If you’re looking for how to answer “why do you want to work here?” chances are you’ve already written a super resume and winning cover letter which has landed you a job interview!

Congratulations!

If you haven’t put your killer resume together yet, what are you waiting for? 

Check out these simple-to-use and striking resume templates from Resume Cats!

Job interviews aren’t always the most fun way to spend your day, but if you’ve got one coming up, you will need to think of some effective answers to really impress your interviewer.

There are tonnes of different kinds of careers from chef to surgeon, accountant to acrobat…

But no matter what job you’re going for, you’ll definitely be asked:

“Why do you want to work here?”

“Why do you want this job?”

“Why are you interested in working for us?”

These questions may seem vague, but it makes total sense that employers would want to know why you want to work for them.

They want to know what it is specifically about their company or workplace that attracts you

It will help them gauge whether you are a good fit for their company and what motivates you at work.

So it’s a great time to show off just how fabulous you are!

Still, for interviewees, this question can be intimidating. It’s often asked near the beginning of your interview, meaning that it sets the tone for the rest of your discussion.

Don’t fret! Resume Cat’s has got your back when it comes to absolutely nailing this question and setting a great tone for the rest of your interview. 

One massive advantage of this question is that you can think about your answer beforehand.

When it comes to working out how to answer “why do you want to work here?” take a look at these examples that cover a whole range of different situations.

Just find one or two answers that you like and think about how you can adapt them to fit your situation!

Source: Unsplash

Quick Tips on How To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

  • Answer The Question – It sounds obvious, but some candidates trip up by giving really vague answers or never actually answering the question “why do you want to work for us?” They might talk about the field in general or why they are a good candidate instead. Make sure to explain why you want to work for that company specifically.
  • Prepare Your Answer Beforehand – Some of us are great at coming up with confident and coherent answers on the fly, but when you’re nervous, sometimes your brain just doesn’t cooperate. Take advantage of this inevitable question and prepare a skilful answer that will get your interview off to a flying start.
  • Buy Yourself Time – If you need a second to think, you can subtly buy yourself some thinking time by rephrasing the question before you answer, e.g. “Well, I would like to work for you because…” Works like a charm!
  • Don’t Memorise Your Answer Word-for-Word – Preparing your answer is one thing, but sounding like a robot is another, (you don’t want to be boring!) Instead, remember the key points of your answer and let it flow naturally in the interview. Showing off your stellar personality is important too!
  • Take Advantage Of Video Interviews – Video interviews are increasingly common. Write some bullet points on a sticky note to jog your memory and keep it by your side, (but out of your video frame!) 
  • Don’t Say “For The Money” – Of course, having an income is a major reason that anyone gets a job, but using this to answer “why do you want to work here?” won’t score you any points. The company is looking out for your values and what you can provide for them.

Source: Unsplash

Answer 1 – The All In One

With this approach, you’re bound to hit on one of the key points that the interviewer is looking for when they ask “why do you want to work for us?” 

Interviewers are most likely trying to find out three basic things by asking this question. 

What can you do for this company? What can you do for this role? What value can you add to our company?

In fact, best selling author, speaker and life-coach Allison Task perfectly sums up the purpose of this question in our interview with her:

Remember, you’re selling yourself. You’re the waiter, not the diner. They are determining if they want to hire you…try to make it about them and the way you can serve THEM.”

Example

“Your products have a fantastic global reputation and you’ve won a multitude of awards for your work in the field of security technology. I was really impressed by your forward-thinking and innovative approach to fully integrated home security systems. I’d really like to work for your company because it is inventive and modern. With my experience in technology project management, I know that I can be a valuable asset to your team.”

Why This Answer Works 

This answer has directly and eloquently answered three slightly different questions:

Why do you want this job? Why do you want to work here and what about you fits this company well?

The answer has demonstrated their knowledge of the company, a specific reason for their interest in the position and how their personality and qualifications fit the role, (they also used the word innovative, which we all know is a great buzzword!)

Source: Unsplash

Answer 2 – Mission Driven

If you’re going for a job at a charity, non-profit or mission-driven company, then showing your commitment to their mission is a really good way to answer “why are you interested in working for us?” 

Most of these companies have their mission statement on their website, so get researching!

Founder and President of HBL Resources, Lisa L. Perez, summed this important point up perfectly in our interview with her:

“[One of the most common mistakes people make is] not reading the full job description, not ensuring they are a fit for the company by researching the company, it’s mission and specific details about the company that make them truly interested in that role.”

Example

“I believe in your mission of improving the lives of the most vulnerable. For me, quality health and social care are the keys to a fruitful and productive society. My university dissertation also focused on health and welfare politics, specifically for the elderly in the UK, which relates really well to your campaign for better old-age care.”

Why This Answer Works 

This answer demonstrates loads of highly valuable skills in less than two minutes. It shows that you have researched their mission and that you value their goals, by linking them to the wider world. 

This answer also reminds the interviewer of an educational experience that they can ask you about later on. If there is something from your resume you really want to talk about in the interview, you can use your answer to “why do you want to work for us?” to remind them of it!

Source: Unsplash

Answer 3 – Consumer-Focused Companies

Interviewers hear the same boring answers to the question: “why do you want this job?” all the time. 

If you want to stand out, you need to give them a different and effective answer.

One great way to do this, especially for companies with consumers in mind, is by showing how you can relate to the consumer to help the company deliver and sell their product or service.

Example

“Aside from my previous digital marketing experience, I’ve always been a fan of vintage photography. I use your large polaroid range religiously because it’s the highest quality polaroid camera on the market. I know that I can bring a fresh perspective on the interests of consumers and the value that your products provide them. As a digital marketing assistant, I could help your brand to relate to customers in a personal way.”

Why This Answer Works

This answer might pique the interest of the interviewer because you are providing value on two levels. (Remember the interviewer could be 50 candidates in and trying not to fall asleep!) 

Not only can you help their company as an experienced employee, but you can bring a valuable consumer perspective through your passion for the product. 

This way, the interviewer knows you’ll be viewing their products in the best possible light. (it also flatters the employer a little bit too!)

Overall, this answers the question “why do you want to work for us?” by talking about this particular company’s products and how this knowledge will help the company’s wider goals.

Source: Unsplash

Answer 4 – Internships

Normally it’s not great to mention that you see a company as a ‘stepping stone’ if somebody asks you “why do you want to work for us?”

The one exception for mentioning this is a fixed-term internship or work placement. 

Some of these are set up specifically as a ‘stepping stone’, so there is no problem framing your answer around your wider career goals.

Here’s how to answer “why are you interested in working for us” for a fixed-term internship or work placement interview.

Example

“I am drawn to the fantastic reputation of your firm, and I am ambitious for a career in finance. I have also read lots of excellent reviews from other interns who have gone onto obtain successful banking careers. Because of this, I know that your company can equip me with invaluable skills, knowledge and experience. I’m also keen to contribute to one of your unique intern-led projects and demonstrate my leadership skills at this company.”

Why This Answer Works

This answer highlights the reputation of the firm. Interviewers will always be happy to hear this, as they will be concerned with their image in the wider world.

Importantly, you have answered “why do you want this job” in particular by highlighting the intern-led project. It shows how you can contribute as a temporary intern in a targeted way.

Take some time to research the internship programme of the company that you’re interested in  to work out how you can talk about their specific internship experience. 

Source: Unsplash

Answer 5 – The Working Culture

All workplaces have a culture that informs the style of everything they do. 

It’s important that you like the working culture when you’re applying for a job. 

Take Buzzfeed for example. Their style is a lot more laid back than somewhere like the Financial Times! 

Focusing on company culture can be a good way to get a specific and company-focused answer to the question “why do you want to work for us?”

Remember, a job interview is a two-way process; you’re finding out about them as much as they are finding out about you!

You can find some great advice on finding the right job for you in our interview with the fascinating Transformational Coach, Aurora Meneghello:

“The best thing you can do for yourself is to only apply to jobs you genuinely want. Or, if you don’t have enough information, to jobs you think you could possibly want. The interview process is a discovery process for all parties involved, so it’s good to be open” 

Example

“I want to work for your company because I like the relaxed, young and forward-thinking atmosphere of the organisation. Your approach to content production is refreshing and naturally fits with my out-of-the-box way of thinking, so I think that I can fit in really well into the social media team and bring lots of fun and effective ideas to the table.”

Why This Answer Works

This answer demonstrates a perceptive awareness of the company culture and the values that underlie the work they do. 

It lets the interviewer know that you’ll fit in quickly and get on well with others in the team. This may seem minor, but for employers, having a team with good chemistry, good communication, and no tension leads to more productive and innovative work.

Source: Unsplash

Answer 6 – Progression

Hiring people can be a big faff. 

Most companies want to build a team of experienced people who know the company well because it leads to a better working culture and less time spent training! 

Because of this, they’ll want to know that you’re interested in building a career with them.

If you can see yourself staying and progressing at a company, give it a mention when answering “why are you interested in working for us?”

Example

“I am tremendously interested in your current projects centred around reviving the local economy through investing in infrastructure, education and construction. As a local resident, it is really important to me that the community is looked after. I see this company as a place that I can use my administrative skills to help the team deliver on local projects. I hope to work hard and progress to administrative manager in the future.”

Why This Answer Works

The candidate has shown their experience and evidence of why they see themselves staying with this organisation for the long haul. 

This is great news for employers who are looking to hire somebody for a permanent position that is ambitious and cares about their work. 

It shows that you will pay full attention and put 110% into your work for them.

Source: Unsplash

Answer 7 – The Curve Ball

When you’re deciding how to answer why you want to work here, you’ll want to make sure that you’re a memorable candidate.

This is especially important in a job market where one opening is being applied to by over 50 candidates.

One way to stand out from the crowd is to be honest, without being so honest that you don’t seem like a good fit for the role.

When done right, it can be refreshing and catch the attention of the interviewer.

Example

“I hadn’t considered education consulting until I saw this position, but I’ve discovered that I am really interested in educational work. My many years of experience in business consulting can bring useful perspectives and practical value to business problems in education. I noticed in particular that you work with [x company.] I’d love to work for a company that takes a collaborative approach to education improvement. “

Why This Answer Works

Letting the interviewer know that you didn’t know much about their company at first can be a way to cut the tension in an interview. 

It also shows honesty, which is an important attribute for any worker. Managers will be keen to hire somebody that they deem trustworthy. 

However, it’s really important that this answer doesn’t emphasise a lack of knowledge, but instead highlights experience and enthusiasm about the company and the position.

Source: Unsplash

Answer 8 – The Perfect Fit

Often qualifications are an essential part of the job description, but for interviewers, they don’t always tell you much about the candidates working style or personality.

Your experience can be what sets you apart from the other candidates with similar qualifications to you. 

In short, highlighting your experience is always a good way to answer the question “why do you want this job?”

Example

“I believe that my demonstrable experience caring for patients and assisting nurses is invaluable to this role and matches all of the essential job requirements very well. With my time spent working in paediatrics and familiarity with the management systems that your hospital uses, I can get to know my role quickly.”

Why This Answer Works 

This answer emphasizes the importance of your experience to this role, subtly letting the employer know that they won’t have to spend too much time training you or overseeing your work. 

It shows that you are practical and results-oriented, (and every workplace is looking to produce some kind of result!)

Source: Unsplash

Answer 9 – Commercial Awareness

Speaking about recent media coverage surrounding your interviewer’s company is a marvellous way to answer the question “why are you interested in working for us?”

It shows that you’re knowledgeable, prepared and understand the challenges and considerations the company must take.

There are more great resources on the internet than ever before that you can use to improve your commercial awareness. If you don’t fancy reading about it, why not check out a podcast that’s relevant to your industry?

Example

“I saw recently that your MD was featured in the Car World Magazine for her successful adaptation to the recent changes to the industry, like the rise of electric cars. I admire your company’s progressive vision and consider myself a dynamic and forward-thinking individual. I would love to work for a company that looks to the future.”

Why This Answer Works

This answer shows that you’ve done your research and that you’re aware of the challenges facing the industry, (let’s face it, these days – it’s really important to know how the pandemic has affected the field you want to work in!) 

You have shown that you know about the reputation of the firm and how your personality fits well with the company’s values.

Source: Unsplash

Answer 10 – For When You Have No Experience

Everyone has to get their first job at some point. 

So inevitably, you’re going to be in a position where you have no experience for the job that you’re applying for. 

It can be disheartening to get stuck in a loop of ‘I can’t get a job because I have no experience  and I can’t get experience because I can’t get a job.’ 

But keep your chin up, everyone who has a job has done it once!

A good action to take is to highlight your “soft skills” (e.g. attention to detail, leadership, organisation) and your qualifications.

Top Tip!

Get creative with your experience! There’s probably a lot that you’ve done that has given you valuable experience which is relevant to any job. You just need to think about it creatively.

Gave a speech at a school or university assembly? – Public speaking skills! 

Fundraised for a charity? – Results-driven team worker! 

Babysitting experience? – Communication with people from different walks of life and excellent timekeeping! 

Example

“I admired your work organising the county fete because of the fun social media videos that you produced after the event. I enjoy making videos for my own social media and would love to work for a company where I can express my natural creativity. As a volunteer for the British Liver Foundation, I am experienced in handling finances, meeting goals and working well in a team. These skills fit the job description very well.”

Why This Answer Works

This answer plays up all of the candidates “soft skills”, but doesn’t emphasise their lack of work experience. 

They have shown that they have some experience with common tasks in any job such as handling money, working in a team and meeting deadlines. 

They’ve even incorporated some of their hobbies like social media to fit the requirements of the job as well as showing their qualifications and company knowledge. Ace!

Source: Unsplash

With these ten awesome answers for how to answer “why do you want to work here?” you’ll be able to find an inspiring answer that will get you noticed by your interviewer. 

Remember, you can always pick and choose the bits that you like best and craft your own unique answer for your next job interview.

The first step to getting that all-important job interview is creating a winning resume that catches anyone’s eye against all of those boring Microsoft Word CV templates.
Check out our simple Resume Builder to create a resume that stands out from the crowd, just as much as you do!