Why do you want to work here? How to answer the hardest interview question of them all.
When it comes to difficult interview questions, this one is probably the toughest of all. You will inevitably be faced with this question at some point in the application process for a new job, whether it is in the online application, during a phone interview or in a face-to-face interview. Any potential employer wants to know that you really want to work for them, and this question naturally goes a long way to answering that. A new recruit who is genuinely interested in the firm will work harder, be more successful and ultimately, will contribute to a strong employee-retention rate.
For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you know what industry, sector and role you are looking for, and that by being a well-informed and motivated candidate, you will stand out from the crowd. How to become that is what we will discuss here.
Having a deep understanding and knowledge of the firm with which you will be interviewing, in the context of current business news and industry trends, is an absolute basic requirement. One good tool is Google News. This lists recent articles posted online relating to whatever you have searched, in a chronological order. Use this to identify recent successes or challenges faced by the company.
Find out if there have been any recent developments in the industries it works in.
Don’t just read the news however; read it intelligently, thinking through the impact on the future performance of the business. If the company has a YouTube channel, watch some of their recent videos and see if there is anything valuable that you can take from them. Websites such as GlassDoor and The Job Crowd can also be great at providing a useful insight into company culture.
However, the point is not to then embark on a monologue about everything you have read about Company X. That’s possibly the worst way to tackle a tough interview question. Rather, use selective examples garnered from your research to show that you have read widely around the company and taken the time to digest and understand your findings. If on the company’s website, it describes itself as being innovative, then understand in what ways they act that make themselves able to describe themselves as such. For example, are they using cutting-edge technology? Do they have a high research and development budget? In what ways are they leading their field above and beyond their competitors?
What to discuss and what to avoid
There are a few key things you can talk about when answering the question “why do you want to work here?”