jeudi 20 juin 2019

Why do you want to work here?

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?”

  • Basic things to know: leadership team, international locations, broad view as to recent financial performance, ownership (partnership, ltd, publicly held, etc.)
  • Company Culture
  • What the company actually does - product/service it provides and what interests you about this
  • Recent successes and challenges
  • Philosophy and mission behind the company
  • Training and development offered
Rather than being vague in trying to cover all these bases, focus on what genuinely is most significant to you and go into greater detail. Don’t under any circumstances mention the salary, commission, holiday entitlement etc. This implies that you are interested in the perks rather than the company’s work and what it represents. Focus on how they match with what you are looking for

Having done your research, you are now in a position to see how, at least from the outside, this organisation and hopefully the position fit with your criteria. Thus, in answer to this question at interview, you could say: “From what I understand by the research that I have done, I am very interested in working in this company, because it seems to fit with the criteria that I am looking for. Specifically, I really like the brand, what I perceive the culture to be, and I think the role matches the next step for my professional progression. Furthermore, I would be able to add a great deal of value to the business”.


Do further research into this sector, which will enable you to compare and contrast this particular firm with its key competitors. For example, if you are working in the luxury sector, you may want to be able to compare Ralph Lauren, with Tommy Hillfiger, Tom Ford, and Abercrombie and Fitch, and thus have an informed view as to why this particular company. Use your research to highlight why you are both genuinely interested in the position and company, but also to emphasise why you match their candidate requirements.

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