My Posts

Job Interview Preparation – Telling an Employer You Want the Job

By Orgesta Tolaj


24 September 2023

two women sitting in front of eachother in a job interview

© wocintechchat / Unsplash

Desire, passion, and enthusiasm often play a crucial role in securing a job, as there are usually multiple qualified candidates. Employers prefer candidates who genuinely want to work for them, as motivated hires bring positivity, resilience, and better teamwork. Showing genuine interest involves more than just words; it includes remembering names, maintaining focus during conversations, and conveying enthusiasm.

However, answering with something like “I just really want the job” is not considered a complete answer. Here are some tips and tricks to consider for your job interview preparation.

Why Do Interviewers Ask “Why Do You Want This Job”?

The interviewer’s underlying motive behind the question “Why do you want this job?” is to gauge your knowledge about the company, understand how this position aligns with your career goals, assess the potential for personal growth and challenge in the role, and determine why you find their company appealing.

In essence, when crafting your response to this question, remember that the hiring manager is seeking a candidate who can contribute value to the team, has a genuine desire to advance within the company, and can articulate how this job opportunity aligns with their long-term career aspirations.

When Are They Likely to Ask This Question?

This question, “Why do you want this job?” is typically asked early in the interview. It is especially asked before or after questions like “What do you know about the company?” and “Tell us a little about yourself.” It’s worth noting that the question may be phrased differently, such as “Why do you want to work for us?”, “Why do you want to work here” or “Why did you apply for this position?

Even if the question comes up earlier than expected, remember that you have several opportunities during the interview to address it. You can smoothly incorporate your response by saying something like, “I intended to mention this earlier…” or “That’s another reason I’m keen on this role.”

Job Interview Preparation

To be ready for your interview, especially for this question, it is important to undergo proper interview preparation. Beyond researching the company, the role, and the team structure, it’s advisable to anticipate common interview questions. Here are some key considerations to guide your preparation for the question “Why do you want this job?” and to ponder before your interview:

  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s values and mission statement. Reflect on whether these align with your own values and passions. When asked about your motivation for wanting the job, you can emphasize your desire to contribute to the company’s mission and goals or your alignment with its core values.
  • While industry-specific knowledge is a bonus, it’s not mandatory. Instead, think about your past job roles or projects that can still relate to the new position. Provide concrete examples of how your skills and experiences can benefit the company and set you apart as the ideal candidate.

two women smiling at eachother
© Christina Morillo / Pexels
  • Document recent achievements or challenges you have faced that are relevant to the new job. Consider how these accomplishments can add value to the role, the team, and the company you’re applying to.
  • Reflect on what initially prompted you to send your CV and application. Revisit the excitement you felt when first reading the job description. This initial enthusiasm can serve as a strong foundation for explaining why you want the job during the interview.

Sample Answers for “Why Do You Want This Job?”

Some sample answers to help you show the employer you actually want the job can be:

  1. “This opportunity would be a lovely way for me to…”
  2. “I believe my skills would fit with the job because…”
  3. “The initial aspect that immediately grabbed my attention upon reviewing the job description for this position was…”
  4. “I believe that I would be successful in this role because…”
  5. “I’m seeking a position that will allow me to return to the type of projects I find genuinely fulfilling, and upon reviewing the job description, I believe this role aligns perfectly with that goal.”
  6. “This would be an exciting opportunity for me because it offers the chance to grow and advance within a dynamic industry that truly ignites my passion.”
  7. “I was more than excited to send in my CV because…”
  8. “I actually did some research on the company beforehand and I have noticed that my beliefs and goals match with the company’s”
  9. “I was immediately drawn to the company when I heard and read more about your project on…”
  10. “I have heard from one of your employees that the work ethic is really comfortable and flexible and that has drawn me to apply for this job.”

What to Consider While Answering This Question?

Just answering the question with sample answers will not necessarily be enough. Your body language and gestures are also important. That is why, you should also consider the following:

1. Be Enthusiastic

Show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested and passionate about the role and that you are excited to become part of the team. Find ways to express that you thought about how this role would fit with both your personal and professional career goals.

2. Keep Your Focus On The Job

Make sure to connect your skills to the job requirements to show you are ready and confident for the role. Keep it short since there will be more chances to talk about your skills and your CV later. Also, let the hiring manager know you’ve put in some effort to understand how the position fits with your career goals and what you’re good at.

What to Avoid While Answering This Question?

Now that we have discussed the best methods to answer this question, it is also important to move on to what you should avoid saying when confronted with this question during an interview. Here are a few responses to steer clear of:

“Well, I obviously just need the job because I want the money”

Avoid this response as it conveys a lack of genuine interest in the position beyond the paycheck. It’s important to demonstrate enthusiasm for the role instead. Needing money from a job is completely okay, but showcasing that that’s your only motivator during your interview will make it sound off-putting.

“Because I read that you will raise my wage after a few months”

Similar situation. While salary and benefits are important considerations, focusing solely on them in your answer can make you seem financially driven rather than value-driven. You should aim to showcase your enthusiasm and the contributions you can make to the job.

“Because I want to use this job to then move on to my next career choice”

Mentioning your intention to move on from the role before even securing it can raise concerns for the hiring manager. Instead, you can discuss how the job aligns with your long-term career goals without explicitly indicating an immediate exit plan.

“I am surprised you would ask this because I am actually way overqualified for this job already”

While technically accurate, this response does not set you apart from other applicants who likely possess similar qualifications. Instead, emphasize what unique qualities and contributions you bring to the team beyond what’s stated on your resume. Show how you can add value beyond your credentials. Additionally, these types of answers will make you seem cocky. Which is an attribute that no hiring manager wants to know about.

Which method are you going to try for your next job interview preparation? We would love to hear which one would work for you the best!

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!