31 Aug 2020

Answering the interview question - Why are you interested in this position?

Why is this question asked?

The employer wants to:

• Ensure you understand the job you’re applying for

• Learn how enthusiastic you are for the position

• Know if your experience matches up with the job responsibilities

• Discover if your goals and values align with the company 

• Be sure you can add value to the company

Here’s how to address all of the employers' concerns within your answer:

1. Research the role you’re applying for

Research the role and learn how your own skills match up with the job requirements. Then within your answer you can reference the specific duties of the position and detail how you have the experience and knowledge to perform them. 

To help prepare your answer ask yourself the following questions:

• Do I have specific examples from my work experience which demonstrate I can perform the main duties of this job?

• What do I like most about the job? 

• How does this job align with my own professional goals? Are there development opportunities?

Quick tip: After applying for a job - always save the job description in a word document or on Google Drive. Most of the time a job will be removed from a website once the expiry date has passed.

2. Match the company's goals and values with your own

Demonstrating to the interviewer that your career objectives and values are aligned with the hiring companies will increase your chances of landing the job. To do this you must first identify what yours, and the company's, goals and values are.

Discovering your goals and values

Ask yourself the following questions to identify your career goals:

• What are you motivated by?

• Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? 

• What do you love most about the industry?

Here are some questions to identify your core values:

• What type of company culture do you want to join?

• What fulfills you most about your job?

• What’s important to you?

Discovering the company's goals and values

Complete the following research in order to identify the hiring companies goals and values:

Review the company's website: Focusing on their about us and career web pages. Ask yourself - why would you want to be a part of this company?

Research their services and/or product line: Does the company care about their customers - and why does this matter to you?

Explore their social media channels: What impression do you get from the content they post? Why does it resonate with you?

Check out employee reviews: What do their employees say about working there, and why does that appeal to you? Ask yourself - is this a place I’d like to work in?

3. Putting it all together

Now that you’re clear that you have the required skill and experience to meet the demands of the job, and you feel your core values and goals align with the companies, it’s time to piece your answer together. 

The below answer script and template will simplify this exercise for you.

How it will look - Example answer:

[State why you’re interested in the job and how you’re qualified - with examples] I’m extremely interested in the Customer Service Admin position.

As mentioned within the job spec, I would be responsible for managing client support tickets. I was in charge of this function within my previous job. As the Customer Support Specialist at [company name] I handled 200 queries a week, and after my second month into the job, I was responsible for training all new recruits in the customer support department, which had a total headcount of 30 people. In fact, I was recognised as the department's top performer during the company's end of year review.

[State how you align with the company’s values, and how you will contribute to their success] Helping others is what gets me up in the morning, and the opportunity to do what I love at a company that is just as passionate about finding solutions as I am is the reason why I applied for this role. I am certain the success I achieved in my previous role will allow me to achieve similar results for [company name].

Interview answer checklist:

• State why you’re interested in the job

• Highlight the most important duty/duties of the job

• Explain how you performed the relevant duty/duties within your previous work experience, along with citing successful results or outcomes

• Finish your answer by referencing how you align with the company’s values, and how you will contribute to their future success

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Best of luck with your interview!

Need help putting together your CV and Cover Letter? Check out our step by step guides which include free templates to download and sample information for each and every section of your CV and cover letter.

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