Choosing a company to work for is not easy. Most people usually settle for big names without much research because they don’t care as much about building their careers as much as they love money. However, a very common question that comes up in an interview is, “Why do you want to work here?”
To answer this question you will most likely need more than a cursory knowledge of the company and its history. If the company is famous, almost everyone will know of its story and success. However, if it’s a small company, if you know more than the average Joe about its mission statement and products or services, you may stand more of a chance.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure that the answer to “Why do you want to work here?” is the right one.
Talk about Work Culture
Sometimes what attracts people to a company is the work culture or the core values of a company. Most companies are known to be cold and soulless from the outside, but a few have a work culture that encourages valuing employees and rewarding them for their hard work.
This includes the philosophy of the company you’re interviewing for. For instance, in the early days of Hewlett Packard, they had a ritual of bringing out coffee and donuts at 11 am or 12 pm for their employees each day. Some companies even have regular trips and rewards for employees to make them feel valued.
However, some companies may be completely serious and non invasive in their employees lives and strive for efficiency and productivity rather than appreciation and rewards. Hence, it’s very important to know about the culture and core philosophy of a company before going to work for it.
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Talk about the Company’s History
This overlaps a little with work culture, but it is decidedly different. Knowledge of a company’s history can serve you well to make your case in a few situations. You can quote the company’s founder on issues of development and following one’s dreams during the interview. You can also quote historical anecdotes from the company’s history that showed how it overcame adversity to triumph.
If it’s a small company, knowing even a little history about them can go a long way. It will show that you are interested in their legacy and that you go the extra mile when approaching a project.
Talk about Current Projects
Some people approach companies not because of their philosophy or work culture, but because of what they’re working on. A business firm may be working on a huge merger, an engineering company may be designing the largest skyscraper in a city, and a tech company may be working on the next big operating system. All of this attracts a player in the game. So it may be a great answer to the above mentioned question.
People who apply to companies with a deep knowledge and understanding of their goals have a better chance of getting in than those that don’t. A company will appreciate the fact that you chose them because of what they’re doing and they will surely be hiring people to help with a new project.
Talk about your Personal Goals
A company is looking to hire people that grow the company by improving themselves during their tenure. It’s a good idea, then, to talk about how you hope to grow in your role at the company and how that lines up with your personal goals. These could be completely philosophical, completely technical, or a mix of both.
Just make sure they sound compelling to your interviewers.
You can also frame your personal goals in line with the company’s contemporary goals. For instance, if the company is working on new software, you could say that you have a wish to learn and build new software that advances capability.
Look up Sample Answers
Steve Jobs once said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Why not take a leaf from his playbook? There are a lot of things you can learn from emulating others. It’s not exactly cheating, but learning through repetition. You can phrase the answer in a different way and add your own flair to it.
You can also flip the question on the interviewer in certain contexts. If the interviewer is a graduate from your field, you can ask why they chose this company. However, make sure that you have the interviewer in a position in which an answer from them can work in your favor.
Another great sample answer can be stated in moral terms. If the company you’re applying to has a stellar environmental, ethical, or humanitarian record, you can simply state that you would love to work for a company that has committed itself to working for the greater good. Or you could simply say that in your field of choice, it was a no brainer to work for said company due to its great focus on humanity and the environment.
Other sample answers for specific cases are listed below
-For Business positions: I’ve heard that you are looking to expand in to international markets and my experience in the field of marketing is a perfect fit for this project.
-For Pharmaceutical companies-Your Company is known for making the best products for your customers and providing quality healthcare at affordable prices. What better way to fulfill myself than to work for a company that contributes to the world.
-For Software companies: The software you design has consistently given people the tools to create and innovate and make their lives easier. I want to contribute to that and make my own mark in an arena that has the potential to change the world.
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