How to Answer the Question “Why Do You Want This Job?”

You know it’s coming — that interview question “Why do you want this job?”  Successful candidates know exactly why they want the job, and they prepare a solid answer to the question.

This article lays out three things you should cover in your answer.

  • Enthusiasm for the company.
  • Demonstrating that your skills and experience are the right fit.
  • Fit with your career trajectory.

All three of these points are important, and you need to do a good job of covering them in your answer.

Many years ago, I got a job because I did well on the third point.  I was working in the training department of a large oil company.  I was being interviewed for a job as a Training Manager for a division of another company by the corporate VP of Training and Development.  He threw out a variation of the question “Why do you want this job?”  He asked, “Why do you want to be a manager?”

I was ready for that question.  I told him that I had learned a lot about employee training and development in my current role.  I had my own ideas on what makes for a good training and development department and I was ready to run my own show.

After I was hired, he and I had a conversation about my interview.  He told me that I got the job because of my answer to that question.  He said he was looking for someone ready to move from an individual contributor to a manager position.  He liked my answer. He said that other candidates gave what he considered to be poor answers.  They focused on their technical training skills and said nothing about their interest in moving into a managerial position.

In other words, I answered the question by describing how this position fit with my career trajectory — and I got the job.

Keep these three points in mind when you are preparing for your next interview.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a copy of my bestseller Climbing the Corporate Ladder at  When you do, I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free membership in my career mentoring site.

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