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How to answer “Why do you want to work here?”

Check out our guide, which will teach you how to answer “Why do you want to work here?” so you can succeed in your behavioral interviews and beyond.

Interviews can be stressful, but they are even worse if you do not spend adequate time preparing for all aspects of your sessions. A lot of time we hear that people focus all of their energy on technical questions and decide to just wing their behavioral interviews. However, after helping almost 1,000 people with their job searches, we know that success in your behavioral interviews can actually be the deciding factor between an offer and rejection.

Without thorough preparation, you can end up drawing a blank, rambling, or trailing off at the end. While you do not want to sound rehearsed by any means, you should try to get a sense of how you will answer each question before the interview. Then, you will be able to feel comfortable, talk slowly, and end on a high note.

Before you start…

Before you start working on your response frameworks, spend some time on company research so that you can learn about their values, mission, culture, history, and goals. This information will help as you prepare for your responses to behavioral interview questions because you want to personalize each response for that company. 

The best way to do this is to connect 2 main points in each response: why you are a good candidate and how you connect to the company mission, products, and goals. If you can include those elements in all of your responses, you should be in good shape. Even if you are answering a “negative” question like “what is your biggest weakness?”, always keep it light, and connected to their mission.

To help you prepare for your upcoming interviews, we wanted to provide our best tips to help you craft your response to a common question. Read on to learn how to answer, “Why do you want to work here?”

How to answer, “Why do you want to work here?”

This question is one of the most important, and common, behavioral questions that companies ask. At first glance, it might feel like a filler question, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this question provides interviewers with a lot of information that will help them determine if you are the right fit for the role and company.

When you are preparing your response to this question, you should consider the following:

  • Your connection to the company mission, product, and values. This should be one of the main reasons that you give: you are passionate about what they are doing and you want to join the team so you can help them accomplish your goals. Think about your response to “why should we hire you?” when you are preparing this part of your answer.
  • Why your strengths and experience make you a good fit for the position, team, and company. Have you done similar work in the past? Can you bring a new perspective? Is your schoolwork or research similar to the problem the company is solving? Think about these questions and your response to “what is your greatest strength?” when you plan this section. Be as specific as possible and quantify when you can.
  • How you complement the company culture. Spend a little time talking about what you are looking for culture-wise and then explain how you think you will find that at this organization based on their values, your conversations with team members, and their mission. 
Photo of how to answer, "Why do you want to work here?"

Here is an example of how to answer, “Why do you want to work here?” for Stripe:

“That’s a great question. I want to work at Stripe because I feel that our goals align. I have always been passionate about creating products that help the little guy, just like how Stripe’s mission is to help businesses of all sizes thrive online.

In my past role as a product manager at Etsy, I worked to build streamlined back-end functionality for creators to upload their products, interact with customers, and sell their creations more easily. The updates and products I managed increased creator NPS by 60% and led to a 45% increase in creator retention.

With my experience working with Etsy creators and my perspective as a frequent small business shopper, I know I can provide valuable input to the team so that Stripe can continue to make it easier for businesses to grow online. In addition, I know that as a company Stripe values training and mentorship, which are extremely important to me in my future role. I am looking to join a mission-driven company that invests in their employees as much as their employees invest in them.”

With the above tips and templates, you should be well on your way to knowing how to answer “Why do you want to work here?” with ease. In fact, with our guidance fellows in our program have doubled their interview scores. We hope these tips help you succeed as well!

If you are looking for more guidance and mentors to work with you on each stage of the job search, Pathrise is an online program that can help you land your dream job through workshops and 1-on-1 mentorship. 

Apply today.

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