“Why are You Interested in This Position?” and How to Answer

It’s one of those questions that either raises immediate red flags or gives the green light to move you forward.

Date
12 Feb 2023
Author
Natalya Luft
Reading time
≈5 minutes
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“Why are you interested in this position?” is a common question asked in job interviews. It’s a straightforward question that gives the interviewer insight into your motivations for applying and helps them determine whether you would be a good fit for the role. However, for many job seekers, this question can be challenging to answer effectively. In this article, we will explore why employers ask this question and how you can answer it to make a lasting impression.

Understanding the Purpose of the Question

Employers ask the question “Why are you interested in this position?” for several reasons:

  • An employer wants to know if you are genuinely interested in the position or if you’re just looking for any job.
  • An employer wants to see if your values and career goals align with the company’s mission and values.
  • An employer wants to see if you have taken the time to research the position and understand what it entails.

Preparation is Key

Before the interview, it’s important to research the company and the position you’re applying for. This will help you understand what the company values and what the position entails, which will be essential information when answering the question “Why are you interested in this position?”

In addition to researching the company, it’s also important to think about your personal motivations for applying to the position. What draws you to this particular role and what do you hope to gain from it? Answering these questions will help you craft a compelling and genuine response to the interviewer’s question.

Making a Strong Impression

When answering the question “Why are you interested in this position?”, it’s important to make a strong impression. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

  • Instead of giving generic answers, be specific about what draws you to this particular role. Mention specific projects, initiatives, or goals that you find particularly interesting or exciting.
  • Demonstrate your genuine interest in the position by speaking with enthusiasm about why you’re interested.
  • Show the interviewer that you have a clear understanding of the company’s mission and values and that your goals align with theirs.
  • Demonstrate how your skills and experiences make you a strong fit for the position.

Common mistakes to avoid

While it may seem like a straightforward question, there are several common mistakes that you should avoid when answering it. Here are a few:

Mistake #1: Not Doing Your Research

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not being prepared for this question. Before the interview, make sure you research the company and the position thoroughly. This will help you understand what the company does, its mission, and what it’s looking for in a candidate. With this information, you can tailor your answer to show that you’re a good fit for the job and the company.

Mistake #2: Being Vague

Another common mistake is being too general or vague in your answer. For example, saying you’re interested in the position because it’s a great company, or because you need a job, is not enough. You need to show specific reasons why you’re interested in this job and why you’re the right fit for it.

Mistake #3: Not Being Passionate

When answering this question, it’s essential to show your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the job and the company. If you’re not passionate about the position or the company, it will show in your answer, and the interviewer will sense it. To avoid this, make sure you’re genuinely interested in the job and that you can articulate why.

Mistake #4: Being Overly Familiar

It’s important to strike a balance between being friendly and professional in your answer. Being overly familiar or too casual in your answer can make you seem unprofessional, and it won’t leave a good impression.

Mistake #5: Not Tailoring Your Answer

Finally, make sure you tailor your answer to the specific job and company. Don’t use a generic answer that you’ve used in previous interviews. Take the time to understand the company and the job, and craft an answer that shows why you’re the right fit for this specific position.

Sample answer to “Why are you interested in this position?”

Here is an example answer to the question “Why are you interested in this position?”:

“I am extremely interested in this position because I have a passion for [insert industry or skill]. The opportunity to work with [insert company name] and contribute to [insert specific project or goal] is very exciting to me. I have been following [insert company name]’s work for some time now and I am impressed with the company’s commitment to [insert company values or initiatives]. I am confident that my skills and experiences, including [insert specific skills or experiences], make me a strong fit for the role. I am eager to bring my passion and expertise to this position and be part of such a dynamic and innovative team.”

Conclusion

The question “Why are you interested in this position?” is a crucial opportunity to showcase your genuine interest in the role and demonstrate why you are a strong fit for the company. By preparing ahead of time, speaking with enthusiasm, and highlighting your qualifications, you can give a confident and compelling answer that will make a lasting impression on the interviewer.

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