When I started working at Google when I was 19, I was tasked with projects that were way beyond my capabilities. Most people at the company didn’t know how young I was, and that resulted in me being put on tight deadlines for projects that were over my head. Related: 3 Career Development Tips That Will Get You Ahead Of The Competition When I was put in charge of figuring out Google’s entrance strategy into Africa and Eastern Europe, I was so focused on rising to the challenge that I didn’t have time to reflect. I was delivering results. After my first performance review, a strange thing happened: I began to wonder whether I was good enough. I’d done very well on my review. Instead of focusing on the many positives uncovered during Google’s in-depth review process, however, I found myself obsessing over the areas in which I needed to improve. I dwelled on my weaknesses and minimized my strengths. Looking back, it’s easy to see the signs: I had impostor syndrome.
A common interview question employers ask during job interviews is, "Why are you interested in this position?" They want to know why you want to work at their company, and the specific motivation behind why you applied for the job (not that you need a paycheck).
Knowing how to answer interview questions well is always important, especially with this question.
To persuade the employer that you have a true connection to the company and a passion for the job you applied for, your answer to this interview question should start with, "I'm interested in this job, at this company, because…" and then list at least three reasons why you want to work there.
Here is how you should structure your answer to the interview question, "Why are you interested in this job?"
Reason #1 – Professional Fit
Your first reason should always show fit in terms of professional skills.
Example: "I'm interested in this job because I can see that, in this role, my skills could help solve this problem within your company. I also see an opportunity for me to learn and grow these skills, so we both would benefit personally, professionally, and financially. If I can come in here and solve problems and accomplish your goals, I know I can develop my career the way that I want to."
This part of your answer lets them know that you are excited about what you will be able to accomplish for them, while still emphasizing what they are getting out of the bargain. You need to sell yourself as a business-of-one who can provide a service better than the competition.
Reason #2 – Cultural Fit
Your second reason when answering, "Why are you interested in this job?" also shows fit, but in a different way.
Example: "Also, I like the culture of this organization. From what I've heard and what I've been reading about the company, it seems like a great fit for my personality and my values. I really connect with your mission statement, and feel passionate about the work that you do."
This is a general answer, so if you can be more specific by actually naming a couple of things you've heard or read about the company's workplace culture that you like, it will help your cause. This is one area where your pre-interview research is critical.
Here are a few things you may want to look for when you research the company:
- Is this a top company in the field/industry?
- Is this company known for cutting-edge products or other innovations?
- Does this company have a great reputation for customer service?
- Is this company known for being a great place to work?
- Does this company value and/or provide resources for employee development?
Mention those things that truly speak to you and your values so your sincerity shows.
Reason #3 – Personal Fit
Wrap up your answer to this interview question with something that personalizes it a bit more.
- "And this job is in a great location for me. I've always wanted to move here."
- "And this job is only five minutes from my house, so eliminating the commute is a big plus."
- "And I've always used your products, and I just love them. I am really excited about being a part of that."
Say something that gives you another reason of your own for wanting this job. This interview answer is a fantastic place to let your enthusiasm for the job show. It's very appealing to employers, and it gives them one more reason to hire you.
Download Work It Daily's FREE list of common interview questions here.
You'll have a very clear and thorough answer to the question, "Why are you interested in this job?" if you follow the formula above. Set yourself apart from the competition today!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.