Among countless questions that an interviewer could ask is: “Why do you want this job?”, or “Why are you interested in this job?” Of course, the words an interviewer may use could differ.
However, the objectives of such questions remain the same: An interviewer wants to find your intentions for applying for the vacancy.
What are your intentions that an interviewer wants to know? Let’s learn a little about them.
Intentions behind Asking “Why Do You Want This Job?”
Let’s understand first that an interviewer has limited time to gauge whether you qualify for the job. Therefore, they’ll ask questions that fit within the time and try to assess your capabilities, interest, aptitude and other parameters.
What interviewers look for when they ask: “Why do you want this job?” are as follows.
- Dissatisfaction with the earlier or current job.
- Higher pay scale.
- Convenience in commuting.
- Hidden Reasons such as poor relations with seniors and colleagues or lack of skills for the job you’re doing.
Interviewers also wish to find whether you’re there just to check how much salary an organization would offer.
Because thousands of people have this uncivilised habit of using an offer letter with more pay as a bargaining chip to blackmail their current employer. And no respectable company will allow its offer letters to become bargaining chips.
Now that we know the main intentions behind this question: “Why do you want this job?” it’s imperative to create a good impression on the interviewer.
Ways to Answer “Why Do You Want This Job?”
The most important thing to remember while answering this question: there are no rules or set answers that you can offer. Meaning, you’ll have to create an answer that meets your needs and resolves any doubts an interviewer has about your intentions.
Therefore, use these simple tweaks to answer the question.
Leverage Your Service Record
That’s the first weapon you can deploy effectively. However, leveraging your service record means you’ll require lengthy tenures with every employer. If you’re the proverbial job-hopper, there’s all likelihood you won’t get the post anyways.
However, if you are serving an organization for a respectable period- say five years or more- and have an impeccable track record, you can use this to answer “Why are you interested in this job?”.
Merit Over Seniority
Speak about outgrowing the current employer because that’s the most natural explanation. Usually, most employees except those working with the government and its organizations, outgrow a place within five years.
Meaning, they see no more future scope such as merit-based promotions and salary increments. Instead, they’ll get promotions and pay hikes merely on the basis of seniority.
When you leverage your service record and answer “Why do you want this job”, you’re sending a clear signal that you believe in your own skills and performance.
It shows you’re unwilling to accept promotions and increments merely because of your seniority. That you prefer merit over a number of years.
By leveraging your service record, you’ll leave a fabulous impression among interviewers. They’ll understand that you mean business.
You’re indicating confidence in your qualifications and skills and are willing to work your way upwards. This would benefit the employer and you. Therefore, use an impeccable service record to answer this question.
And yes, money does matter. If you’re switching jobs purely for higher pay, state that clearly and without any hesitation. I’ll explain this a little further.
Unless you don’t have much experience in the field, an employer will make you an offer first. You can accept or negotiate. However, if you’re skills and experience are important to the employer, chances are you’ll be asked to quote own salary.
If you’re hopping or changing jobs for money, say so clearly. Nowadays, a lot of companies conduct Employee Background Screening (EBS) before making an offer. Therefore, if you lie about the salary you’re currently getting, it would be found out easily.
Other organizations request you to submit your last salary slip to verify how much you’re getting.
You can avoid these situations by clearly stating you want the job because it would offer more money. After all, you’re working for money and not there for charity. Hence, such an answer is prudent and perfectly acceptable.
Poor Working Conditions
If you’re genuinely a victim of poor working conditions, say that very clearly while answering “Why do you want to join our company?”.
However, do not blame your employer, seniors or colleagues. Instead, simply say why you’re unable to fit into the working conditions. Avoid criticizing anyone because it would reflect very poorly upon you.
When you provide genuine reasons for leaving an organization, an interviewer will share his or her empathy.
However, that can happen only when you have the necessary skills and wish to utilize them better. Poor working conditions doesn’t usually stand alone as a reason to want to work elsewhere.
However, when you cite poor working conditions, an interviewer may also try to probe whether you’re at fault.
And they might also ask questions that might force you to part with certain trade secrets or operating processes of your current employer. Ensure that you steer away from these questions.
Relocation for Work Can be a Reason for “Why do you want this job”
If the reason you’re looking for a new job is relocating to your native city or nearer home, the answer becomes really easy. Simply state the real reason.
Speak about how relocation would help the company since you’ll live with family and in a familiar place. Here you can leverage your knowledge about the area for this purpose as well as the local language if you have expert level fluency.
However, an interviewer might try and punch loopholes in your response. They may wish to know why you came to another city in the first place.
That’s not as difficult to reply. You can simply answer that you were looking for a suitable position to launch or further your career.
Another question that might accompany ‘How to answer why do you want to join our company?” when you speak of relocation are salary and expenses.
The prospective employer may expect you to relocate at your own expense. And salaries a company pays at other locations may be lower than what you’re presently drawing.
If such a scenario arises, the ball is entirely in your court. You can request the company to provide favorable terms and conditions that would help you relocate. Again, speak about how your relocation benefits the employer more than it helps you.
As you can see, the question “Why do you want this job?”, isn’t all that difficult to answer. As long as you’re speaking the truth and not fudging any facts. The above tweaks would enable you to respond to this question with ease and full confidence.