4 Strategies for Answering “Why Do You Want this Job?”


It’s a tricky but common question that is sure to come up during a job interview so it’s best for candidates to always have a ready answer for it.

Why do you want this job?

You may have been asked this question before and a million thoughts may have run through your mind. Should you tell them you’re taking this job to pay off your debts? Can you tell them you’re applying because your friend is working for them? Would it impress them if you said it’s because you like their uniform?

Yes, we may all have different reasons for wanting to work for a company but are they good enough to make you an instant hire? This question doesn’t have to be a difficult hurdle for interviewees. Here are several approaches that interviewees can take to give a compelling response.


1. Show how the position aligns with your career plans

Sample answer:  (For a magazine publishing position) “My ultimate goal is to become an editor-in-chief of a lifestyle magazine.  I know it’s still a long road for me as a fresh graduate but I want to get off on the right foot. That’s why the opening for the Editorial Assistant position caught my eye immediately. I know that the skills I would learn here would help me get closer to my dream.”

One of the best ways to show that you’re a good fit for a job is how it relates to your future career goals. It leaves the impression that you are someone who is invested in learning and growing in the role offered, and hirers look for that in their candidates. Highlight how hiring you can be a mutually beneficial experience for you and the company.


2. Talk about your passions and hobbies, and show how it relates to the job

Sample answer: (For a job at a restaurant) “I grew up in a household with great cooks. It’s a passion that’s been instilled in me ever since I can remember. Eating and preparing food bring joy to me, that’s why I immediately grabbed the opportunity to apply for this post. It would make me very happy to make a living as a chef for this restaurant.”

Here’s another way you can win over your interviewers: convey your enthusiasm for the job by relating it to your interests. Hirers want people who would enjoy the role they’re offering, so show them it’s something you want to do whether you get paid for it or not.


3. Exhibit your enthusiasm to become part of the company

Sample answer: (For a product development role) “I’ve been a fan of your service ever since your launch in 2007. You stood out among all the music streaming websites by offering obscure artists who no other site had in their collection at that time. As a big music fan, I appreciate that you take chances in your choice of music. That’s why I got so excited when I heard that you opened up an opportunity for your followers to become part of your development team. I do have some great ideas that can make the experience a lot better for the site’s users.”

Compliments can get you far in the job-hunting game. When done sincerely, it can boost your chance at nabbing the role. Again, this conveys interest and enthusiasm that hirers look for in their candidates. Using this approach, you’ll come out as a better hire as opposed to somebody who’s just in it for the money, or worse, a candidate who has no idea what the company does.


4. Express how the company’s values and mission are similar to your own

Sample answer: (For a career in human resources/job placement) “While doing research on the company, I discovered that one of your company’s visions is to improve people’s lives by providing them great careers. It’s a cause that resonates with me and something I want to be part of. I truly believe it’s what our country needs to be a better place for its citizens. By serving in this role, I can be a part of this very worthy mission.”

People want to be with others who share the same ideals and visions. If you’re lucky to find a company with ideals and visions that match yours, use them to make yourself stand out from the competition. Hirers would see you as an ally who can bring the company’s goals into fruition. By doing research on the companies you’re applying for, you might just find that one with values that reflect your own.


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Now that you have learned the different techniques to answering this tricky interview question, choosing the right approach can help you impress hirers. As each interview scenario is unique, you need to be flexible with the approaches you choose whenever you go for interviews. You can even combine several of the suggestions here to help you stress your points, but just remember to rehearse with a trusted friend to help you sound natural on interview day.