Resume Tips

How to Answer ‘Why Are You Interested in This Position’?

Knowing how to answer ‘Why are you interested in this position?’ is crucial when you’re stepping into a job interview.

It’s one of the most common interview questions, and you’re almost guaranteed to face it.

It’s a powerful way to showcase your motivation and how well your goals match with what the company and the job offer.

In this article, we’ll guide you through crafting the perfect response that can set you apart from other candidates and provide sample answers in case that’s something you prefer.

Read this article and find out:

  • What the recruiters really want to know;
  • Things you shouldn’t say;
  • How to prepare yourself for this question;
  • How to answer the question “Why are you interested in this position?“;
  • And 5 response examples

What are the recruiters really asking?

Undoubtedly, “Why are you interested in this position?” is one of the most common interview questions you’ll ever encounter. 

But why do recruiters like this question so much? 

Because it can reveal quite a lot about the candidate and candidate’s work ethic:

  • Genuine interest in the role. Recruiters want details about why particular responsibilities or opportunities in the role caught your eye, indicating you’ve done your homework and see a match with your skills and interests.
  • Fit with the company culture. They’re looking for signs that you’ve researched and understand the company’s culture, and can articulate why you would be a good fit.
  • How the role fits into your career trajectory. Recruiters seek insights into how you view this position as a step towards your long-term career objectives, showing commitment and foresight.
  • Distinct skills or experiences you offer. They expect you to highlight specific skills or unique experiences you have that directly relate to the job’s needs, showing how you stand out from other candidates.
  • Your retention potential. Onboarding and training new recruits costs time and money. Because of that, hiring managers prefer candidates who are looking to integrate into their company and stay there for many years to come.

All in all, recruiters want to probe whether you’re the right person for the job – not just in terms of your skills and experience. This question is mainly about your alignment with the company’s culture and direction.

how not to answer why are you interested in this position

How NOT to answer ‘Why are you interested in this position?

You know the drill. Before delving into how to best answer, let’s look at some red flag responses that would ring alarm bells in any recruiter’s mind. 

Indeed, the purpose of open-ended questions at job interviews is not only to test the suitability of a candidate but also to spot certain warning signs. 

Here is a list of things to avoid:

  • Bad-mouthing your current/past employer. It reflects negatively on your professional reputation and can raise questions about your loyalty and integrity. 
  • Focusing too much on salary. Yes, money is important. But companies want to employ workers whose motivation goes beyond mere financial gain.
  • Not researching the company beforehand. How much do you actually care about joining a particular company when you don’t even bother researching it? 
  • Being too vague. Answers such as “I just really need a job right now,” or “It seems like a good place to work” are really nondescript.
  • Making it all about yourself. Don’t only talk about what the company can do for you! Instead, show them how YOU can contribute to the company. 
  • Considering the job position a stepping stone to bigger things. Don’t mention that this job opportunity would be a great way to gain experience which you plan on using in another company in the future.

Don’t let the recruiters catch you off guard!

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How to prepare yourself for this question? Research, research, research!

As you must’ve already noticed at this point, how well you answer hinges on the research you do prior to entering the (interrogation) room.

But do you know what exactly to look into?

Essentially, your research should be twofold

  1. Research the company
  2. Research the job position

1. Researching the company

In short, when recruiters ask, Why are you interested in this position?’, they want to know why you’re choosing their company for your accounting career, not why you became an accountant.

Here’s how you REALLY research a company:

  • Visit their website and click on the ‘About us’ section.
  • Check their LinkedIn to understand their industry standing and find employee testimonials.
  • Scroll through their other social media to see their latest news and projects. 
  • Find any press releases, news articles, or annual report insights.
  • Get in touch with someone who has experienced it first-hand – a former employee or a current one. Conducting an informational interview is your best chance to get an objective and true picture of what a workplace is really like.  

2. Researching the role

As a part of a well-rounded answer, you should also be able to discuss the role itself in detail

If you want to check whether your knowledge is sufficient ask yourself these 7 question

  • Do I know which competences the role involves? 
  • Which are the most valuable skills and qualifications for the role? 
  • How does this role contribute to the company’s overall performance? 
  • What challenges and opportunities a person in this job position usually encounters?
  • How can I potentially solve these problems?
  • How much of the said challenges have I already encountered in my work experience?
  • Do I have tangible results to corroborate it?

How to answer the question ‘Why are you interested in this position?‘ in 4 steps 

Your resume was excellent, your cover letter outstanding. You received THE phone call, now you sit opposite to a recruiter asking you “Why are you interested in this position?”. Here’s how you can structure your response in 4 steps:

  1. Start by showing your relevant skills and experience.

    Don’t know which skills to highlight? Use the job posting as your guideline. Talk about the skills that are the most valuable for the role.

  2. Talk about what specifically motivates you to join their company.

    Use your research of the latest annual reports, website, LinkedIn, and social media. What recent achievements or innovations of the company excite you? What about the company’s culture appeals to you?

  3. Make it clear what YOU can do for THEM.

    While it’s tempting to focus on what the role (and company) offers you, flip the perspective to show what you offer them.

  4. Show how this position aligns with your long-term career goals.

    Finally, you want to reassure them that you’re in for the long run. The best way to achieve this is to emphasize that for you, it’s not just about the money. Therefore, you should show how the position contributes to achieving your professional goals.

5 Sample responses

With all the theory behind us, here is a general sample response to ‘Why are you interested in this position’ which you can personalise by filling in the blanks with your specific information:

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

Now it’s time to have a look at a few specific sample answers. 

PS: Remember that these are just our suggestions. And so, the answer you prepare can ultimately be very different. So as long as you keep in mind the dos and don’ts mentioned above, you’ll be able to craft an answer which fits your particular circumstances.

#2 Accountant in a publishing company

What makes this response good? 

This response follows the above structure to a T, with each paragraph corresponding to each step, we won’t analyse it in depth.

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

#3 Sales assistant in a clothes store

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

What makes this response good? 

  • This candidate started strong with an anecdote from their personal life. Without a doubt, their motivation and passion for the role is evident. 
  • They also showcase their abilities on a specific example, describing the problem; how they approached it; and what result they achieved. 
  • Also, they made it clear that they want to stay with the company long-term and climb its ranks

#4 Project manager in a film production company

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

What makes this response good? 

  • The candidate shows that s/he is motivated by their genuine passion for the industry, as well as the desire to work with specific employers. As a consequence, the candidate demonstrates their knowledge of the company and its structures. 
  • Again, this candidate shows their skills with specific examples and backs them by quantifiers. 
  • Finally, s/he shows that s/he would be a great cultural fit for the company, since their values and goals align

#5 Video editor in a marketing company

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

What makes this response good? 

  • The candidate is obviously motivated by their own desire to grow professionally
  • By alluding to the company’s portfolio, the candidate proves that s/he they researched their company. 
  • The candidate draws a comparison between the company’s interest in charity and emphasis on educational content and her/his own volunteering experience
  • Moreover, s/he voices her/his intent to keep growing together with the company, indicating their long-term commitment to the employer.  

Key takeaways: How to Answer ‘Why Are You Interested in This Position?

When conceptualising how to answer the question “Why are you interested in this position?”, we recommend following this simple structure: 

  1. Start by showing your relevant skills and experience. 
  2. Talk about what specifically motivates you to join the company. 
  3. Make it clear what YOU can do for THEM. 
  4. Show how this position aligns with your long-term career goals. 

Consequently, you’ll let the recruiters know about your desire for a meaningful and lasting contribution to their company. 

Finally, be prepared to react to more interview questions, such as: 

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