How to Answer the Infamous “Why Do You Want To Work Here” Interview Question

How to Answer the Infamous “Why Do You Want To Work Here” Interview Question

Congratulations, you’ve landed an interview! You’re really excited about the job and have your interview outfit ready to go. You might even have a few prepared answers for questions that are likely to come up, including “where do you see yourself in five years” and “why are you looking to make a change.” 

But there’s another predictable question that trips many people up when asked: Why do you want to work here? 

Answering “for the paycheck” might be the real truth, but it’s frowned upon to say that — plus, they know. You also don’t want to paint too rosy or enthusiastic a picture about something being a dream job if it isn’t. The best response is an answer that’s honest and direct with a little personal information included as well. 

Here’s how to answer the big question of why you want to work in this specific job, for this particular company, when asked during an interview. 

  • First of all, research the company, the position and the industry. Before the interview, do your homework. You want to be able to speak with confidence about what the company does and why you’re interested in the position, but you need to be able to put things into context. It’s also a sure-fire way to impress the person interviewing you if you can demonstrate that you’ve spent time learning about the company and gathering whatever information you can about the potential ins-and-outs of the job in a way that you can apply your previous work to this position. 
  • Talk about how this job fits into your current skills and helps you grow. Without talking about your future beyond this job, talk about how this position would help you build on your interests and experience. You’re excited for the chance to expand your knowledge over time while utilizing the skills you already have in a new way. You’re familiar with using your abilities in the way your current position requires them, but you’d like to embrace a new challenge and find new ways to excel in the abilities you already have and enjoy. How would this job help you do that? Be as specific as possible. 
  • Link your successes together. In addition to helping your own career succeed, talk about how you’d like to help the company succeed and build on its existing wins and reputation. If there’s something direct you can tie your job to in terms of helping the company, do so. For example, if you’re applying for a customer service job, talk about how you know the company’s looking to expand into a particular market, and you have background in that area, so you’re excited about the opportunity to take your expertise and apply it in this position to help the company reach its goals. If you’re a data or analytical person, talk about how you’d love to help the company find new opportunities to expand into niche markets by using more targeted approaches based on the trends you’ll learn about in the job. 
  • Speak to your values. If you really like giving of your time to causes that matter to you, and the company has a great volunteering program, connect those dots. If you have a family at home to care for, mention how you’re excited about the opportunity to have a new job at a company that values an employee’s multiple commitments to both work and family and how that’s something you’d like to align yourself with. If the company is known for making generous contributions to social causes in the community, find one that you’ve also donated to and talk about why that matters to you personally. A new generation of workers is very open about looking for more than a paycheck at work; they want to work for a company that does good in the community in addition to providing stability. There’s no downside in sharing the things that you value and how you appreciate working for a company that has a role in the community outside its bottom line. 
  • Flattery. There’s always the chance that the job you’re applying to and interviewing for, this one right here, actually is a dream job. Say as much! Tell the interviewer why you’re excited to work for the company that has earned such a strong reputation for customer service, or for innovative thinking and creativity. Talk about why this company is so impressive to you and how you’ve always dreamed about the chance to join its ranks because it’s so impressive and respected. If it’s not literally your dream job, but the company is an upstanding, well-respected corporate citizen who is known throughout the area as being involved in great work as much as good deeds, focus on that. 


The more research you can do on the company and, if possible, the position to which you’re applying, the better you’ll be able to tailor your responses to impress the interviewer. You want to be honest and sincere with a touch of “wow” built in, leaving a great impression that you’re a dedicated and curious candidate who would make a fantastic employee. Good luck! 

If you’re still weighing your options, or you’d like other advice on how to ace the interview, call LeadingEdge Personnel. Our recruiters can help you prepare for other anticipated questions based on the relationships they have with our clients and, if needed, they can point you toward jobs that are currently open and in need of people with your background and skills. If you’re ready to make a change, call LeadingEdge Personnel. 

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