How to answer “Why did you apply for this job”
Having searched for a job, found one advertised and you applied for it, the question why you applied sounds so obvious. However, the answer is not so obvious.
This is another very open-ended question where you might be tempted to say too much. By taking the time to think through your answer to this question in advance, you will be able to remain focused on a few key points. In this article, you will learn the best way to answer this question in an interview.
Alternative and related questions:
- Why do you want this vacancy?
- What attracted you to this vacancy?
- Why do you think you’re suitable for this job?
- What is it that you are looking for in a new job?
The meaning behind the question:
The interviewer is probing to see:
- If you fully understand what the job entails,
- How well you might match their requirements,
- What appeals to you most about the job.
Your emphasis should be on demonstrating to the interviewer precisely how you match their requirements – and, in doing so, to demonstrate that you fully understand what the role entails. If you’ve done your research properly then you will have a good idea of what it is they are most looking for.
Yes, they have asked you what your motivations are in applying for the vacancy, but try to turn the question round so that the answer you give tells them why you are the right candidate for the vacancy.
I’ve applied for this vacancy because it’s an excellent match for my skills and experience – and because it represents a challenge which I know I’ll relish. I clearly already have extensive experience as a Senior Quantity Surveyor, including previous experience of rail and station projects – an area I’m particularly interested in. I enjoy managing multiple projects simultaneously. I also enjoy overseeing and coaching junior and assistant quantity surveyors. I’m used to dealing directly with clients; developing productive working relationships with clients is definitely one of my strengths. This role is exactly the sort of role I am currently targeting and I am confident I will be able to make a major contribution.
As I have always said, in an interview it is never about you (what you will get or looking forward to). It’s about how you are going to help the employer solve their problem, increase their revenue and grow their company.
Here we have more ways of answering the question:
- I feel that your vacancy ideally fits my work experience, skills, and qualifications. Therefore I will be able to make a significant contribution to your business.
- Give examples of positive things you have heard about them and say you want to be associated with a reputable brand.
- After researching your company I have discovered that it is an industry leader and has an excellent reputation. I was also greatly impressed by your company’s mission statement, values and culture. I feel strongly that yours is an organization that I would like to work for and be associated with.
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