How to answer common interview questions: 'Why do you want to work for this company?'

Welcome to another instalment of our blog series on how to answer common interview questions. This next one is something not everyone anticipates coming up.

Why do you want to work for this company?

It’s a question that often comes up when an interviewer wants to understand your motivations. It’s not a trick question, it’s simply an insight into the reasons behind your application. If you anticipate this question before it’s asked, you won’t panic or overthink your answer.

So how should you answer?

The best way to answer this question is to be honest. Giving a confident, candid answer bodes well, so long as you’re not too honest. Jokes about needing a job, liking the perks or wanting the paycheck at the end of the month won’t translate well. Giving a genuine answer shows your commitment to the interview and ultimately shows your seriousness about this job.

Highlight your interest

Your answer needs to show that you genuinely care about the way you’re coming across, so answering confidently is a surefire way to do this. The best thing you can do is research the company, which sounds obvious, but not everyone does it. Learn the company’s reputation, core values and specialism. You can find the aspects you most align with and highlight this connection to the hiring manager. The link between personal ambitions and the company’s direction is something other candidates may not think to do. 

Equally, if this company offers growth opportunities you’ve not experienced before, make it known. Now isn’t the time to badmouth your current or past workplaces, but you definitely can broadcast a desire to further your career. Revealing a willingness to learn demonstrates ambition, a very attractive quality to most, if not all, employers. 

Ultimately, by highlighting the positive aspects of the company, you’re showing the hiring manager you’ve put effort into your interview prep. 

Sell yourself

Another way to view this question is ‘Why should they hire you?’. Whilst this question may be asked separately, both questions hold the same foundation in wanting to understand your motivation. You can take this question as an opportunity to describe how well you would fit into the company. If you have relevant experience, now is the time to show it off. You may be able to bring value to the company that another applicant can’t. Everyone has unique experiences which stand out to the interviewer, so now is the time to highlight yours. Describing how you’ll better the company sells yourself to the interviewer more than a piece of paper could. 

You can also highlight your passion for this industry, what hiring manager doesn’t want to hear that? Someone with a real interest in compliance will fit into a team more than someone trying to earn a paycheck.

The crux of this question is ‘Why do you want them’ and ‘Why should they want you’. Your aim is to show them you’re there for the right reasons. Answer confidently and honestly, and show you’ve done your research. If you highlight your skills and genuine enthusiasm for joining the company, the hiring manager is almost definitely going to be impressed!

How to answer common interview questions blog series:

Tell me about yourself
Describe your current role
What are your weaknesses?
How did you handle a difficult situation?

For more help, advice, and interview coaching, give us a call on 0207 117 2542, email us at jobs@ajfoxcompliance.com, or message us on LinkedIn.

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Posted by: AJ Fox Compliance