Why do you want to work for this company?

So you’ve applied for a job, got the interview and now the interviewer’s asking why you want to work for the company.

Simply saying that you need a job, that the company looks great or that the pay is amazing isn’t considered an acceptable answer!

Your answer needs to be honest and genuine about the opportunity, it’s also your moment to show off what you know and what you can offer.

To make sure you don’t slip up when answering this seemingly easy question, here’s a guide to answering ‘why do you want to work for this company?’

What is the purpose of the question?

The question ‘why do you want to work for this company?’ has a number of purposes.

Firstly, the employer wants to know why they should hire you over other candidates.

You need to be aware that employers want to invest time and money in those that want the job to genuinely better the company. To prove this, you need to make sure you show off your knowledge of the company and prove to your interviewer that you want that job specifically, not, a job. As a result, you’ll need to carry out a lot of research in order to sell yourself and your ambition effectively.

Therefore, in addition to learning why you want the role specifically, your potential employer is also on the lookout for insights into your work ethic. If you’ve carried out some in-depth research, you’ll prove to the interviewer that you’re willing to go the extra mile. Chances are, that you’re more than willing to commit to the role.

The last purpose of the question is to see if you’re a good fit for the company and its culture. By revealing why you want the job, you’ll show what you’re like as a person from your confidence, what you value in the workplace and your career aspirations.

How to plan your response

Planning your response is relatively simple as it involves just two main steps: researching the company and highlighting your goals in line with company objectives.

Here’s what to do:

Research the company thoroughly

You may already have a fairly good idea of why you want to work for the company. After all, you’ve applied for a job there. But it’s important to top up your knowledge so you can cover all reasons, show why you’re a great fit for the company and, ultimately, provide a convincing answer.

Therefore, you need to get an idea of the employer’s mission and values, delving deeper into how it operates day-to-day and making note of any highlights its recently seen. This is to work out not only what you admire, but where you fit in.

We recommend visiting the employer’s ‘about us’ pages and its social media platforms. You should aim to get an idea of what the company does and what it stands for, and therefore, what appeals to you.

You may also like to check out recent press and media coverage featuring the company to use in your response. You can do this in a number of ways from checking the company’s site for recent press releases, Googling its name in the news and reading industry publications in case there are any mentions of research, achievements or awards.

By carrying out detailed research such as this, you’ll get a sense of the company’s goals, values and successes.

Highlight your goals in line with company objectives

Off the back of your research, you should also get an idea of what an ideal employee looks like. So, now that you’re familiar with the company’s mission, values and objective, it’s time to align them with your own goals.

This is to prove that not only is the company a good match for you, but that you are a good match for it.

Pull out a couple of company objectives or qualities that you admire most and recognise within yourself. For example, if the company prides itself in supporting its customers, you might note this as a value you find important.

Then, you need to anchor these values to what you can bring to the team. For example, since you and the company value supporting customers, you may like to add that you have worked in a variety of customer-facing environments, handing you valuable experience that will ensure this company objective is fulfilled.

Therefore, when planning your response remember that the employer genuinely wants to know why you want to work for the company, but you also need to use this question as an opportunity to show why you’re the best fit.

Example answers

While preparing your response, remember to be genuine and avoid anything too honest, bland and vague in order to really make the sell. Here are some example answers to help you out:

“I want to work for this company because the tone and style of your brand is something I deeply associate with – it’s part of my own philosophy. You market yourselves to a millennial audience and, as a millennial with two years’ of experience in marketing, I know I’d make a valuable addition to your team as the tone of the brand and what it stands for comes naturally to me.”

 “This company is a leader in its industry and I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for that. My previous role was with an industry leader, and although it was a different industry, I am familiar with the pressures and workings of maintaining this impeccable standard. As a result, I know this company is the next best move for me due to what I value and the experience I have.”

There’s a lot more to answering ‘why do you want to work for this company?’ than meets the eye. Just remember that the interviewer really does want to know why you want to work there, but you need to make sure you link in your own abilities and values to really make the sell.