You’re going to hear this question a lot as an ice-breaker in your interview: How did you hear about this position?
There are a couple of important rules to follow when answering, so I’ll walk you through exactly what to do.
Usually you can tell the truth. If you found the position any of these ways just say so:
Those are all really good reasons for how you heard about the job, and can help lead into your explanation of why you applied for the position too. Different question but closely-related.
So, that’s how to answer this question easily and effectively. There are some things you need to avoid doing too…
Don’t do any of these things…
So the best way to answer “How did you hear about this position?” is to either tell the truth, or if you can’t, use one of the good reasons I mentioned earlier after verifying it COULD be true.
Also, the best answers are concise and to the point. So make sure you keep it brief too. If the interviewer wants more info, they’ll ask.
Nobody’s trying to trip you up or catch you with a mistake in this question. It’s not a trap. It’s truly just an icebreaker or a way to get the interview started and find out a bit about your job search and how you’re looking for jobs.
Now that you know how to answer, let’s go through some sample answers for explaining how you found out about the position. This will help you get comfortable and get some ideas you can adapt into your own answer.
Example answer for active job seekers:
“I’m actively job searching right now, and found your job posting on LinkedIn while searching for Senior Engineer positions. I reviewed the job description on LinkedIn before applying and it seemed like a great potential fit so I wanted to apply and learn more about the opportunity to see if it’s a good match.”
Example answer for passive job seekers:
“I wasn’t actively looking for a job change, but a colleague mentioned that she saw you were hiring on your website, and said she had heard good things about your work environment. I went to your website and did some reading on the Careers page and liked what I saw, so I decided I should apply and learn more about the opportunity.”
By the way, if you look at both of those answers above, you’re not saying, “I know I’m the perfect candidate, you should hire me.” You don’t need to do this in a first interview. At least not when answering a really casual question about how you heard about the position.
(If they ask a question like “Why should we hire you for this position?”, it’s a different story).
But here’s my point… The best and most impressive job seekers use the approach in the examples above… They show that they’re being careful in their job search and are looking for the RIGHT move, not just any job. And their priority in the interview is to learn more, have a conversation, and find out if this is a good fit for both sides.
They’re not desperately trying to convince everyone they talk to that they’d be perfect for the job. They’re trying to learn more and see if it’s a match.
Do this and you’ll get hired faster every time. Hiring managers love this, and very few people are doing it properly so you’ll stand out right away.