So...Why Do You Want to Work Here?

by Brian Skory

What do you think about the following responses to the interview question, "So…why do you want to work here?"

  1. "I heard the benefits here are really great."
  2. "You guys are so much closer to my home than where I currently work."
  3. "I really, REALLY need a job."
  4. "I'm ready to settle down and get married, and I figure my chances of meeting someone are much better in the work place than at the bars."

Each of these responses might be true enough, but chances are pretty good that they won't land you the job. And although I’m being a bit silly with those responses–I know that our readers are much more savvy than that–what would be a better answer?

Many candidates have no idea of the positive impression they create when an employer sees that the candidate has thoroughly researched the company they are interviewing with. Part of why they are impressed is because not nearly enough candidates take the time to get to know a company before the interview. So here are a few tips to get you started on that.

  • Review the company Web site, especially the "About Us" and "Our Company's Philosophy" pages.
  • Read the executive and employee bios on the site.
  • Go out to LinkedIn and read their bios there. LinkedIn profiles can be a goldmine of company information. An additional benefit here is that LinkedIn might show a shared contact that you weren't aware of who could put in a good word for you.
  • Read the company's annual report if it's online. By doing so, at the very least you should be able to get a feel for the company's financials and business philosophy.
  • Google the company's products and services and see what's out there on the Web.
  • Check Google’s News tab for press releases and other mentions in the news.
  • Check out what current and ex-employees are saying on sites such as Glassdoor. Just keep in mind that it’s the disgruntled employees who are far more likely to make the effort to leave a review, so it’s not always a balanced view of the company culture.

After you've done a thorough review of the company, your response to the question, "Why do you want to work here," will likely be more refined, intelligent, and impressive. Compare the answer below to those at the beginning of this article:

"As you can tell from my resume, I've focused much of my career on embedded systems development in the medical devices industry. When I saw the posting for this position, I suspected that this might be a good match. I took the opportunity to review your Web site and was very impressed with your product line. Additionally, a review of your annual report clearly demonstrated that you are a stable and growing company as well as a leader in this industry with innovative products. I also couldn't help but notice that the reviews I read demonstrated that your existing products are being very favorably received by the public. When I originally read the requirements for the position, I had no doubt that my skills and experiences were an excellent match, and that I could make a significant contribution. But after a thorough review, I have no doubt that this is a company I could truly feel good about working for."

With an answer like that, you'll certainly set yourself apart from the competition!

As always, we're interested in hearing how your job search is going. 

If you're looking for work, please submit your resume or browse our job board to determine if you are a match for a job that we have available. We host free career webinars every week - visit our event calendar to RSVP!
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