In almost any professional job interview you will be faced with this question. It may seem like a fairly straight-forward question, even eye-rolling obvious, but it is a question that you should prepare for carefully. And, if you are doing the number of interviews then you will need to prepare your answer to this question to suit each company individually.
With our interview preparation guide here you will be able to deliver a top answer to this question. You may find that you are asked a similar question in a slightly different form. All of these questions are posed to give the interviewer the same information.
You can use the tips in this article to prepare for any of these questions:
- “What do you know about us?”
- “What have you heard about our organization?”
- “What do you know about the role?”
In this article, you will find some excellent example answers and comprehensive lists of what to avoid and what you should include in your answer.
Interviewers try to be efficient with the questions they ask, so you can bet that every question is aimed to get specific information from you. So, what is the interviewer looking for when they ask. “Why do you want to work in our company?”
There are two key things the interviewer will be evaluating with this question: what is your level of research, which shows how interested you are in the position; and whether they can provide you with a better position than your current employer.
Things to avoid in your answer
The following are some things that you definitely don’t want to do when you respond to the question: “Why do you want to work here?”. Remember you want to provide the interviewer with what they want to know. Doing or saying any of these might give the interviewer a reason to move on to considering another applicant ahead of you.
Do not be too vague or generic. Avoid giving a generic answer which could apply to any company or candidate.
Do not flatter too much. It may sound like the question is just asking you to tell them why they are great, but it really isn’t. You can show admiration for the company without crossing over into too much flattery which might not sound genuine.
Do not be too honest. You should not lie in an interview, but you also do not need to be completely open and completely candid either. Sounding desperate and like any job will suffice is not going to help and really does not answer the question.
Do not try to be funny. Off-hand, funny or sarcastic answers will rarely work. The interviewer is after a well-considered and balanced answer.
What you should include in your answer
The most effective answer to this question will demonstrate that you have done your homework and understand the company, plus show how that aligns with what you are looking for in a job. It is best to be very structured in your response, so you provide the interviewer with the key information they are looking for.
The ultimate answer will make it clear how the company is a great fit for what you are looking for, and illustrate how the company can satisfy your interests better than where you are now.
Aim to cover the following areas:
- the research you have done on the company, especially what the company does well
- what interests you about the company, based on your research
- what makes you interested in a job
- how your interests and values align with those of the company
Researching the company
The foundation of an answer to this question is your understanding of the company. The first point of research should be the company’s website. Here you can usually get a good idea of their priorities and what the company values, plus useful information on their hiring process. Also, check out any blogs they have and their social media pages.
But your research should not stop there – you should also investigate media coverage, where you can better gauge industry trends and how the company sits it related to its competitors. Finally, don’t forget to ask through your own network for anyone who has connections, inside knowledge or personal experiences to share.
Some key things to investigate: company’s reputation, its industry position and trends, company growth & key successes, notable awards, company culture and values, its products and services (best selling, new, in development), some company initiatives (training programs, marketing campaigns, community engagement), the reputation of key leaders in the company.
For very large or diverse organizations, you will probably want to focus particularly on information relevant to the specific department or area you are applying to.
Keep it focused
There can be a lot of different dimensions to a company and as well as a lot of interests you have. Ideally, you should focus on a maximum of three or four points. Stick to the biggest and strongest points about the company that is most relevant to the specific position you are applying for, and show how they align with you.
Show your passion
It is also very important that you demonstrate your enthusiasm. Companies want to hire people who are passionate about working for them. The interviewer knows you’re interested, but with this question, you can go further by strongly aligning your passions with the company’s strengths.
Some great example answers to the question: “Why do you want to work for us?”
“I read an article a couple of months ago about the initiatives your company has working with the local community. Giving back and supporting the wider community is an important part of my personal philosophy and I was excited to see your work in this area.
When I saw the opening here, that was also a perfect fit for my skills and background, there was no question that I would apply. To work every day in a company whose values align with my own is a strong motivator for me and something I have been looking for. To be valued for not only my skills but my personal philosophy is a key attraction to working here.”
What is good about this answer: There is a clear statement of specific knowledge of the company and the admiration of the company’s values. This is then aligned with the applicant’s own philosophy, and at the same time, they are emphasizing their enthusiasm and good skill match for the position.
“Well, I have huge admiration for the software products your company has developed and I would welcome the opportunity to work with a leader in this niche sector. I also have friends in the industry who have shared with me their experiences of your company’s respect for employees, commitment to training and the environment you have created which rewards innovation. I believe that my drive and proactive style would fit well in a company that values innovation, and it is especially suited to this role of new product development.”
What is good about this answer: This answer talks about the company and the role. It also demonstrates admiration and understanding of the company culture. The applicant also talks about a soft skill which aligns with the company values & that fits well with the specific position.