Interview question: Why do you want to work here?

Interview question: Why do you want to work here?

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Why do you want to work here?

Assuming that you're a person who has gone through a couple of interviews in your lifetime, one question you might be asked (especially in Japan) is "Why did you pick our company?". This is one of the most often asked questions during an interview, so you should make sure you've prepared your answer to this question in advanced - and of course, we're here to help you out.

So, firstly, in order to prepare for this question, you should try to think about why exactly the hiring manager would ask this question in the first place.

To put it simply: the company would like to know how much you understand the company, how much you understand about the position, and evaluate how much motivation you have. Be careful, it’s very likely to fail if you give a bad answer to this question. If there are other candidates with equal capabilities, the company would definitely prefer the one with higher motivation.

However, this question can be also be breaked down into two parts: firstly, why you want to work in the company you're applying for, and secondly, why you want work in that particular position. Let me explain in more detail down below!

Why do you want to work in this company

First, research, research, and research.

Make sure you’ve done enough homework on the industry and company.

If you state something which is not about this company at all, it’s very likely you will lose this opportunity. Make sure you read the company website thoroughly. Upon reading, here are some questions that you want to be thinking about:

・What are the company's values and mottos?
Do those fit in with your own goals or commitments? If not, maybe you should be looking at another company. But if they do, try to think of some experiences you can connect to certain values or mottos, so that when you answer questions you can give more reliable and appealing evidence of your achievements.

・What makes it different from other companies?
In this case, you also would want to research about the competitors of the industry you're applying for, and it helps to know who's at the top and earning the most revenue vs who isn't.  In the interview, this will not only help you answer the question, "Why do you want to work here and not at other similar companies?", but also give you insight onto what companies do well, and what companies don't, and why. This is important because it gives you room to think about improvement, and therefore be a valuable asset to the company. You may even be asked for your opinion about challenges of the industry as well, so it's always good to do your research beforehand.

In order to do your research, it's also best if you have connections to people who already work there, or at least, have experience in the same industry. Don’t hesitate to ask them about company culture and their advice. You will be surprised by how much people are willing to share. Do remember to stay honest, however; interviewers have seen all kinds of people and can tell if you are speaking the truth. Also try to avoid general reasons which can be applied to all companies, for example: “it’s a large company in which I can meet a lot of people”. Remember that you want to stand out or at least have a detailed, genuine answer - something that the interviewers will remember you by.

Last but not least, (and this should be quite obvious) don’t put too much focus on salary and welfare. It may look like you’re only interested in the package but not the company itself.

Why do you want to work in this position

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Second part of this question is “Why do you want to work in this position?”

Again, don’t forget about research. Have you done enough research about your target position?

・Why are you interested in this position instead of others?
Be sure you have the answers before the interview. It's okay to begin with why you gained interest in the first place, but just make sure to remind yourself to cover both what you can learn from the company and also what you can offer to the company. This question also ties in with the one listed below.

・What are the skills required to excel in this position?
If you have a specific position in mind, it's alwas good to link your answers to the skills and experience you have, which make you be an appropriate candidate for that position. They may not ask you what position you have in mind, but they will most likely ask you to introduce yourself and talk about your strengths and weaknesses. 

・What is your career plan?
How do you plan to grow at the company and where do you see yourself in the future? To bring it to a next level, you can share your career plan based on the assumption that you’ve received the offer. The interviewer will be impressed on how much thoughts you’ve given to this opportunity. However, your employers might also be genuinely interested in your future plans and what you see yourself doing in 5 or 10 years time. This might be a difficult question to answer, and it doesn't have to be too specific, but having an idea of what you want to do e.g whether it be building your own business or continuing to do a job that can help a certain kind of person/people would be helpful and this way you won't be caught too off-guard if you were asked.

Conclusion

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To summarize, the first step is to do thorough research about your target company and figure out the company’s unique features which attracts you the most. The second step is to link it to yourself, hence, your educational background, past experience, skills and personal traits.

We hope this article helps you, and all the best with your interview!

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