Answering ''why do you want this job?"in a job interview

I had the opportunity to be part of an interview panel to interview a set of job seekers for an organization. And using the example of Shika (one of the interviewees) who was being interviewed for the position of Accounts Officer when one of the interview panel member asked her “Why do you want this job?” In Shika’s response, she mentioned that;

“I want this job because I’ve always loved playing and dealing with figures, even as a child. I started managing and running my mother’s provisions’ shop as early as 7 years old, rendering accurate accounts to her without blemish. It is no surprise I studied Business course at secondary school and went on to do Business Administration (Accounting option) at the university. I’ve always been passionate about working with figures which come to me so easily.”

I am happy to say that, Shika landed the job. This question can be asked in numerous forms such as; “why do you want the position?” or “why the desire to work for us?’” Just like the “What can you tell us about yourself? question, this is one of the questions that will always come up in an interview. It may look so simple a question, but even this popular interview question can put you down if you are ill-equipped for it. The million-dollar question here is; how do you answer “Why Do You Want This Job?” In 3 ways, I will show you how:

3 ways to answer, why do you want this job?, in a job interview.

1. Relate response to your career path

No one wants to recruit someone who after a few months of working leaves, because the employment does not align with their career goals. This is why recruitment managers mostly want to know why you want the job and if it is in sync with your career goals. In responding to this question, you need to make sure that your response tells the interviewer that you don’t just value the position as a stepping stone but you will remain for more than a few months. This will make it convenient for the employer to invest in you and give you the job. You need not mention that you intend remaining at the position for a long period, you just have to hint at it.

2. Link your skillset and experiences with the job role.

The other item to add in your response is why you are a perfect fit for the job and this is where your skillset and credentials come in. Run through the job description and look at what the main responsibilities are as well as the desired skills and position your response to show that you possess the skills and ability to do what the job expects.

3. Exhibit zeal for the organisation

Though Shika’s response didn’t have any information on the organisation, it is always a great idea to exhibit that you conducted your research on the organization and do well to add that in your response. In preparing for this question, have sometime and do some research on the organisation and what it does. Afterwards select a few areas to add in your answer to show you are a perfect fit. This is especially useful when you are being interviewed for a position at a small company, it’s always remarkable when a candidate knows one or two things about what goes on in the organisation.

When it comes to responding to, “why do you want this job?” you can adopt the 3 pointers above to provide an answer that not only pleases the interviewer, but also helps to promote your skillset and qualifications as a candidate presenting you as a perfect fit for the position.

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