How to answer “why do you want this job” interview question

HR interviews are part of every interview process and out of many important and frequently asked interview questions is “Why do you want this job” . Have you faced this question in the interview before. I am sure you must have. In my experience of 20 years, I have faced this question many times and I have asked this question many time.Will share my experience. But first let is look at what variations this question comes with?

Questions similar to “why do you want this job”

And there are many other variant to this question like

  • “Why are you interested in this job”
  • “why do you want this position”.

And a more broader variant like

  • “Why would you want to work for our company”.
  • “Why are you interested in our company”

All these questions are intended to understand something from you.

Is the question ” why do you want this job ” relevant?

When I discuss with my friends and people I have trained, they say that this question looks very irrelevant because a person applies for a job because he is interested in that position. They a;lo tell me that it is probably one of the difficult questions to answer.

Believe me this question and all other questions like ” why do you want this position ” and ” Why would you want to work for our company ” etc are very much relevant for HR Managers. Will this question they are looking for traits which are very important for a job. And they know better what to expect out of it.

So now that we know it is a important question, is it that hard to answer?

Know it is not. You need to be prepared well and prepare in advance to answer it well. And in this article I will tell you how?

So why do interviewers ask ” why do you want this job “

All the questions which I have mentioned before have a similar intention and hence they ask these questions to find out few things like

  • Are you seriously interested in the job Or you are the one who is just giving interviews to test the job market.
  • Find out if you have done the company research before and you know about the value company is going to offer you in your career. Basically show your seriousness.
  • Understand your expectation from company. You may not explicitly say it but HR managers are trained to understand this from the conversation.
  • Get an idea of your long term goals.

So now that you know why these question are asked, it will be easy to answer if you prepare it well in advance.

So how do you prepare for this question “Why do you want this job”?

Now that you understand the importance of this question, it is the time to prepare of it.

#1 – Research about the company and market it represents

I will start with an example. Let is say you are an IT professional and you have around 10 years of experience in a IT service company. And then you see a job posting in a minerals company for a IT position which excites you. But do you know anything about minerals market or the company which is in this segment. When you go for the interview the first things which comes to the HR’s mind is why you want to change the industry.

So your research should be very good. You should show your interest in company and should show the knowledge you have in minerals market. For example you are a data scientist and you know that the minerals companies process a lot of geological data and produce various models which are definitely a interesting work for a data scientist.

So I am giving an example and this takes us to next step in preparing for this quesiton

#2 – Research about the role before you go for interview

For example a people management in a manufacturing company is very different compared to same role in an IT company. An IT manager role in IT company may not require as much vendor interaction as in a non IT company.

So research the role well so that when asked you are able to allign the career aspiration with the role

Now how to you research on this. Well there is google, linkedin .. check with old contacts .. What I mean to say is that do your home work well.

How to answer “Why do you want this job” Key points

Now that you know why this question is important and what is needed to prepare for the same, let try to understand how you should answer it

#1 – Show them that you are excited about the company and the role

So you have done research about the company and the market. Show your knowledge with confidence. If you know a couple of things about the company tell them about it. Specially if it is a medium or small company. They will be really happy to know that you have done some research on them and that is why you are here.

Taking the previous example of the minerals company – you can very well talk about the usage of data science in minerals industry and how it excites you and then you can talk about the work the company is doing in this area.

#2 – Tell them how the company and the role fits into your career aspiration

If the company and the role does not fit into your career aspiration you will not go far with the company for sure. So first thing is research well about the company and also whether it will full fill your career aspiration.

If you cover above two points well, I am sure you are going to impress them.

And another important point – don’t make any generic statement like

  • “Yours is a great company and I would like to work here”
  • I am impressed with the organization as it is a big one in its area
  • I am looking for a change and I saw opening here
  • Your company works in the filed in which I am working

So if you look at above statement, these are not good and does not tell about your interest or show your enthusiasm.

Yes, enthusiasm is very important for you to show when answering such questions.


Don’t panic when you hear such questions. They are important par of any interview process. It is there to check your overall awareness and seriousness about the job. If you prepare well it will be very easy for you to answer this. Just follow some key points and prepare answers for such questions well in advance. Write it down on paper and revise it many time when you go for the interview. And tell that with confidence. So next time when you are asked – Why you want this job, I am sure you will be better prepared. Good luck ! if You have any questions do not hesitate to write back or leave your comments in comment box below. Good luck!

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