How to Answer the ‘Why Are You Interested in this Position?’ Interview Question

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One of the most common questions you’ll be asked during the interview process regardless of the position you’re applying for is, ‘Why are you interested in this position?’ As you might expect, answering that you’re in it for the money isn’t exactly what employers want to hear. Learn how to answer the ‘Why are you interested in this position?’ interview question in this article.

Related: Interview Questions

Why employers ask, ‘Why are you interested in this position?’

At first glance, this question may seem like a way to simply boost the ego of the interviewer or the company in general, but it actually serves several practical purposes for the hiring process. They ask to gauge how you would fit in at the company. Even a good worker can get tired of a job fast if they don’t fit in well with the company culture. Employers are also interested in your motivations and how likely you are to stay at the company. Asking for answers to those questions directly may not get them the revealing responses they’re hoping for.

Additionally, your answer to this question can reveal a lot about who you are, which is useful for the employer. This question can provide insight into your career goals and overall plan. They can also use this question to judge your general motivation along with priorities and preferences. The question even determines how much you know about the industry and the company, which highlights your willingness to be proactive in looking up information about the business beforehand.

Surprising ways employers ask, ‘Why are you interested in this position?’

At the heart of this question are two other questions: ‘Why are you interested in this company?’ and ‘Why are you interested in this job?’ The term ‘position,’ as opposed to ‘job,’ implies both the job and the company are taken into account, but that’s not the only way it can be phrased. 

Here are a few examples of questions that are typically designed to draw out the same kind of information:

  • What do you know about this company?
  • What do you like about this company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why would you be a good fit here?
  • What do you know about the culture here?
  • What do you like about the culture here?
  • How does this position fit into your career plans?

There are several different ways employers can ask this question including some ways that you may not have expected. Employers may vary the question a bit to try and draw out a more direct and truthful answer out of you. 

How to answer, ‘Why are you interested in this position?’

To properly answer this interview question, you have to tackle both aspects of it. That means addressing what you like about the company and what you like about the job. 

Here are steps you can follow to help formulate the best answer:

1. First, begin by describing what you like about the company

This should reflect the research on the company you did beforehand. Speaking about the company reputation is passable, but you generally want something more specific. Answering based on the products or services they offer, company initiatives and the company culture generally produces better results.

2. Then, describe what you like about the job itself

Mention the aspects of the job in detail demonstrating that you already have some base knowledge of what you’ll be doing. Mention how passionate you are about the results that the job can produce or how the job facilitates the company as a whole doing something important.

3. Finally, detail your ability in regards to the position

Consider talking about your abilities as a way to wrap up your answer. After all, an employer will be much more convinced regarding your commitment and dedication when they know that you’re good at the work. You can highlight some past experiences to demonstrate how your skills will be applicable to the position you’re applying for and why you would enjoy working in the position.

Related: How to Sell Yourself in an Interview

Tips for researching the position as it relates to the company

Since part of this question determines how much research you did about the position and the business beforehand, it’s helpful to know how to research properly. 

The following steps can help you find the most important information:

Visit the company website

By visiting their own website, you can learn just about everything the company is comfortable with making public. Check their history and the About Us page to learn more about the company and its culture. Be sure to check out their blog if they have one.

Explore media coverage

Conduct a news search of the company to discover what the media have been saying about them. Taking note of any awards they’ve won or trends in the industry that they’re taking advantage of can solidify your answer.

Reach out to your network

If you’ve established a network of resources, reach out to those you can trust to see if anybody knows anything useful about the company.

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview

Example answers to use in an interview

To get a better idea of the best way to answer this question, you can take a look at the following example answers to use in an interview:

Example 1: Engineer at a tech company

‘I’ve known about your company for a long time, but it wasn’t until I got my hands on the [new product] that I understood just how committed you are to innovation. I thrive on innovation and overcoming tough challenges, so that kind of dedication to advancement is something I would love to be a part of.’

Example 2: Senior Programmer at a software company

‘I feel comfortable leading teams of programmers thanks to my track record at [previous work] where I managed teams of around 20 programmers. Plus, your company has been frequently ranked at the top of the industry for several years now, so I’m excited to maintain that reputation and even push it further.

Both of these examples highlight interest in the job and the company by providing personal details showcasing commitment and ability. As long as your answer is able to do the same, you won’t be caught off guard by this common question.