1 Sep 2020

Answering the interview question: Why do you want to work for this company?

Why is this question asked? To determine if you will be a good fit for the company - and to discover if you will add value to the team. 

We demonstrate this in our interview answer by making it clear to the interviewer that our values and goals are similar to the hiring companies.

In addition, this research exercise will only increase your chance of landing the job. Extensive knowledge of the company and the job you’re applying for will leave a long-lasting impression on the interviewer and give you the edge over other candidates. 

Here’s what your answer needs to include:

1. How your personal and professional values align with the company’s values

2. Information on your career goals and how they align with the company

3. How your personal and professional values align with the company’s values

1. Discover your own values

*Values: What you believe to be important in the way you live and work.*

Once we have your values defined, you can then match them with the company you’re applying for, which will shape your entire answer to this question. 

Ask yourself these questions to help identify what your core values are:

  • What type of culture do you want to be a part of?

  • What gives you the most fulfillment at work?

  • What’s important to you?

    Core Value Examples

  • A commitment to helping those less fortunate than us

  • A commitment to sustainability and always acting in an environmentally friendly manner

  • Always acting with honesty and integrity

  • Helping Society: Contributing to the betterment of the world

  • Creative freedom: Allowing others to contribute with their own ideas

  • Working Conditions: Being in an environment that you're comfortable with

Next - research the company to discover their goals and values

Now that we have your own values defined it’s time to match them with the hiring company’s values. 

Here’s how to discover their values:

• Explore the company website - the ABOUT US and CAREER web pages

• Understand their products and services

• Learn about the management structure, departments and competitors

• Review employee reviews/testimonials on Glassdoor/Indeed/Google

• Review their social media accounts

As you explore the hiring company make notes of anything that strikes you as interesting or similar to your own core values. 

Questions and sample answers to put it all together

After completing research on the company:

How does the company's values and mission align with your own? Are there parallels? 

If the company has a culture built on honesty or giving back to the community

  • Why does this appeal to you? 

  • Why would you want to be a part of this type of organisation?

Employee reviews/testimonials

  • What do their employees say about working there? 

  • Why do their responses make working there attractive to you?

  • Do they promote an open, transparent working environment? Why does that appeal to you?

Reviews from customers

  • How does the company react to customer or user feedback? 

  • Do they appear to put their clients first? 

  • What did you like about their responses to feedback? 

  • Why is customer satisfaction important to you?

Social Media

  • What excites you most about the content posted on their company social media accounts?

  • What impression do you get from the content posted on social media? 

  • Do they appear to care about their staff and customers? Why is that important to you?

Example answer: "On your company website, I was taken back by the level of commitment your organisation has put into helping the local community. Giving back to others is a huge aspect of my own personal philosophy and I was overwhelmed with excitement when I saw a company that was equally as passionate about serving people in need. My mission is to work at a company where I can contribute with both my technical skills and my personal values, and your company is a place where that’s possible."

Example answer 2:"I have gathered from my own research that your company’s reputation is stellar. From reading employee reviews who currently work here it’s obvious that the company gives its staff the freedom to lead and contribute to the mission of the company. I want to be a part of an organisation that values their employees input and allows initiative to be taken. These liberties will allow me to achieve my own professional goals of striving to become an industry leader."

2. Information on your career goals and how they align with the company

First - Discover your career goals

Ask yourself these questions to help identify what your career goals are:

  • What motivates you? 

  • What skills do you want to further develop - personally and professionally?

  • What do you need to achieve your future objectives?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What interests you most about your job/industry?

Examples of career goals

  • Becoming a manager within the next 6 - 12 months

  • Being part of a team to create a service that enriches people's lives

  • Working with the most innovative products to deliver solutions in my industry

  • Personal & professional development: Upskilling (earn a degree, certificate in my field) while continuing to develop professionally

  • Becoming an expert/leader in my field

  • Work as head of marketing for a multinational company

  • Being happy at work or Working on my passion

Next - Discover the company's goals

Now that we have your own career goals defined it’s time to match them with the hiring company’s goals. 

Here’s how to discover their goals:

• Search for any public announcements (Awards, expansion, general news, etc.)

• Review their mission statement (Usually found on the website ABOUT section)

• Review their social media channels

• Review their products and services

• Read back over the job description

Questions and sample answers to put it all together

• Has the company won any prestigious awards? Why is that important?

• Do they have high standards? 

• What are their long term goals and vision for the future? Does it align with your own?

What better place to achieve your own professional goals than with a company that is aligned with your own ambitions. Any awards or positive press can highlight the company values and goals for the future. If working at a company that is striving for excellence, explain in your own words why that appeals to you.

Review their products and services

Are their products and services the most innovative on the market? Perhaps the opportunity to work with the latest technology is one you would cherish given your passion for the industry. 

Read back over the job description

The interviewer needs to know that you have a very strong understanding of the role you are applying for and the duties it entails. Within the job description, you can also discover why this position will help you achieve your career goals. 

For example, if the job description details an opportunity to lead a team, you could explain in your interview answer that collaborating and leading others to achieve a common goal is when you’re most engaged at work. 

Putting it all together - Example answers:

Example answer 1: "Although the company is ‘X’ years old, it has never wavered from its mission of putting the clients' needs first. This is quite apparent given the recent prestigious awards XYZ Company has won coupled with the overwhelming number of positive customer reviews on Trustpilot. When I began my search for a new job I made it my objective to seek out organisations that are committed to innovation, integrity, and delivering the very best for their clients, and XYZ Company ranks at the very top of the list."

Example answer 2: "I came across a news feature last month about your company COO Peter Johnston and the company's renewed focus on tech innovation. I’d consider myself an innovator and would love the opportunity to work for an industry-leading company."

What to avoid

Being Generic: Don’t give wishy-washy answers. For example - ‘I saw you were hiring and the company looks really good so I said I’d change my arm at applying’. Make your answer memorable, believable and full of enthusiasm.

Salary and perks: Avoid mentioning the company perks or salary as the reason why you want to work at the company. The interviewer wants to hire a candidate that is looking to grow with the company - not just to show up for a paycheck. 

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We wish you the very best of luck with your job interview!

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