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  1. Career Advice
  2. Interviewing
  3. 10 Examples to answer the question "Why do you want to work here?"
10 Examples to answer the question "Why do you want to work here?"
Profile Emma Smith

Emma Smith

10 Examples to answer the question "Why do you want to work here?"

Artwork by: Dariya Gonzo

  • Why do they ask, "Why do you want to work here?"
  • 10 Examples of how to answer “Why do you want to work here?”
  • What NOT to say when asked, “Why do you want to work here?”
  • Having trouble finding an answer?
  •  Key takeaways

Don’t be left blabbering! Prepare yourself for being asked why you want to work for a company during your next interview by using these tips and example answers.

It’s likely that during a job search, you will apply to more than one company. Regardless of how big of a net you cast, it’s important to make each company feel like you sought them out intentionally. Every company thinks they’re great, and during your interview, your goal should be to come off as though you think they’re great too. Even if you had never heard of the company before submitting your application, you want them to believe otherwise. 

There are a handful of interview questions that can be expected at most interviews. When you’re asked, “Why do you want to work here?” you’re being given an opportunity to offer praise and express your compatibility with them. 

Answering the question, “Why do you want to work here?” is your time to sell the potential for mutually beneficial employment. You are basically being asked, “Why us?”. Another way of looking at it is, “What can we do for you?”. We’ll tell you all about how you can optimize your answer during your next interview, including ten example answers.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What recruiters are looking for when they ask why you want to work for their company

  • Examples to help you think about what route you want to take your answer

  • Expert tips on how to give the best answer

Why do they ask, "Why do you want to work here?"

Before we get into example answers, let’s talk about why you’d be asked why you want to work for that company in an interview in the first place. 

In addition to all your general qualifications for a position, a determining factor for employment is whether you are a good match with the company. This can include your personality, your motivations in life, and your dedication to the work.

If you answer the question in a dull way, where you’re not speaking to the primary platforms of the company, you might end up being overlooked. If you answer with specific examples of the company’s culture, policies, and projects, you will be held in a higher light, even if your qualifications aren’t a perfect match for the role. 

The reason for this is that employers want passionate employees. A sluggish or uninspired individual can hurt overall efficiency and cohesion. A team that is excited to come to work each day will always have a positive impact on the company.

10 Examples of how to answer “Why do you want to work here?”

Below are example answers to use the next time you’re asked about reasons for wanting to work somewhere. But keep in mind, anything you say needs to be backed up with actual research on the company. This list of examples is less of a cheat sheet and more of a jumping-off point. While you can detail how you will thrive in the position, remember that you want to speak about your compatibility with that company specifically. Consider the following examples.  

  1. “I have been following this company for years. I respect the [insert social good] efforts this company supports.”

  2. “I first learned of your company when someone spoke at X convention that I was attending. I started keeping an eye on your company after that point, and have continued to dream about working here someday as I’ve progressed through my career.”

  3. “My professor talked highly of this company when I was in X course. It’s stayed with me ever since, so I’ve been working towards this goal for a long time.”

  4. “This company created the most widely used X technology/product. I live your brand, and I want to work for a company that I already stand behind.”

  5. “You work alongside some of the biggest names in X industry allowing your impact to have a bigger reach. I want to work for a company that benefits the lives of many.”

  6. “I am looking for long-term employment, and I want a company that I can grow with. I saw that you have a very low turnover and great reviews from previous employees, while delivering reliable and trustworthy services. I have always dreamt of working for a company like that.”

  7. “You are implementing [specific process]. This is my favorite approach and I am eager to learn more about its use.”

  8. “You are leading the industry in X. I have been continually impressed by the name this company has built for itself over the last decade. As an active person in the X field, I have utilized your training and curriculum endless times. I know the quality of work you produce, and I am eager to produce material at that level.”

  9. “I have seen your company at every city event I’ve been to. I looked you up and learned about your commitment to social justice and community equity. I want to work for a company that believes in what I believe in.”

  10. “I wanted to learn more about your company before applying, so I visited your website and conducted some research. The vision and mission that you describe are perfectly aligned with what I aim to work towards in my career.”

What NOT to say when asked, “Why do you want to work here?”

As you can see from the examples above, you have a lot of wiggle room when you answer why you want to work for that specific company. You can take your answer in a variety of different avenues. Avoid the following examples of poor answers, and you should be in the clear. 

“The salary offered for this position caught my eye”

Everyone knows that we work so we can afford life. And all companies know that they will get the best applicants if they offer a competitive wage. If you answer using this approach, you are not displaying a passion for the work or loyalty to the company. Any company can offer a decent wage, why is this the one that speaks to you?

“At this point, I’d take any job that was offered to me!”

Desperation never looks good in a job hunt. You want to be desired, not be given a handout. Answering in this way also shows that you have been looking for a job for a while, and for whatever reason, none of the other companies have hired you. It begs the question, then why should this one? 

“I randomly applied for this job, I’d actually never heard of the company before”

Yes, honesty is good, but there are times when it’s okay to side-step it. Interviews are one of those times. So many candidates in a job hunt throw out applications to companies that they hadn’t heard of before. It’s totally normal and widespread. However, interviews are not the setting for disclosing such insight. You always want the potential employer to feel sought out. Making impersonal statements like this one are a quick way to be passed up for another candidate. 

Having trouble finding an answer?

As you think about what direction you want to go when answering questions about why you want to work for a company, try using these prompts to formulate an answer. 

How will you fit in with the company culture?

What do you know about the company culture already? Are there snippets of insights online or on their website that you can reference? If not, ask the interviewer about it. Try saying something like, “What efforts does the company make to create an enjoyable work atmosphere for its employees?”. Later on, when you’re asked why you want to work for that company, you can circle back to the examples the interviewer gave you. 

What about the company are you already familiar with?

This could be their products, services, clientele, community outreach, or charity support. Use any common ground you can think of to help illustrate your compatibility with the company.

Expert tip

Do you need to quickly come up with reasons for why you want to work for a company? Go onto their website and look for a tab labeled, “Media” or “In the news”. Here you’ll find all the times an article was written about the company. You may find announcements for new products and services or celebrations for donations and charity work. This provides you with a list of topics to discuss to back up your reasoning for wanting to work there.

 Key takeaways

  1. You should always have a well-researched response prepared ahead of the interview to ensure an effective response when asked why you want to work there. 

  2. There are a plethora of routes to take your answer. Choose one that’s authentic to you.

  3. Your goal is to ensure compatibility between yourself and the company.

Profile Emma Smith

Emma Smith

Emma is a certified employment specialist with over 6 years of experience in career mentorship and employment training. With an affinity for technical writing, Emma is passionate about developing training manuals, policy and procedures, onboarding documents, and fiscal management systems. In 2020 she helped design Colorado’s first state-certified training program for people with disabilities entering the workforce.

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