We’ve all been in interviews where we get the question: “Why Do You Want To Work Here?” I was talking with a friend the other day about his job search, and he said the most frustrating question he gets in the interview process is: “Why do you want to work here?”
“More often than not,” he said, “the answer isn’t why do I want to work there, it’s why don’t I want to work where I currently work. Or, it’s ‘your job description sort of sounds like something that might fit my qualifications and I thought it’s better than sitting around on the couch.'”
I found myself pondering that statement. Obviously, you’d never want to say that in an interview, what if you did? What if you looked the interviewer straight in the eye and said, “I don’t know why I want to work here. I just want a job that differs from the one I currently have.” Sure, that’s not the most articulate way to get your point across, but it sure beats coming up with some B.S. answer that an interviewer is going to see right through in a matter of seconds.
So, Doing what I do when I have a burning question in my head when it comes to career/ interview questions, I went to LinkedIn and posed the question to one of the groups I’m in. Here’s some of the responses I got to the following question:
As an interviewer, why do you ask the question: “Why do you want to work here.” What answer (or kind of answer) are you looking for?
A1: The deep-rooted answer is of course to have money to sustain life, or a lifestyle, and in this economy, dream jobs are scarce. Knowing that, as an interviewer, do you consider your company “dream job” worthy, or is the company staffed with people that just need to punch the time card? Outside of that, I have wanted to know that someone has taken time to know the company, what we do, our purpose for existence. As a job-seeker, I think the answer to the question just shows how much care and effort one has invested.
A2: An interview wants to know just three things – 1) Can he/she do the job? 2) Do I like him/her? and 3) Will he/she fit in around here? While there’s no hard and fast way in which you should answer that question, it most certainly should be framed in a way that addresses one, two or three of these things. Genuine is important, too. Never, ever forget genuine. Hiring managers can see B.S. answers coming from a mile away.
I’m not sure either really answers my question; however, it did give me pause for thought. If you’ve been in a position to hire, why do you ask the question? If you’ve been the interviewee, how do you generally answer?