research about the company that you are interviewing with. You don’t necessarily need to sound as if you have memorized information, but the Internet is a wonderful tool to give you background information about your future employer. You may have interviewed with many similar companies, especially in this job market, so before your interview, prepare yourself with specific facts about this potential employer.
The best way to answer this question about why you would like to work for this company is to include two or three things that you like or appreciate about the said company. These should be things that are unique to the company, such as what sets them apart from their competitors. Obviously, if you are interviewing in a specific department, like accounting or sales, then it is helpful to include detailed information about the department that you are interviewing for.
Avoid a tactless answer that may make you sound insincere. Meaning, don’t simply answer this question by telling the company that you want to make more money or have health benefits. This has absolutely nothing to do with your job position, and the company wants to hear that you are specifically interested in them and not the benefits that they could offer you.
Also, take this question as an opportunity to turn it back onto yourself. When your future employer asks you why you want to work for their company, begin by telling them several positive things about their company, and then turn it back around onto yourself to conclude with how you would be a good fit for the company. You don’t simply want to answer this question by sounding like you have memorized the company’s brochure, and you want to conclude the question by highlighting how your strengths would be an asset to the company.
For instance, if one of the main things that you like about this company is their extensive training program for new employees, then turn that around to also let them know that you take pride in training new employees and would love to be a trainer in the program someday.
Last of all, don’t make the mistake of making up anything about the company or talking about something that you have not completely researched. Be prepared for the employer to want to discuss your answer with you, and don’t just answer the question with something that you have read briefly about the company online. This is your opportunity to shine!
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Chuggin McCoffee is a coffee fanatic that has spent the entirety of his career cultivating and studying all of the best uses and brewing styles for optimal coffee and espresso flavor. His specialty site for all coffee needs, supplies, and Bunn Filters can be found at www.thecoffeebump.com.
Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations. In 2005, Scot started sharing these hard lessons at CubeRules.com, a site devoted to Career Advice for knowledge workers, whom he calls Cubicle Warriors.