How to Answer, “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

What to Say When You’re Asked This Common Interview Question

by Nicole Degi

You are on the hunt for a new job and see a variety of roles that fit your experience level that you want to apply for, but have you ever thought to yourself; why do I want to work here? That is often an interview question that you will be asked so before even applying to the role think through why you want to work for this company, yes, your experience level may align nicely but what else is it that is drawing you to the company? Is it the culture, values, mission? Thinking through this question that seems so simple but important will help establish your credibility and prove your value to the organization. 

Why is this important? From the employer’s perspective, they want to hire someone who believes in what they do, who they are and what they stand for. They want to hire someone who is going to strive in this role and produce impactful results for years not someone who is just going to show up for work every day. From your perspective, when you apply for a job, you should not only think about your skill level and work experiences but also think about what motivates you and what this company offers that aligns with that motivation and excitement to put into a role.

 If the question, “Why do you want to work here?” or another version of this question is asked in an interview, here is our advice:  

What Not to Say

This can be one of those questions that makes you stop in your tracks and get flustered during an interview if you have not thought this through ahead of time. If an interviewer asks you “why do you want to work here” or “why are you interested in this position”? Thing’s employers do not want to hear are: 

  1. “I just need a job.”- This shows that you applied to every job posting that you saw hoping to get an interview, you do not have an interest in the actual role or company you are just looking for a paycheck which is a complete turnoff.
  2. “I am not sure what I want to do.”- This shows the employer that you do not take the role they have posted seriously and that you are just looking for a resume builder or steppingstone until something else comes along. 
  3. “I heard the pay and benefits are good.”- Yes, pay and benefits in a position are important but is that the sole reason you want to work for the company? Think about how the position and company will make you feel, will you strive in it? Will it be rewarding or a role you can learn and grow from? If it is all about money it is hard to set yourself up for long-term success. 

What to Say

  • How will you complement the company culture? Is the company culture collaborative but you are someone who likes to work independently then this company may not be the right fit for you? If you are someone who likes to work in a collaborative culture and have researched that this is how the company works an example of something you can say is “I am someone who likes to work as a part of a growing team who works together on projects to produce results and I noticed that this is something your company offers. 
  • What will you do to make the company succeed? What are you bringing to the table? Is it recent sales tactics, a list of pre-established relationships? Let the employer know! Example: “You mentioned that new business sales was a priority of “x” company; in previous roles, I have brought in 30% new business year over year and am confident I can bring that to the table in this role”.
  • Did you read their mission statement and does it align with you? A majority of companies have their mission statement listed on the company website- read this through and think about how this aligns with you. Example: “I would be proud to work for a company that donates back to “x” organizations, this is something I am extremely enthusiastic about because “this.” 
  • Show enthusiasm. This is an exciting time for an employer to add someone new to their team, they want to hear the same excitement from you and that you want the job!

It is important to be authentic and genuine in an interview, do not be vague and just answer what you think they want to hear. Show your personality and how together you can meet the goals and objectives that the company is looking for. This is not the time for you to be wishy-washy or generic it is the time for you to tell them who you are, what you can bring to the table and why you want to work for the organization.


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