How to Answer "What Interests You About This Job?"
Facing a Difficult Question: "What Interests You About This Job?"
Anyone who has been in a job interview has likely answered the question, "What interests you about this position?" Although it may seem relatively insignificant - and even simple - candidates often fail to give an impressive answer. This article will elaborate on why the question is important and how to answer it correctly.
Why Do Employers Ask This?
"What interests you about this position?" – the question seems rather strange for those who know little about HR practices. However, human resources managers know the real power that is hidden behind a pretty simple question. They ask it because of two significant reasons:
To assess your interest in the company. Every employer wants to hire true admirers of their business. It's only logical that you will hardly become a stunning contributor if you don't care about what company you work for.
To assess your interest in a particular position. Long gone are the days when people were working solely for money. Today, inner motivation and a pursuit of personal development make a difference. This is only possible if a candidate is genuinely interested in the job role.
With this in mind, the question is supposed to tell a passionate recruit from an apathetic one.
What Answers Do Employers Seek?
We have already identified the two reasons why employers want what interests you about the job. These two reasons are at the core of the preferred answers. In general, we can identify four main aspects that must be covered:
Candidate's professional aspirations – In other words, you need to show how this position fits into your professional personal development plan. Everyone has career goals; this is an ideal chance to speak about them, taking into account the offered position.
Candidate's commitment – If you are committed to the organization and a particular job role, you won't quit after one or two months. However, don't go for a sweet talk and start exaggerating.
Candidate's knowledge of the industry and company – Everyone wants to hire a candidate who understands the industry and company they are going to work for. This shows a serious attitude and a professional approach.
Candidate's professional priorities and preferences – They identify you as a specialist and can show you from a positive or negative perspective. Don't forget that preferences and priorities should be tailored to the open position.
Where to Find Information about an Employer
A candidate should know the details of the company they are interviewing with. The information can be found in several resources like:
A Business Website
A website is a company's business card. Unlike traditional printed ones, it stores much more data about the organization. In other words, you can get there not only the executive's name and contact details but also the brand's history, mission, values, business cases, activity, rewards, and many more.
If you are lucky enough, all the data will be presented. Now you only need to find it. It's advisable to start from the "About Us" tab to learn the basics. Later on, focus on press releases and media coverage. Social networks are also worth checking.
Some businesses simplify the task by creating career pages or career websites. If they choose reliable vendors like Lanteria, the site would be branded, optimized, and informative. There, you can learn not only about the company but also about the position.
It's hardly possible to deny the power of Google Search when you need to find information about anything or anyone. If an employer is a huge corporation, you may find even a separate Wiki page with the main events and key corporate players.
If not, you can always seek data on websites like Glassdoor. There, people post their reviews about it as an employer. For a broader picture, assess the clients' thoughts, as well.
The business website and Google Search should be sufficient to learn enough information to impress the employer.
How to Show Your Interest in the Position
To make an employer believe that you are genuinely interested in the position requires much more than just saying "I do." It would help if you prepared in advance to give an impressive answer. Here are the main steps for you to take before answering what interests you about this job:
Understand what drives your interest in the position and company. For this, firstly, you need to research the organization and vacancy. After that, think about what drew your attention to the offer and why you decided to apply.
Specify how you are relevant for the job. You can mark some points or make a list of the relevant skills and professional experience. This will help you find the touch-points with the position on a deeper level and demonstrate your belonging.
Remember when you implemented the skills. This will help you to speak from experience. It's always much better to give a real-life example than operate with theoretic allegations only.
If you proceed with these three steps, you will be able to give a detailed response. It's essential to connect the dots and show how you and the position align. If it's backed-up with the examples, the value of the answer surges dramatically.
The Best Structure to Follow When Answering the Question
So, you hear the question, "Why are you interested in this position?", what do you do next? The majority of people start to mumble about their professional preferences and a true passion for the job role, say a couple of words about the company, and speak about their passion for HR.
This is clumsy and confusing. To answer the question properly, you need to structure your speech. Here is an example of how it may look:
Start by connecting your skillset to the position.
Highlight how your professional expertise fits the job requirements.
Mention how the position will benefit your career path.
Conclude with your contribution to the company.
The primary purpose for you to pursue is to show your enthusiasm and professionalism. That's why you need to focus on why you are relevant to the job and vice versa. However, never speak too much about your personal goals. You may mislead the employer by making him think that business goals are of no importance to you.
All in all, you can change the structure. What matters is that it exists in your answer.
Examples to Follow
To help you give the best answer to why you are interested in the position, we have provided some examples. To make a favorable impression, the answer should include any of these:
Product or services
Here are three examples of answers relevant to different job roles:
Job Role: HR Manager
This job attracts me because of my primary responsibilities: recruiting and supporting new employees. I have already fulfilled the same and other similar tasks in my previous occupations. In particular, I coordinated the recruitment and training of more than 100 new employees. I believe that my experience can help your company develop, while for me, this opportunity is a substantial professional leap.
Job Role: Programmer
I am interested in the job because I like to work with technologies and want to continue my professional development in the sphere. I have already gotten a basic grasp of the programming languages and wish to proceed with my path. Moreover, the position's problem-solving component attracted my attention: I have already gained some experience during my internship and would like to enrich it.
Job Role: Teacher
The primary factor that drove me to the position, and your company was your values. They match with my understanding of what the educational process for children should look like. Besides, I am interested to learn more about the implementation in your school practices. I have already encountered them in my previous workplace and would like to broaden my knowledge and set of practices.
Things to Avoid
Of course, we couldn't fail to mention what you should not do when answering the question.
General answers don't set you apart. Moreover, they show that you don't know anything about the position, company, and even yourself.
A Rehearsed Answer
If you keep repeating the same things, an employer will think that you know little or nothing about the job. This is hardly a positive impression.
A Lack of Enthusiasm
Everyone wants to hire true admirers that are passionate about the job and company. So never say that you just saw a vacancy and applied. That's a direct way to a rejection.
A Lack of Professionalism
If you fail to show your professionalism during an interview, you are likely to be rejected because of the same reason. Use every chance to demonstrate your working experience and professional skills.
If you read everything written above, answering "What interests you about this job?" is no longer a problem. Remember: be enthusiastic, professional, and competent.