Why are you interested in this position?
Open-ended questions like this are a useful assessment tool for a hiring manager in understanding a job seeker’s motivations. Generally, a hiring manager wants to see what value a candidate can bring to a company.
This question, in particular, gives a hiring manager insight into a few key components. By answering this question, you can assure a hiring manager that you fully understand the position you are applying for.
Additionally, this question will let them know whether a candidate is passionate about the role and has unique attributes that will positively impact their company. Lastly, your answer to “Why am I interested in this position?” can allow you to further elaborate on how your experience aligns with the position.
When answering “Why am I interested in this position?”, there are plenty of approaches to consider. After all, there is no one-size-fits-all answer that you can use in every job interview.
In this article, we’ll cover how to answer “Why are you interested in this position?” and provide some examples to help you prepare.
How To Answer “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”
Consider Where You Want Your Career To Go
Figuring out your ideal career trajectory should be something you do before you start job hunting. Without a general plan in place, your job search can feel aimless. This lack of preparation can also come across in your interviews, manifesting as vague or uncertain answers to interview questions.
Start by asking yourself what changes you’d like to make to your career. This could be an expansion of a current skill set or a transition into a new field. For example, you may have experience in sales and want to find a position where you can broaden those skills.
It also helps to have a general idea of how you’d like to evolve your career. While telling an employer that you’d like to grow professionally is good, leaving it at that is still too vague. We recommend that you further explain what that growth might look like.
To learn how best to incorporate this topic of growth into your answer, you’ll need to research the position and company.
Research the Position and Company
It’s always advised to do a bit of research on the interviewing company beforehand. In doing so, you’ll gain a full understanding of where you may be working. This will allow you to show the hiring manager that you have a genuine interest in working for the company. Company and position research is also beneficial for answering “Why am I interested in this position?”
Let’s say a position asks for a candidate who has decent communication skills with customers. You could explain your interest by saying this position allows you to exercise your customer service skills.
Company research also helps you craft your answer by giving you values or objectives you align with. Start by examining a company’s online presence. Many companies release information about new initiatives, goals, and programs in press releases on their website or social media channels. You’ll also gain a sense of their company culture and how you would fit with the team.
In your interview answer, you can specifically reference company initiatives or programs you found interesting. Additionally, you can express how this factor relates to your qualifications and what value you’d bring in supporting company objectives.
Hiring managers aren’t looking for candidates who clearly applied to the job simply for the sake of applying. They want individuals who are genuinely invested in their career and have an interest specifically in the company.
Sharing what drew you to their company, in particular, is a great way to answer this question. This may be that the specific role was exactly what you were looking for to advance your career or that the company culture matched your preferred work environment.
Whatever it may be, it’s okay to let that enthusiasm shine through during your interview. Your interest and enthusiasm may even lead to further questions that provide the opportunity to share more about why you want this position.
Avoid Surface-Level Answers
Much like a lack of enthusiasm, surface-level answers aren’t the way to go when it comes to answering, “Why are you interested in this position?” Though elements such as benefits and compensation fall into top priorities for many candidates, it shouldn’t be the main focus of your answer.
Instead, focus on the values, goals, and initiatives of the company. Use this time to draw a connection between your current skills and attributes and the position itself. Discuss how their company culture aligned with the work environment you hope for. Share the growth potential you see for both yourself and the company should you be offered this position.
Why Are You Interested in This Position: Example Answers
Once you’ve identified your ideal career path and conducted research, your next step is to prepare your answer. If it helps, you can write down your answer to practice how you’d say it. In the interview, however, you won’t be able to read off of your notes. So, it is beneficial to identify the key points you’d like to cover in your answer. Some example points to consider are:
- How does this job align with your career path and your goals for the future?
- What is something unique about the position or company that interests you?
- What value and overall fit do you bring to this position?
We’ve put together a few sample answers below to inspire your answer. These answers address the main points listed above and show how you can best answer, “Why are you interested in this position?
Sample #1 – Entry Level Technology
As a recent college graduate, I’ve spent the last four years preparing for a role in the technology industry. I’ve had the opportunity to hone my skills at cloud-based companies, learning about the latest technologies. I’m excited to begin my post-graduate career in a position that will allow me to further expand my knowledge of the industry and learn alongside experienced professionals to provide technological solutions for clients.
Sample #2 – Mid-Level Financial
I spent five years working in the financial industry, and I’d like to continue growing within this field. I am particularly interested in expanding my leadership skills, as my last job put me in charge of managing several small teams. After reviewing this position, I felt that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about the industry through a role that emphasized management. I am also interested in your company’s unique collaborative environment and how it will allow me to support my colleagues.
Sample #3 – Senior Level Healthcare
Over my last fifteen years in healthcare, I’ve watched the industry grow and change into the system in place today. Through these changes, I have taken the initiative to learn and adapt to meet the new demands of the healthcare industry. I’ve been fortunate enough to serve in management roles, assisting my team in navigating industry growth and providing the utmost care to every patient. Through this experience, I feel fully prepared to take my skills to the next level and serve as Chief Operating Officer.
We hope this guide to how to answer “Why am I interested in this position?”, was helpful for your interview preparation. Use these tips and examples to craft an answer that will impress hiring managers and land you the role!