It’s inevitable that at some point in your hiring process, you’ll be asked the common but difficult interview question, “Why did you apply for this position?”.
“This is your opportunity to sell yourself. You want to demonstrate why you’re the perfect candidate.
It’s important that you deliver a clear and concise answer to make a strong impression.”
For example, let’s say you’re asked why you’re interested in the job. A simple, honest answer might be that you need a job. And this is the best one you’ve found.
Take a moment to think about it. Do you think it will impress any interviewer? Can you imagine that you can probably come up with a more compelling answer?
Maybe you’re interested in the company’s mission or values. Or maybe you’re excited about the opportunity to use your skills and experience to make a difference.
Whatever the reason, taking the time to articulate it can show that you’re truly invested in the opportunity. That, you genuinely desire to get this experience.
In this post, let’s look at how to answer this common interview question with powerful tips and tricks.
You can also find several sample answers to get yourself going.
Read on to find out more.
Why do interviewers ask, “Why did you apply for this position?”
The interviewers’ main job is to find the best fitting candidates in the quickest time. Generally, they spend just a few seconds going over any resume they come across.
For them, a few quality interview questions can help them gauge the candidates in a powerful way. Asking them about their interest in the job position is one of them. Let us take a quick look at the main reasons behind this question.
7 Big Reasons why interviewers ask – Why did you apply for this position?
1. The interviewer asks this question to help them understand your key motivation for applying for the position.
Each one of us has different sets of motivations driving us to apply for a job.
Check out – How to answer – What motivates you?
2. Whether the question is asked at the start or towards the end of the interview, it is to open you up.
They want to make you speak and break the ice if it is at the start. Even if it is asked at the end or in the middle, it is to let you flow more freely.
3. They want to gather important insights about you, while you open up.
This is because you may talk about many things that are not on your resume. You may elaborate on a few things on your resume, which can give them a deeper idea of your character, skills, and experience.
4. They want to understand your thoroughness of thinking and preparation.
They want to see if you understand a thing or two about their company. Your answer can also give them a good enough idea about how well you understand the job requirements.
5. They are eager to understand your keenness to get the job.
What matters here is – How comprehensive and carefully crafted your answer is. It not only shows your understanding but also your desire to get the position.
6. They want a quick insight into how well you fit for the role.
It is about alignment between what the job entails and what you bring to the table. Your strengths, skills, personality, and experience play a big role here. They need to naturally be fitting for what is expected to be delivered on the job.
7. Finally, they want to get a quick peek at what differentiates you from others.
Each one of us comes with a unique combination of skills, attributes, and persona. Interviewers want to know what makes you special for the job position.
Also read: What are your career goals?
How to prepare for “Why did you apply for this position?”
You can do a few things to prepare for the question, “Why did you apply for this position?” The most important thing is to have a good answer ready. It would help if you also were prepared to talk about your skills and experience and how they match the job requirements.
Here are five things you need to do to answer this question:
1. Do your research
47 percent of applicants are rejected because they had no idea what the job involved or how the firm made its money. When interviewers ask this question, they are not looking for a rehearsed speech or a memorized answer.
They want to see that you have considered why you are interested in the company and the role. They want to know that you have taken the time to learn about their business and that you are excited about the opportunity.
So take some time before your interview to learn as much about the company. Read their website, blog, and social media accounts. Research the industry they operate in and any recent news or trends related to their field.
Also Read: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
2. Be prepared to talk about your skills and experience.
When interviewers ask this question, they are looking to see if you have done your homework and if you are a good fit for the position. You should talk about your skills and experience and how they match the job requirements.
You can also mention why you are interested in the position. For example, you might say that you are excited about the opportunity to work at a company that is doing innovative work in your field or that you appreciate the company’s values.
Whatever you do, don’t simply say, “I needed a job.” Interviewers will see right through that.
3. Stay positive and enthusiastic throughout your response
Stay positive and enthusiastic throughout your response. You want the interviewer to see how excited you are about the opportunity, not that you’re desperate for a job.
When interviewers ask this question, they want to know what motivated them to apply for their specific position. For example, maybe you were impressed by the company’s mission statement or admired their work in the community. Or maybe you have some skills and experience that would make you a perfect fit for the role.
Whatever your reasons may be, stay positive and focus on how thrilled you are to join the company.
4. Avoid coming across as desperate, or like you’re just trying to fill any job opening you can find
It’s important to remember that the interviewer is trying to gauge your fit for the position, not the other way around. You don’t want to come across as desperate or like you’re just trying to fill any job open.
Go beyond the job listing and get a sense of what the company is looking for in a candidate. Think about how your skills and experience align with what they’re seeking and be prepared to share specific examples. Another key thing to keep in mind is that this is an opportunity for you to sell yourself. So don’t be afraid to highlight your strengths and explain why you would be great.
How to Research a Company
- Check the company website for information about its products, services, and philosophy.
- Google the company name to see if any negative news comes up.
- Look up the company on LinkedIn to see if any employees have left bad reviews or mentioned layoffs.
- Do a quick search on Glassdoor to read employee reviews and get an idea of what it’s like to work there.
- See if the company is listed on any scam or fraud websites.
- If you know someone who works at the organization or has worked there previously, connect with them. Perhaps you may be introduced to someone who works there that you don’t currently know.
- Read through articles about the firm and any newsworthy items, such as a new CEO or product line.
Also Read: Are you Applying for other Jobs?
How to Answer “Why did you apply for this position?”
1. As always, it starts with Research.
The key thing to remember here is – Research the company and its culture too. Do not get satisfied with understanding the job and its requirements. It later helps you in aligning yourself better for the role.
2. Be honest in your reply and speak about the requirements of the position that make a good match for your skillset.
For example, suppose you are applying for a job as a software engineer, and you point out that you thrive in fast-paced environments where there is room to be proactive and truly impactful. In that case, this will show that you have carefully read and considered the job posting.
3. Additionally, if the company emphasizes collaboration or customer service in its values, it would be good to include how the company culture aligns with your strengths.
For instance, I once had an interviewee tell me that they applied to our company because they read that we valued teamwork, and they saw that as a perfect match because they had been captain of their college soccer team.
4. Finally, it is important to show that you are familiar with the company itself and not just the job posting.
This can be done by mentioning specific things you like about the company culture or values or even discussing a recent project they completed that you found interesting.
For example, suppose you are applying for a job at a startup, and you say that you admire the company’s risk-taking attitude and its focus on innovation. In that case, this will demonstrate that you have done your research and are genuinely excited about the company.
5. Tying together why the position, the company, and your skillset are a good match is a surefire way to impress your interviewer.
Leave them with no doubt that you are the right candidate. So next time you’re asked, ” Why did you apply for this position,” take the opportunity to show off your research skills and demonstrate your interest in them.
These are just a few examples of how to answer the question “Why did you apply for this position?” in a way that will impress your potential employer.
Also read: What do you know about our company?
6 Mistakes to avoid while answering “Why did you apply for this position”
Here are some mistakes to avoid while answering this question:
1. Not being prepared
This is probably the biggest mistake you can make. You should always be prepared to answer this question because it will likely be asked in an interview. Make sure you know what you want to say, and rehearse your answer to sound confident and articulate.
2. Giving a vague answer
Don’t just say “I wanted a new challenge” or “I was looking for an opportunity to grow my skills.” Be specific about why you are interested in the position and what qualifications you have that make you a good fit for the job.
3. Talking about yourself too much
While it is important to sell yourself, don’t mistake talking about yourself too much. This question is an opportunity to show that you have done your research and that you are truly interested in the company and the position. Talk about how your skills and experience can benefit the company and what you hope to accomplish in the role.
4. Don’t say you’re desperate for a job or need the money badly
When interviewers ask this question, they don’t want to hear that you need the job or that you’re desperate for one – that will make them doubt your sincerity. Instead, try to focus on the things that excite you about the position and why it appeals to you. For example, if you’re drawn to the challenge of the job or the team they have assembled, mention that. Or, if you love the company’s mission, talk about how passionate you are about their work.
5. Don’t be negative about your previous employer
When asked why you applied for a position, avoid giving a negative answer about your previous employer. For example, don’t say that you left because you didn’t like the company culture or the way your boss treated you.
6. Don’t lie or exaggerate your experience or skills
If you are caught in a lie, it will ruin your chances of getting the job, but it could also damage your reputation and future job prospects.
Also read: Why should we hire you?
8 Examples of Why are you interested in this position Sample Answer
1. Generic sample answer that you can tailor for your specific case
“I’m excited about skills and experience in a new way and learning from a great team. I was drawn to this position because it seems like a perfect match for my talents and interests. I’m confident that I have the potential to make a significant contribution, and I am excited about the prospect of working with you all.”
2. Sample Answer for software engineers
“There are a few reasons I applied for this position, but the most important one is that I’m ready to take on a role that requires more leadership. In my previous job, I led a team of engineers and was responsible for all aspects of the projects we worked on. I’m confident in handling more responsibility and am excited to take on new challenges. I believe that this company is doing interesting work aligned with my interests and skills. In particular, I’m interested in the company’s work in big data and machine learning.”
3. Sample answer expressing the desire for new challenges
“I applied for this position because it offered an opportunity for growth that my previous company no longer did. In my previous company, I had reached a point where there were no longer any opportunities for me to grow professionally. I was looking for a new challenge in an organization where I could continue growing and developing my skills. This position seemed like a perfect fit, and I am excited to join the team and contribute to the company’s success.”
4. Sample Answer showcasing specific interests and company research
“I believe that your company works on some truly large-scale projects that would be a great fit for my skills as a marketer. I have long admired your company’s work in the domain of social media marketing, and I believe that I could contribute significantly to your team’s efforts in this area. I am simply attracted to startups’ fast-paced and dynamic environments and believe that working at your company would be an incredibly exciting experience.”
5. Sample Answer for those applying for job positions needing creativity (Architects, marketers, writers, graphic designers)
“I applied for this position because it was a perfect fit for my skills and experience as an architect. As someone with over 10 years of experience in the industry, I have the technical expertise and practical knowledge to succeed in this role. Additionally, I have a strong passion for design and creativity, which I believe makes me an ideal candidate for the job. Ultimately it came down to the fact that I felt it was a good match for my skills and interests. I am confident that I can excel in this role and contribute to the company’s success.”
6. Sample Answer for candidates applying to NGOs or customer service positions
“I applied for this position because I want to work for a company whose mission is to support underserved communities. Throughout my career, I’ve been drawn to working with organizations that focus on helping others, and I believe that this company has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people who need it most. I’m passionate about social justice issues, and I feel like this company is doing important work in areas that desperately need it. I hope to be a part of that work and help contribute to the success of this organization.”
7. Sample Answer for candidates applying for engineering or technology positions
“I applied for this position because it allows me to use my technical expertise. I am passionate about using my skills to help others, and I believe that this position will allow me to do just that. Additionally, I am excited about the possibility of working in a team environment and learning from others on the team.”
8. Sample Answer for candidates applying for managerial positions
“One thing that attracted me to this position was the opportunity to lead and manage a project. I have over five years of experience leading and managing teams in various industries, and I’m confident that I can bring my skills and expertise to your team. In particular, I have a strong track record of delivering projects on time and within budget. I’m excited about the possibility of applying my skills to your project and helping to see it through to completion.”
Similar interview questions to Why did you apply for this position?
- Why did you choose to apply in our company?
- Why are you interested in this vacancy?
- Why did you apply in our company?
- Why are you interested in this role?
- Reasons why I am interested in this job?
- Why are you interested in this job?
- Why did you decide to apply for this position?
- Why are you interested in working at this company?
- What motivated you to apply for this position?
- Why do you want to apply for this job?
- Why do you want this job?
Applying for a job is a process that takes time, thought, and effort. This is why you want to clearly understand why you are applying for any job. This laters gives you a real opportunity to make a strong impression during the interview as we have seen till now.
If you follow the steps, tips, and advice shared in this article, you will differentiate yourself from hundreds of others who have a generic answers.