20.9.2023 | Recruitment

Why do you want this job?

Amanda Harrold of A&S Recruitment offers up her top tips for candidates looking to deliver well-crafted and thoughtful responses to this seemingly innocuous query.

In the competitive landscape of job interviews, the one question which often stands out as a crucial determinant of success is, “Why do you want this job?”

“Firstly, candidates need to understand why this question is key,” says A&S Recruitment Director, Amanda Harrold. “Interviewers frequently ask, “Why do you want this job?” to gauge a candidate’s genuine interest in the position and the company. A compelling answer highlights your qualifications and demonstrates your alignment with the company’s mission, values, and culture. It’s an opportunity to show that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely enthusiastic about the role.”

Always encouraging candidates to delve deep into the company’s history, values, culture and recent achievements before the interview, Amanda continues: “Turn up at the interview ensuring that you understand the job description thoroughly, including its responsibilities and requirements. Identifying the company’s unique aspects and role will enable you to tailor your response effectively.

“Then, begin your response by highlighting your qualifications and skills relevant to the position. Emphasise how your background and experience make you a strong candidate, and remember to use examples from your past work or achievements to illustrate your suitability for the position.

“Verbalising what is attractive to you about the role also significantly improves your chances of success. Consider the company’s commitment to innovation, social responsibility, or collaborative work culture. Your answer should make it clear why this company, in particular, aligns with your career goals.”

The interview process can take an excessive amount of time. As a result, employers can be turned off when presented with a stream of generic responses that could equally apply to a host of different companies or positions. “So, ensure your responses demonstrate that you are looking for a career with the company rather than simply a job. And stay clear of questions about salaries or benefits. Companies are looking for new talent that wants to grow with the company and can relate to its values. Talking money on a first interview is never a good idea.”

With over 25 years of experience in the recruitment industry, Amanda’s last top tip is as valid today as it has ever been. “Practice makes perfect. Invest the time to rehearse with a friend or in front of a mirror. Refining your answers and building your confidence is what will win you the job at the end of the day.”