Welcome to today's episode, which is about your motivation to get the new job. "Why do you want to work here?" might sound like a simple question, and many applicants get misled by this. As a hiring manager, I have often heard candidates answer this question by saying things like "Because you are the market leader", "You offer great career development opportunities", or "It is the right next step in my career". These answers never convinced me as they are too one-sided and not genuine. A good answer balances the applicants' interests and what they can contribute so that employing them becomes a win-win situation. And a convincing answer not only includes what the candidate likes about the company or job but also why these things matter. This way, the answer becomes more personal, and the motivation to join is perceived as more genuine. It helps build trust with the interviewer and gives them the feeling that the candidate intends to stay long-term.
So how to prepare a balanced and convincing answer? Well, there is a simple four-step approach:
- Step 1: Why would it make you proud to work for the company? Identify what you like most about the company. It could be their mission, vision, values, products, services, customers, history, the impact they make or anything else that would make you proud to work there. Once you have identified one or two things, also think about why this matters to you. For example: Why do you want to work for the market leader? Is it because you want to make an impact with your work and working for the market leader will offer you the opportunity to solve some of the biggest problems?
- Step 2: Why is it a good cultural fit? Read about the company's culture on its website. If you know people who are or have been employed there, talk to them. Identify one or two things that would make you feel motivated to work there. Again, think about why this matters to you. For instance, you might like that the company is known for its diversity because working in diverse environments inspires you and broadens your horizons.
- Step 3: Why is this the right role for you? Think about what you like about the role and why this is the right next step for you. Make sure you also cover what you bring to the table that makes you a good fit.
- Step 4: Compile the results of the first three steps into one answer. Don't go into all the details, but choose the most important highlights. Your answer shouldn't be much longer than 30 seconds. Make sure it covers what makes you want to join, why this matters to you and what your contributions will be. My recommendation is to avoid talking about the company's benefits, as this, in most cases, creates a one-sided focus.
Let me finish by giving you an example of a good answer. Imagine a candidate who applied to a company specializing in healthcare technology, saying: "There are a couple of reasons why I want to work here. One is your track record of improving healthcare with innovative technology. I want to make an impact with my work, and as part of your team, I could help solve some of the biggest healthcare problems. Also, I like that diversity is one of your core values. Working in a diverse environment inspires me and helps me broaden my horizons. Having worked in five different countries, I'm convinced I can add new perspectives to your team, and I like the role because I can contribute with my project management skills and 10+ years of industry experience. At the same time, with the additional responsibilities and the technology-focus of the role, it feels like a great next career step for me."
This answer covers what the candidate likes about the company, its culture and the new role, why this matters, and how the applicant can contribute.
These were the four steps for answering the question, "Why do you want this job?". Well done! Once you have gone through them, you will probably have an answer that sticks out, that helps you connect with the interviewer and increases your chances of getting an offer. That's it for today!
Thank you for listening, and I hope this was helpful to you.