The Best Way to Answer "Why do You Want to Work for Us?"
This question comes up in nearly every interview you’ll have and it’s worth taking the time to understand what the hiring manager is really asking. He/She is really trying to find out if you will fit in with the company’s culture, if you truly understand the position/duties and if you are likely to stay in this role for a while.
They also want to get a sense of your career goals and understand exactly what drew you to this particular position at their company. They’re also wondering if you are the kind of person who will dig in to find out more about the company’s values, to learn about recent press releases and how your company responded to changes in the industry.
That’s a lot more than you thought, right? So, it matters that you do a great job of answering this question in two parts: you want to address why you are interested in this company as well as why you are drawn to this job.
Here are some strategies to ensure you are thoroughly prepared:
- Start with the research: Carefully read the company’s website… especially the About Us and News/Press sections. Check them out on LinkedIn and other social media platforms and read a few of the articles on their blog.
- Take notes on items that interest you or relate to your skills. Then take all those notes and choose 3 things you can speak about in the interview and highlight how your interests, experience or career goals are a good match for the company and this position.
- Do a Google Search to find trends happening in the industry and how this company compares to the competition. Read about the General Manager or senior staff and get familiar with their backgrounds.
- Ask your own network of friends and colleagues who they may know at the company and get some first-hand information about the culture as well as hopefully gaining an inside advocate for the job.
- Ask yourself what you like about the company. Is it the prestige of a big hotel chain? Reputation for luxury and elegance? Do you admire their community engagement? Do they offer strong training programs and promote from within? Do you resonate with their company values?
- Once you understand what has drawn you to the company, make sure you dig deep enough to give specific examples of what you like and why. Demonstrate that you went the extra mile to be able to share details.
- Now…. Ask yourself what you like about this particular job. What interests you about it and how will it fit into your career goals? What skills and experience do you bring to the job that will help you succeed and hit the deck running?
- Be sure you tailor your answers to each company and specific job. Use the details of the job description to guide you. You want to be able to provide thoughtful examples of how your skills and values align with the company and what you can contribute.
- Keep your answers short and to the point. You want to be honest and enthusiastic, but not fake. You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. Hiring managers want employees that want to work for their company. They believe you’ll work harder and stay longer if the job means more than just a paycheck to you.
So, putting it all together, you want to answer this common question ...
... with specific information showing you really know what the company stands for and that the mission aligns with your values and goals.
... by mentioning how your experience and skills are appropriate for the job and how you’ll be successful, dependable and a good team player.
... with clear, concise specifics so the interviewer is able to connect the dots… don’t assume he/she understands what you’re getting at... spell it out.
... with enthusiasm about what excites you and how this job makes sense within the framework of your career goals.