You’re in the interview and they ask you, “why are you applying for this position?”… or “why did you apply for this job?”…
Are you prepared with what you’re going to say?
In this article I’m going to reveal why employers ask this, and the 3 steps for how to answer to impress the interviewer.
Let’s get started…
Employers ask questions like, “why did you apply for this job?” to make sure you’ve done your research, and to make sure you know what you want in a role.
They don’t want to hire somebody who has no idea what they’re looking for. They definitely don’t want to hire somebody who simply doesn’t care either.
And finally, they don’t want to hire somebody who doesn’t know much about their particular job or didn’t do any research before the interview. (Because it shows them you either don’t know what you’re looking for, or are desperate and don’t care).
Now that you know why they ask, here are the 3 steps you can use to answer the question…
For step 3, it’s even better if you also show them how your previous skills will help you succeed in their job if they hire you.
For example, you might say:
“I was reading the job description and noticed you mention needing someone who can do ___. This is really exciting to me because I’m interested in growing in that area and I have spent 3 years doing it already, including a project where I did ___. My past experience will help me contribute immediately in this area for you.”
Let’s look at another word-for-word sample answer now…
“Great question. Right now I’m looking for more leadership, since I’ve been in my current position for 4 years managing projects across our department. I saw on your job description that this person you hire will manage 4-5 projects, and will also have the chance to train a team of their own in the future and get into direct management. That’s something that excites me a lot, and unfortunately my company can’t offer that right now, so that’s a major reason that I wanted to apply for this job in particular. I think my past experience leading projects would help me contribute immediately in this role. Can you tell me more about what type of leadership role that this position can grow into in the long run?”
As a bonus, you can end your question with a question of your own. I did that in the example above. It’s one of the strategies I recommend in my job interview answer guide because it turns the interview into a back-and-forth dialogue, instead of a nerve-racking interrogation.
Now, before I wrap up this article, let’s cover a few mistake and things to avoid when answering:
There are a couple of things you definitely shouldn’t do when the interviewer asks why applied for their job. Here’s what not to do…
In fact, you can also use this same 3-step formula to answer “Why do you want this job?”
Follow these steps any time an interviewer asks a question about why you wanted to apply for this position, why you were interested in interviewing for their job, or anything else.
If you do this, you’ll immediately impress them, and you’ll be one step closer to a job offer.
If you have interviews coming up and don’t want to leave anything to chance, I’ve created a new guide where you can copy my exact step-by-step method for getting job offers. You can get more details here.