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It’s inevitable that this question will come up in almost every interview you ever have. It seems pretty simple and straightforward to answer, so why do so many candidates fail to get it quite right? In our ‘How to Answer‘ series, our team takes you through the ins and outs of providing a great answer to this interview staple.

 

 

 

Honesty is the best policy…most of the time

We’re all for keeping it on the straight and narrow with your CV and the information you provide to recruiters and employers alike. However, with this question, there are some honest answers that are probably best kept to yourself. Here are some examples:

“I’m out of work and really need a job”

“I was retrenched”

“I’m bored at my current company”

“I don’t like the way my current company is run”

“I don’t see a future where I work now” 

The above explanations might be perfectly true, but not one of them is an appropriate answer to the question. This is a question that quite frankly, requires a degree of flattery. Explaining why you don’t want to, or are unable to stay in your current job is not telling the interviewer why you want their job or why you want to work for their company.

Be specific

This question is a great opportunity not only to flatter your interviewer but also to demonstrate that you really know what both the company and role are about. When you’re asked this question, focus on the specific details about the company and the role that appeal – the challenges that the job would bring, the nuances in the company culture that appeal, and the enthusiasm you have for being a part of what they do. This is not the time to be vague or give broad answers such as ‘This seems like a great company to work for” or “I’ve heard good things”. Why does it seem like a great company to work for? What things have you heard? If you can back up your enthusiasm for the job with specific information, you will have a very robust and well-received answer to this interview question.

A perfect match

Explaining why the role appeals to you and why you like the company is a big part of the question answered. However, it doesn’t necessarily provide them with reasons that they should hire you over anyone else. All of the interviewees are there because evidently, they all like role and the company. So what is it that will make you stand out from the rest? The answer? Explain how well you suit both the role and the company. Talk about the skills you’ve honed, the company culture you like to work in and the enthusiasm you have for the ethos of the company. Essentially, you are answering their ‘why do you want to work here?‘ question, with a ‘this is why you want me to work here‘ response.

There is a multitude of questions that are likely to come up in an interview and this is one you can almost bet on, so make sure you include it in your interview prep. Sometimes it can be the seemingly simplest ones that catch you out.

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