The interview stage of any job search is probably the most nerve racking of the entire process-- even for the most experienced or qualified of candidates. And although it's true that job interviews are simply professional conversations, they're also discussions heavy with loaded questions and artful answers.
And "Why do you want to work here?" is one of those loaded questions that requires an artful answer.
Yet, admitting to wanting a job because you need a job is probably one of the best ways to lose a job opportunity. So, when an interviewer asks what motivates you to want to work for their organization, here's how to (honestly and artfully) answer:
1. Research the corporate culture (and align your answer)
What does the company stand for? What are their values? What charities do they support or what corporate awareness initiatives do they take part in? Before you meet face to face, your research will help you uncover these answers that you need to base yours on.
If you’re interviewing at a not-for-profit, naming career advancement as motivation maybe isn’t the wisest idea. Or if you're interviewing for a position at a bank, stating a crusade against Uncle Sam probably won't get you the gig. You should always tailor your answer to the company's beliefs and business objectives.
And if you can't align your reasons for wanting to work there with their reasons for being in business, maybe it isn't the best fit.
2. Incorporate your successes
When you discuss what incentivses you to work, you can capitalize on a great opportunity to highlight the accomplishments that you've already achieved.
Are you applying to a role at a tech startup that specializes in app creation and you OMG SIMPLY LOVE TECH?! Stating you want to work there because you go crazy for the latest gadget isn't enough to get hired.
In this scenario, you need to demonstrate how you're particularly passionate about applications. Do you have previous professional OR personal experience creating an app? What got you excited about the problem that needed to be solved? What challenges did you face during the process? What was the outcome? Elaborating on your passions by providing quantifiable and verifiable proof of your successes is an asset on your side.
So, when they asked you why you applied, your answer may sound something like, "I love tech, but I especially love programming. It's so exciting for me to discover new ways to solve every day problems. Last year, I created an app that......"
3. NEVER use money as your motivator
Compensation is important to everyone, but admitting it’s your number one focus or that you just really need this job cause bills won't add any value to the conversation, and will more than likely decrease yours.
It's almost a full time job looking for a job, yet finding one you love is worth the work. Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next IT job?