How to answer: “Why do you want to work here?”

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“Why do you want to work here?” It’s a common interview question, but also one that can be challenging to answer, especially when you try to wing it.  Not preparing a solid response to this question is risky because it could make all the difference in whether a potential employer extends a job offer to you — or not. Why is this interview question so important?  Think of it from the employer’s perspective: The business wants to hire someone who believes strongly in the company’s mission and wants to make a positive impact on the organization and its clients or customers.  Also, searching for a candidate who is a strong fit for the position and the company can be a costly and time-consuming process.  So, hiring managers in Canada want to help their employer realize a good return on their investment.
When asked, " Why do you want to work here?” it's vital to show that you’re interested in this specific position because it aligns with your personal values and professional aspirations. To prepare for this interview question, consider the following steps: Go beyond the company's website. Read articles, local press releases, social media updates, and employee reviews to grasp the company's culture and values. Identify where your personal principles and goals intersect with the company's mission. For instance, if you're passionate about sustainability and the company leads in eco-friendly practices, highlight this connection. Rather than making generic statements like, "I appreciate your values," point out specific aspects of the mission statement that resonate with you. Use personal stories to illustrate how these values have influenced your choices. Investigate the company's approach to teamwork, communication, feedback, and professional development. Discover employee-led initiatives or social responsibility programs that excite you. Discuss how specific aspects of the company culture align with your work style and preferences. Whether it’s a collaborative environment or a commitment to continuous learning, make your case compelling. Be honest about why the company's culture is a good match for your personality and work ethic. Check out this article for more information on how to evaluate a company’s culture.
To set yourself apart from other candidates in Canada, focus on how your unique skills and experiences are relevant to the role. Even if your experience isn't directly related to the new role, identify skills that are still relevant. For example, strong communication skills from a marketing role can be valuable in a tech position. Think about how your skills and experience can contribute to the company's goals. If they are expanding internationally, mention your experience with global business development.
One of the keys to coming up with a compelling answer to “Why do you want to work here?” is to flip the question like this: “Why would this company want to hire me?” In other words, think more about what you have to offer and how you could make an impact rather than why getting the job would benefit you. Here are three questions to consider as you develop your response: How can you help the company succeed? Read up on what’s happening with the company and its industry. Has it recently changed its product or service offerings? What competitive pressures is it facing? Consider this landscape and think, “What knowledge and experience do I have that would be especially useful to this employer right now?” What past career successes could you potentially repeat at this company? How did you meet or exceed your employers’ expectations in previous jobs? What problems did you play a significant role in solving? What ideas did you introduce that helped the company save money or otherwise boost its bottom line? What lessons have you learned that you could apply in the future to create value for the potential employer?​​​ How will you complement the company’s culture? A candidate’s ability to fit within the organizational culture is an essential hiring factor for many employers. So, do your homework on the company’s culture and identify what you find most appealing. For instance, if the firm encourages entrepreneurial thinking, and that’s important to you, include that in your response.   FIND YOUR NEXT JOB WITH ROBERT HALF CANADA
Avoid generic answers and negative comments about past employers. Even if you had negative experiences with past employers, emphasize the lessons learned and your positive contributions. And use this opportunity to go beyond the facts and figures. Share new insights into your thought process and career aspirations, beyond what your resume already says.
A one-size-fits-all answer won't suffice, because you need to tailor your response to the company and the role. Take this an opportunity to bring up recent company achievements or initiatives in your response to show your engagement and excitement about contributing to their success. Another tactic is to highlight key responsibilities and qualifications from the job description and align your skills and experiences accordingly.
Structuring your response to, “Why do you want to work for this company?” using the STAR method can be effective framework.  Here’s an example: "I am excited about the opportunity to join XYZ Company as a Software Developer because it aligns perfectly with my career goals of working in a cutting-edge, innovative environment where I can leverage my programming skills to create impactful solutions. Your company's emphasis on pioneering technology in Canada and its dedication to continuous learning are particularly motivating for me, as I have a deep passion for staying at the forefront of technological advancements. In my previous role as a Software Engineer at ABC Tech in Toronto, I led a team in developing a new feature for our mobile application that improved user engagement by 25%. This involved working closely with cross-functional teams, utilizing agile methodologies, and implementing new technologies such as machine learning algorithms to personalize user experiences. The success of this project not only enhanced the app's performance but also significantly contributed to the company's growth in a competitive market. This experience honed my technical and collaborative skills and underscored the importance of innovation and teamwork in delivering high-quality software solutions. I am confident that my ability to write clean, efficient code, solve complex problems, and work effectively within a team will be a great asset to your development team at XYZ Company." When faced with the question “Why do you want to work here?” (or other challenging ones like “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your greatest weaknesses?”), some job seekers freeze up, worried they’ll say the wrong thing. But if you anticipate the question and take time to prepare an answer before the interview, you’ll avoid feeling frazzled— and your chances of hitting the mark with a winning answer will rise.
When might you hear, “Why do you want to work here” during the interview stage? You’re most likely to encounter this question early in the meeting when the interviewer may use it to set the tone for the conversation. It can also come up toward the end of the interview, as the hiring manager seeks to confirm your interest and enthusiasm for the opportunity now that you’ve learned more details about it. Be on the lookout for other forms of the question, such as, “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “Why do you want to work with us?”  Check out more articles on questions you may encounter during the second interview, as well as behavioural interview questions to prepare for.   What answers should I avoid when asked, “Why do you want to work with us?”  “Honestly, I just need a job, and this one looked interesting.”   This is certainly a candid response. But it does nothing to demonstrate a sincere interest in the role or the company. Plus, the hiring manager might have concerns that you’d be quick to leave the firm for another opportunity you find more compelling.  “I see this as a step to bigger and better things.”  While no employer expects every worker to stay with the organization for the long term, a response like this implies you’re more focused on the future than the present. It also suggests that you already have one foot out the door before you’ve even been hired.  “I’ve heard this company offers good pay and benefits.”  Any company wants to be viewed as an employer of choice, and leading firms recognize that they must offer competitive compensation to hire top talent. That said, they don’t want to recruit people whose primary motivation to work for the business is money.   What are some ways to frame my response to, “Why do you want to work for this company?” In an actual interview situation, you want to deliver your prepared answer in a polished but natural way.  Consider using one of the following lead-ins as the inspiration for crafting your tailored response: “I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company/industry, and I feel I can do so by/with my …”  “I feel my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because …”  “I believe I have the type of knowledge to succeed in this role and at the company because …”  “I’m excited about this job opportunity, as it would allow me to …”