Target is the eight-largest retailer in the US, yet still, it is “just another retailer“. You can apply for a job with dozens of retail giants, and at any time, because with the scale of their operation, these big companies are almost always hiring. Logically when applying for a job with Target, one question you will have to answer directly on the job application, or in the subsequent interview, is “Why Target, and not someone else?” How to do it right, and what do they want to hear from you? The answer is simple and difficult at the same time.

They want to hear that Target has a special place in your mind. You should be able to clearly point out something that differentiates Target from their major competitors. Not necessarily on their balance sheet, or in one of their stores, but in your point of view of a job seeker. Something that attracts you to their brand, the reason why you want to work for Target, and not for Costco, Walmart, or even for Amazon.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I included on my list different answers, and I hope you will identify at least with one of them. I added some unconventional answers as well, just to give you some food for thought, and perhaps an inspiration, if you decide to go with an uncharacteristic answer. Do not forget to check also my notes below the answers, for additional hints and explanations.


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to work at Target?” interview question

  1. I want to work at Target because I do not support low-quality merchandise most of your competitors sell. Such a policy–selling cheap stuff, especially groceries, that effectively makes people sick, just does not align with my personal values. I believe that Americans deserve better quality, but still for an affordable price for an average household. And that’s exactly what shopping at Target personifies to me. I like your philosophy and values, and will be proud to work for the company.
  2. My main reason are recommendations. I have friends working for Walmart, Costco, and of course for Target. I’ve talked with all of them, about the working culture, attitude of the managers, employee benefits. Considering what I’ve heard, I definitely think Target is a better place of work than most other big retail stores. What is more, the shift patterns here fit well with my other obligations and commitments.
  3. Speaking honestly, my main reason is the location of the store. I live just five minutes walking distance from this place. In my last job I’ve spent an hour and half commuting to work daily. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is over 300 hours a year–hours I could spend with my children instead, or simply relaxing. Working in a place near our flat would be a huge plus for someone like me. And I also like the job description a lot, and consider it a good fit for my strengths and preferences.
  4. It means a lot to me that you do not sell firearm in your stores. Personally I am against guns, and find it scary that so many Americans walk down the streets, and do their shopping, with a pistol or shotgun hidden somewhere in their clothes. And I believe that with every decision we support some cause. I would never shop at a place where they sell firearms, and I could not imagine working at such a place. On the contrary, I want to support, with my labor and 100% effort each day, a place that promotes America without firearms.
  5. I like everything you do at Target, but one things really stands out in my eyes–your support for LGBT community, for their rights. Since I am also transgender, I cannot really imagine working in a place that’s full of prejudice, or one in which I will always feel like a complete outsider. But with everything you do for transgender people, with all your policies, I have always felt respected and safe shopping at Target, and would be proud working for the company.
  6. Speaking honestly, I do not care that much about my future place of work. I think that each retailer has some pluses and minuses. You can learn a lot in every job–if you have the right attitude, and you will meet new interesting people everywhere. I am young, motivated to learn and work hard, but lack previous experience. In such circumstances, and with the current situation on the job market, my best bet is to submit my application with many different retailers, hoping to get a chance to interview at least with one or two companies. And that’s exactly what I did. Target is my first choice, because I like the shopping experience with you more than the shopping experience with other places. But I will be grateful to anyone who gives me the chance to interview for a job, and eventually finally start working.
  7. I want to work for Target because your corporate values resonate with my personal values. Great shopping, celebrating diversity, and ethics at work–that’s exactly what I would like to promote as an employee, and the type of working environment I’d like to be part of. And these aren’t just empty words. I’ve been a regular customer of Target for years, and the main reason is the experience I get in the store–the wide alleys, your advertising, the attitude of the team members. It resonates with my values, and motivates me to apply for the job with your company.


The more specific you are, the better

Many people apply for jobs with Target, and you should always try to stand out with your answer. Saying that Target is “a great company”, or that you “love the mission statement of Target” won’t do the trick. You have to be more specific. Just look at my sample answers, no. 1, no. 4, no. 5, and no. 7.

One of the applicants refers to the no-firearms policy. Other one publicly expresses their support for LGBT community. Third one talks about the quality/price ratio, when compared to other major players in retail. And the last one points out particular corporate values that resonates with their personal values, such as diversity, great shopping, and ethics at work.

These are specific answers that clearly demonstrate that you did your homework, learned something about Target, know how they differentiate from their competitors, and have a reason why you prefer working for them, instead of someone else.

Location of the store or recommendation will also resonate well with the hiring managers

Answers no. 2 and no. 3 on my list are slightly different. In the first instance, applicant talks about getting a recommendation from a friend, someone who already works at Target. Of course, what company promotes, and what really happens in the workplace, are often two different things. Getting information from an insider–about the workload, relationships in the team, working culture and everything, is priceless. You can say that you got such information, and it motivated you to apply.

In an answer no. 3 on my list, candidate praises the location of the store. Though it may sound like a not-good-enough reason, or a basic one, it isn’t really. At least as long as you elaborate on your words. Just check it out–applicant explains that working at a store so close to their flat will allow them to spend 300 extra hours a year with their family. And that’s a huge benefit for someone who gives their family the first priority in their life.

What’s more, the fact that you live nearby the store is beneficial also for the  employer. It should not happen that you get stuck in a traffic jam, or struggle to arrive on time from any other reason. If you live nearby one of the Target stores, you can definitely point it out as a no. 1 reason why you want to work for them, and not for one of their competitors.


Brutal honesty can sometimes win you a job contract

We all play our roles in the interviews, often saying things just because we know the other party wants to hear them. Maybe you do not really care about your future place of work. Be it Target, Walmart, Amazon, McDonald’s–anyone who gives you the chance, with your lack of experience. Because at the end of the day, none of these jobs are easy, and you can learn something and meet interesting people in each one of them.

Check sample answer no. 6 on my list. The applicants honestly says that they do not care much, but at the same time they show right attitude–willingness to learn and work hard, and also realistic expectations. Maybe it can be the answer that will help you stand out?

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! But it isn’t the only tricky question you will hear while trying to get a job with Target. Check our full list of Target interview questions & answers, or continue your interview preparation with one of the following articles:

Matthew Chulaw
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