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Why Do You Want This Job?

Seems like an innocent question right? I am always shocked at how many conversations I have with hiring managers working to convince them that the candidate really does want their role or they didn't really mean what they said when asked this question. Consider this a little bit of free coaching for you when you are asked, "Why do you want this job?"


Here are the most common answers that have lost my candidates the role.

  1. Stuttering and not forming a real or coherent answer. Aka.... babbling.

  2. "Because I really need a job."

  3. "This is a great next step that will get me to my dream job."

  4. "The pay is more than what I'm used to earning."

  5. "I really like your benefits."


The hiring manager knows why they need to role but they want to understand your motivation for taking this role. Reason being, that if you are properly motivated then you are more likely to stick around for a longer time. Every hiring manager is trying to hire so they don't have to hire for your role again any time soon. Digging a little deeper, they want to feel safe in hiring you. None of the answers above make them feel safe, in fact, they do the exact opposite and may encourage them to consider a different candidate.


  1. What are the core values and mission of the company?

  2. How do you relate to the mission of the company?

  3. In what way can you see yourself growing with the company? (If you aren't sure then make sure you ask during the interview.)

  4. What are the top 3 reasons you think you would like this opportunity?

  5. Research all of the reviews on the company and take note of the top reasons people enjoy working there.


Using the answers to the questions above you can craft your answer to this deal-breaker question.

I am extremely excited about this opportunity because of three reasons.

  1. I feel like my value of _______ aligns strongly with the core values and mission of the company.

  2. I can see a future with the company where I could learn and grow into _______.

  3. And lastly, based on my research about the company I think I will fit in nicely with the culture and think I can add value to the team.

By crafting your answer in this format you are showing that you have done your research and took the time to think about why you want this role. You are showing how you are aligned with their core values and showing that you are invested in this role for the long term.

Notice that I intentionally used the word "showing" multiple times. All of your answers should show your why and not tell. When answered in this way, the hiring manager feels good that you have thought this through and will feel good about you staying long term because you have expressed a real why for wanting to be there.

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