Your answer must reflect an accurate understanding of the job. When that doesn’t happen, it’s usually because the person has talked about how excited they are to do X, when X is only a tiny portion of the job, or not likely to be part of it at all.
- Employers appreciate when people are excited about the company, but they generally want to hire people who are invested in and enthusiastic about the job they’ll actually be doing.
- Typically, a good answer to “why does this job interest you?” will not only explain what appeals to you about the job, but also explain how it fits in with your career path. That’s especially true if the job is very different from roles you’ve had in the past, in a new field, or a sideways or downward move.
- Your interviewer wants to make sure that you’ll be satisfied doing this job for at least the next couple of years. If you sound like you’ll be itching to move on quickly, that’s a negative.
- Does it use skills you’ve spent time building? Try to imagine someone who really does love the job and what they might be responding to about it, and think about whether any of that resonates with you.
Interviewers who ask this question are generally looking to get a broad overview of how you see yourself as a professional.
A good answer will summarize where you are in your career, note anything distinctive about how you approach your work, and end with a bit about what you’re looking for next.
“I originally got into ____ because I really wanted to work with ____. Pretty early on, I found that my ___ background was especially helpful in being able to ___. I love being able to ___. For example, last year I (accomplished) by doing ___. I’m excited about this role because it would let me continue to use my ___ background while ___.”
Don’t drag yourself.
“What are you currently working on improving on, and how are you going about it?”
“I used to be ___, and now I’m ___ by doing ___.”
They’re looking for a short explanation that makes sense and doesn’t raise red flags about your professionalism or ability to get along with others.
When you talk about challenging pieces of your current and past jobs, do you sound intrigued/excited/driven by the prospect of solving problems and accomplishing something? Or do you sound more like you’ve chosen to just stick to the bare minimum?
“The role turned out to be ___, and I found that I really missed working with ___.”
What do your former managers and co-workers say about you?
The more you can think of an interview as a collaborative business meeting where you and your interviewer are both trying to figure out if it makes sense to work together — the less nervous you’ll probably feel.
“The culture of a company is really important to me, and I realized I wanted to work somewhere that’s more team-focused with more opportunities to collaborate. Not only do I get a lot of satisfaction from that on a personal level, but I also think it generally makes the work stronger as well.”
“How will you measure the success of the person in this position?”
“What are you hoping this person will accomplish in their first six months and in their first year?”
“How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type don’t do as well?”
“What do you like about working here?”
“What’s your timeline for next steps?”