How to answer ‘Why are you applying for this position?’ interview question

How to answer  ‘Why are you applying for this position?’

This is a common interview question as interviewers will try to ascertain your knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the position applied for and also try to capture your knowledge of the company and industry.  This is why it’s important that your response is clear and concise and covers both your personal interests in the position and in the company/industry too.

Why do interviewers ask this question?

Interviewers will pick out the stronger candidates so it’s important to answer this question in a way that shows you’ve done your research and you are enthusiastic about the role itself and the company.  Employers will also be intrigued to find out if this role is in alignment with your career aspirations – your response should give some insight into what you are looking for.  A good response will outline your understanding of what the role entails, and show that you will contribute to company success as your goals and experience are similar to that of the company.

Employers will not hire someone who is applying for anything because they need a job, as they risk losing the candidate soon after recruitment if they get bored or are not the right fit and therefore incur further recruitment costs.

How to answer well

Think about why you applied for the position, what made you think about applying?  Is there any particular element of the role that highlights your interest in applying for the position?  A good response will show that you have carefully considered applying for the role.

Research the company via their website and other platforms and discuss the size or type of business or their customers and say why you want to be part of the company.  You may have noticed the company are developing a new site in another location and you want to be part of a growing company with opportunities to work multisite.

Think about what duties on the job description you have got involved in previously and how you can develop on these in the role or help others to develop.

Overall, you need to show the employer that you have researched the role and company and that you understand what they do and demonstrate that you are interested in them.

Example Answers and why they work

  • I’ve applied for the position because I am looking for career development and feel this team leader role is right for me. Currently, I’m in a team of 4, but because I have been there for 5 years the team see me as a senior and ask me for help when required, the manager is also confident to give me extra responsibilities including leaving me in charge when they are out of the office or on annual leave.

This answer shows the employer that the candidate is likely to be a long-serving employee, who not only is happy to take on the management duties of the role but also has a keen interest in developing into management and therefore maybe be willing to take on further duties for experience and progression.

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