We apply for jobs for a variety of reasons. More often than not, we simply need a job–any decent position, to pay our bills, keep our head above water, and enjoy some little pleasures during the weekends. As you can likely imagine though, this is not exactly what the hiring managers want to hear from you. They want to hear some excitement, enthusiasm for what’s ahead. They want to hear some words of praise on their company and their job offer. And they also hope to hear about your strengths, personality, and preferences, that happens to be a good match for the position in question. That’s why they inquire why you are interested in the job, role, vacancy, position, or whatever they name it.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include different examples on my list, for different jobs and interview scenarios. You will find also a few unconventional choices on the list, such a being brutally honest with the interviewers, or looking at the question rather philosophically. Go through the answers, consider each one, find a best match to your attitude, and adjust it to the job you are applying for. Then you can read also my notes below the answers, for additional hints and explanations.
7 sample answers to “Why are you interested in this position?” interview question
- I just find it an excellent match to my strengths and preferences. I’ve always enjoyed interactions with other people, and home improvement is my great hobby. I know the tools, materials, brands. In my opinion, it is always easier to sell products you like, and know something about, because you can give good recommendations to the customers, and share with them your personal experience with the product. That’s why I am interesting in the position in your retail store, and not in some other sales job in retail.
- I just see it as a next logical step in my professional career. I’ve been working as a financial analyst for five years now, acquired a lot of experience, and learned the ins and outs of cash flow in the business. I feel that with everything I’ve done and know, I am ready to work as a financial manager, and make something big happen for the company. Obviously the salary is also better, and the benefits, so I see no reason why I would not be interested in the position you advertise.
- I just need a change. Without a doubt I may look overqualified for the role in a small cafe at the edge of the city center. But I’m interested in this position, because I’ve experienced a burnout, and cannot imagine working in the corporate world any longer. I am looking for a job with low stress levels, and little screen time. A position in which I’ll have real sincere interactions with people, and will be able to express myself. Money is secondary for me really at this point of my career. I hope you will give me a chance to prove my motivation and skills.
- Who would not want to work for Amazon? I’ve always dreamed of working for one of the four biggest tech companies, participating on innovation, working on solutions and products billions of people use daily. I think that everyone dreams of having some impact in their life. And this is the impact I would like to have. What is more, I feel that with my engineering experience, and the programming languages I know, I am an excellent fit for the position. Really I see it as a win-win situation for everyone, and hope you will come to the same conclusion by the end of this interview.
- Being honest, I just need a job to survive. It’s a tough economy out there. You borrow money once, twice, some things do not work out, you have some unexpected expenses, and soon enough debt collectors and executors come to knock on your door. This is my situation at the moment. That’s why I am interested in the vacancy you advertise, though I know it is hard work, long hours, and the pay isn’t that good. But with my situation I cannot really afford to play a waiting game, trying my chances in interviews for jobs I likely won’t get. I need a job now, I am ready to work hard, and that’s why I am interested in this position.
- Speaking honestly, I’m not interested in this position in a long run. I would like to work in your PR department, because I find it an excellent fit for my personality and expectations. And I also admire the work of your PR director. However, you are not advertising any jobs in PR now, and so I simply want to get my foot into the door, start working for your amazing company, prove my communication and diplomatic skills, and eventually get promoted or relocated to the PR department. Having said that, I do not consider the sales position I am interviewing for right now just as a means to an end. I know that I can learn a lot here, and generate some interesting sales volume each month, contributing to your success. You can definitely benefit from having me onboard. But when everything is said and done, it is your PR department I have my sights on.
- I am interested in this role for a couple of reasons. First of all, I see a meaningful purpose in social work. And I do not want to work only to make money. I actually want to come home each day, knowing that I did my best to help someone to cope with a difficult life situation. Secondly, I really like your organization, the training program you have in place, the values you try to promote, your marketing activities, and basically everything about your brand. And last but not least, I consider myself a good fit for the job, in terms of education, experience, personality, and expectations…
* You can also download the list of TOP 5 answers to this tricky interview question in a simple, one page long PDF, and return to it anytime later, when preparing for your interview:
Do not forget on your non-verbal communication
Doesn’t matter how much you praise their brand, working conditions, salary offer, or anything else that caught your eye on their job offer. Unless they hear enthusiasm in your voice, and unless you look at least somehow “pumped up” in an interview, they won’t trust your words.
Keep it on your mind, and make sure that you tell them the right things both with your tongue and your body. Not it doesn’t mean that you have to jump from your chair after every question. But you should look excited, give them a firm handshake, react positively, ask questions, and so on…
* Special Tip: This isn’t by far the most 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!
The more specific you are, the better
Try to mention some details and numbers in your answers. I mean, it is fine saying that you are interested in the position because “it is a good job”. But that won’t satisfy most hiring managers, unless you explain why you consider the job good.
You can talk about anything from salary and working conditions, to a meaningful purpose and affinity to their brand. As long as your words make sense (saying that you like the salary offer in a place that offers minimum wage would not make much sense), they will be satisfied with your answer. What’s more, they will see that you did your research, prepared for the interviews, and the offer actually means something to you.
Being honest can be your best bet, not only in the interviews
At the end of the day, most of us apply for jobs because we have to. World revolves around money, and unless you have money you quickly end up on the fringe of society, struggling to meet your basic needs. Nobody dreams of such a destiny.
If you struggle, however, or find yourself just one paycheck away from living on the street, you should not be ashamed of your situation. You didn’t have it easy in life, typically it isn’t your mistake, and the money-driven world we currently live in is ruthless, and cruel to those less fortunate…
If you apply for a position not many people are interested in, for some difficult job with low payment, such as working on a construction site, honesty is your best bet. You can say that with your current situation you don’t really have any choice, and will accept any job, as long as they pay you and you have money to pay the bills.
Now it doesn’t mean that you should play a victim, or sound desperate in your meeting with the hiring managers. You keep your head up high, but are aware of your situation, see things as they are at the moment, and simply try all you can to keep your head above the water, and reach better tomorrows…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions: