Motivation is everything. A man who really wants the job, will work much harder than someone who only needs one, and only tolerates the working routine because he has to. And this is exactly what they try to understand when asking you questions such as “What motivates you?“, “Why do you want to work for our company?“, or “Why do you want this job?“. We will look at the last one from the three in this article.
Let’s start directly with 7 sample answers to the questions. I include some typical answers on my list, but also some unconventional choices, answers you can use with a certain degree of risk while trying to stand out from the competition in your interview. Once you get through the answers (and hopefully pick a good candidate for your interview), do not forget to read also my notes below them, to understand some nuances of a perfect answer to this question.
7 sample answers to “Why do you want this job?” interview question
- I read the job description carefully and studied the website of your company, trying to understand what you do, and what will be expected from me in this job, day in day out. Studying the materials I came to a conclusion that the job would be a good fit for my personality and strengths, and that I will actually enjoy doing it. That’s the reason why I submitted my application, and I am extremely happy that you invited me for this interview.
- Well, in general I like routine jobs, and I had a job of an office manager before, so I won’t be starting from scratch, and can benefit from my previous experience. What’s more, I am a big fan of your brand, of the things you try to achieve with your activity. It would be a honor to belong to your team, so let’s hope it happens…
- Speaking honestly, I do not have any other option at the moment. But let me explain. I have a four years old son, I study at a community college, and I just cannot accept a job with a standard working hours. It simply won’t do for me. But to work from 3pm to 9pm each day is a perfect schedule really, since I can manage my parenting, school, and also earn some money which I undoubtedly need. That’s the reason why I want this job.
- I honestly believe that I can learn a lot in your company. You have a renowned training program in place, and a diverse team of people in their late twenties and in their thirties. It is exactly the type of environment in which I thrive, and in which I can progress as an employee.
- I want this job badly, because I’ve heard only the best things from Mike, my friend, who also works as a sales representative for your company. It seems your services have a great reputation and convert like crazy, so sky is really the limit for the best salesmen here. And I want to be the best, and want to earn big, and sell services that actually deliver on their promises to the customers. That’s why I want this job with you.
- I’ve been a customer of this retail store for years, buying all my cosmetics here. I just love the way the employees treat me as a customer, and enjoy my experience here immensely. When I lost my previous job due to the pandemic, you were immediately on my radar, and when the job of a sales associate became available, I didn’t hesitate and applied with you.
- Well, I’ve always wanted to work as an optometrist, and I’ve already sacrificed a lot for my career. As you for sure know, there aren’t many offers around the city. At the same time I cannot afford starting my own practice, without any capital and previous experience. Your eye clinic has a great reputation, and as soon as a job became available, I immediately applied. I do not want to lie to you–I would accept a job of an optometrist anywhere in the city. But there aren’t any vacancies really, and more than anything else I simply want to start practicing…
You do not have to say the entire truth
Even if you apply for a job only because you need money, you can still try to convince them that you actually want to work for them. Just think about some realistic reason. It can be your enthusiasm for the type of work, your past experience, your preference for their brand, or anything else that makes sense in the context of your interview.
You can even say that someone else recommended you the position, a friend who works at the company. It is not easy for the interviewers to tell whether you are telling the truth–at least when we speak about this interview question. Therefore you can say whatever you want, trying to improve your chances in an interview.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Refer to the job description , or to past experience
Show us that you did your homework, show us that you understand what will be expected from you in the job. If possible, try to mention some details from the job offer. For example, you can say that you like to work in the afternoon, and that the working hours from 10am to 6pm suit you perfectly. Adding numbers and details will lend some authenticity to your answer, and help you to convince the interviewers about your honest interest to have the job.
Another alternative consists in referring to your past experience, or your preference for certain type of work. What’s more, you can elaborate on it, mentioning the working duties you had in your past job, and how they match with the things you’d do in your new job, the one you try to get right now.
Honest compliments will never harm you in the interviews
Honest compliment can only help you in an interview. If you like their brand, or use their services, you should definitely mention it in your answer.
Former customers are often the best employees. You can even say exactly how the products of the company help you, showing the interviewers that you understand the value their activity brings to the market, and see a meaningful purpose in the job you try to get with them.
Interviewers love job applicants who do not think only about their salary, but can actually talk about the value they can bring to the company. If you convince us of your honest interest to help us, and that you actually have the skills to help us, you will get a lot of points for your interview answer…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What makes you unique?
- What motivates you in work?
- Tell us about a time when you had to work on multiple projects simultaneously. How did you prioritize?