How to answer the interview question 'Why do you want to work here?'

They want someone "who wants to get to know the audience, to be part of the mission."


As the Great Resignation continues, millions of Americans are reconsidering their current work trajectory. Nearly a quarter, 22%, of all job seekers report quitting their previous jobs, and 73% of those currently employed are thinking about quitting, according to a Q3 Joblist survey of 26,278 job seekers.

If you're currently on the hunt for a new position, it's smart to prepare for some popular interview questions likely to come up along the way, such as "What are your weaknesses?" and "What are your strengths?" Another question that may come up is, "Why do you want to work here?"

Here's how to approach answering it.

Take the opportunity to show you've done your homework

When an interviewer asks, "Why do you want to work here?" they're giving you "an opportunity to show that, 'Yeah, I'm taking this seriously, I've actually done my homework,'" says Amanda Augustine, career expert at TopResume. That is, they're giving you an opportunity to show them that you've done your research on the company, that you know what its core values are, what its mission is for the future, and what it expects from its employees.

5 tips to ace video job interviews

Video by Courtney Stith

Before going into the interview, read through the company's website to get a sense of what's important to it, Google to see if you can find some articles about its latest endeavors and culture, and read reviews from previous employees on sites including Glassdoor.

You can also go through your LinkedIn contacts and see if anyone you know has worked there. If they have, try to set up a phone chat to learn about their experience and if they have any advice going in.

The company wants someone who 'wants to drink the Kool-Aid'

A good answer will incorporate aspects you found appealing about the company, based on what you've learned during your research. Try "talking about some of the initiatives that the company has going on that you think are really interesting and exciting," says Brie Reynolds, career development manager at FlexJobs, or "about how your values align with the company's mission."

What hiring managers are "really trying to gauge" with this question, says Reynolds, is "not only can you do the job, but is there something about the company that you feel a connection to? Is there something about the company that has drawn you to apply to them?"

Emphasizing why what the company is doing speaks to you on a personal level can help prove that you'll be motivated to do the job well. Employers "don't want just a warm body," says Augustine. They want someone "who wants to get to know the audience, to be part of the mission, who wants to drink the Kool-Aid. Because that's what makes the company great."

'Work in some of the why you're a good fit'

If it hasn't already come up in the interview, this question is "also your chance to work in some of the why you're a good fit" for the role, says Augustine, along with why you'd be excited to be an employee there.

Are the projects this company is working on similar to ones you've worked on in the past? Are their goals ones you've helped your previous employers achieve? In answering this question, figure out what interests you about being there, then provide concrete examples why the job is in line with what you can offer.

More from Grow: