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How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Of all the interview questions job applicants prepare for, the most obvious ones sometimes get the least attention and often times result in a rejection before you’re even out of the blocks, to use a rather corny sports analogy 😉

You came ready to share some development insights, your greatest strength, and a moment when you shined, but what do you do with a broad but direct question like “Why do you want to work here?

Like a similarly problematic interview question — “Tell me about yourself” — “Why do you want to work here?” requires you to focus on a specific answer without any clues, contexts, or prompting from the interviewer.

It’s a blank space, but that doesn’t mean you can wing it and fill it with just anything.

Drawing from my 17 years of experience as an executive recruiter and executive coach, as well as someone who’s sat on both sides of the interview table many times, I recommend three basic approaches:

💡 Express your personal passion for the employer’s product/service/mission

💡 Explain why you would enjoy the responsibilities of the role.

💡 Describe how you can see yourself succeeding in the role, given your skills and experience.

You can use any combination of these three approaches so long as you keep your answer concise!

Why do you want to work here?

Tip: Be Specific

As you develop your answer, understand that the more specific you are, the more powerfully your answer will resonate. Conversely, the vaguer you are, the more generic the response will seem.

Happy interviewing!