How to answer ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ (with examples)

How to answer ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ (with examples)
SEEK content teamupdated on 06 December, 2023
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You’re in a job interview and all is going well, when you’re faced with the age-old question: ‘So, why do you want to work for this company?’ It’s an important question, and you want to get your answer right. 

Every question an interviewer asks has a purpose. This one in particular reveals a lot about how you would fit in at the company and how much you want to work for them, as opposed to their competitors. To help you ace this question, we dive into what it actually means and how to approach it, while also giving you some ‘why do you want to work here?’ examples to get you started. 

Understanding the question

This question may appear simple on the surface, but it’s much more strategic than just wanting to hear how great their company is. When an interviewer asks why you want to work for them, they are looking for several key things, including:

  • Your knowledge of the company
  • How your values align
  • How interested you are in the company
  • Your most valuable skills
  • Your long-term commitment 
  • Your fit within the company culture
  • Your potential impact 
  • Your passion for what you do

Ultimately, the interviewer wants to know if:

  1. You actually know about the company and what they do
  2. You will be a cultural fit 
  3. You’ll provide them long-term value

Now you know this, you can look at how to best answer this question for your next job interview.

How to answer ‘Why do you want to work here?’

You can almost guarantee you’ll be asked why you want to work for a company in an interview, so you should prepare and practise your answer in advance. Having a rough idea of what you’ll say will help you feel confident and avoid fumbling in the moment. To be fully prepared to answer the question, you’ll want to do a little research and planning. 

Research the company

To answer why you want to work for a company, you need to know a little about their values, who they are and what they do. When you answer, you want to show you’ve done your homework and provide legitimate reasons for wanting to work for them.

You can research a company by going to their website (their ‘About Us’ page should include their history), their SEEK Profile, their social media accounts and any company/employer review sites. Look for information about their founders, their values and what sets them apart from the competition.

With this information, you can align your own goals with those of the company. For example, you may see they value reducing their carbon footprint, which is where you could mention your own passion for sustainability and how you’ve worked toward that in the past.

Align your goals with the company's goals

Businesses want to know their employees share their goals. Most companies will have a mission statement on their website’s ‘About Us’ or ‘Careers’ pages, or in their social media bios. Seek out what the company’s purpose and mission are, and see how they align with your own goals and the skills and experience you can offer.

For example, if the company says they aim to always provide data-driven solutions to clients, you can mention your experience in data-driven roles or your passion for data science. This helps the company know you are aligned in your work approach.

Highlight your skills and experience

In every answer of your interview, you should aim to highlight your strongest skills and experience. Your strengths include what you are best at, your unique experiences and the abilities the business is specifically looking for that you can provide. Make notes of the key competencies mentioned in the job ad and match them to your own skills. This is what you should specifically mention in the interview.

Demonstrate your passion for the industry

Employers want to hire people who are passionate about their industry. Passion shows you have a personal interest in what you do, that you’ll be dedicated to the job and will likely remain in the industry for some time. Reveal what got you into the industry and why you love it, to show how passionate you are. 

Say you’re at an interview for a role as a medical receptionist. You may mention how you have always loved helping people, so you want to use your administration skills to be able to do that. 

Showcase your fit with the company culture

Company culture is important. It can impact how long people stay with the business, their job satisfaction and the quality of work teams produce. Finding people who are a good match for the company culture is a must for employers.

To be able to show you’re a good fit, do some research into their culture and what it’s like working there. Search out photos online of how their teams dress, how they speak about their business and what employees say in their reviews on sites like SEEK. This will help you present yourself like you’re already part of the team.

Emphasise your interest in the position

It may sound obvious, but an interview is a great opportunity to your enthusiasm for the position and the company. Let your interviewer know what specifically attracted you to the role and why you feel it’s a good fit for you, your values, your skills and your career path. Your reasons should be authentic or your enthusiasm might not feel genuine.

Avoid common mistakes

One of the most common job interview mistakes when answering ‘Why do you want to work here?’ is not having a clear answer. You don’t want to say ‘I don’t know’ or fumble your way around a response. You want to answer in a way that is specific about the role, focusing on how you can benefit the team and how you fit in, while being upbeat and enthusiastic. It’s also important not to come across as overconfident.

Why do you want to work here: Best answer

The best answer to ‘Why do you want to work here?’ is an authentic one that lets the interviewer know why you feel you’re the best fit for the role and what motivated you to apply for the job. To prepare for your answer before your interview, look back on the job ad and make a mental note of the skills you have that the company needs. Also take a few moments to look through their website and learn their key values and how your goals align. You can also look at reviews from their employees to learn more about their culture and how you fit in. 

Delivering your answer

How you deliver your answer to this common interview question is just as important as the answer itself. You want to appear confident and enthusiastic, but you don’t want to come across as inauthentic, rehearsed or like you’re just saying things you think they want to hear. 

When delivering your answer, touch on what attracted you to the role, what you like about the company and how you feel you’d be a good fit for the team. Focus on what you bring and how you can help them, as this is what the question is meant to reveal.

Examples of how to answer ‘Why do you want to work for us?’

Let’s take a look at some ‘Why do you want to work here’ sample answers. Use these examples as a template only, personalising your response to your skills, the job, the company and how you align with their values.

Example answer for a technology role

I'm passionate about technology and have been following [company name]'s groundbreaking work in AI and machine learning for some time. I would love to join a team where I could use my skills working on tech innovations.

Example answer for a healthcare job

I'm drawn to [company name] because of its exceptional reputation for patient care and industry-leading research. I want to contribute to people’s well-being, and the opportunity to work here allows me to combine my medical expertise with a compassionate approach to healthcare.

Example answer for a marketing company

Whenever I see a campaign your team has produced, I’m always so impressed. It’s clear from your website that you value cross-training and upskilling, which is something I personally believe is key to being successful in a digital marketing role. I’d love the opportunity to bring my own content skills to the team.

Following up after the interview

After your job interview, you always want to send a follow up email. A thank you email after your interview is a good chance to reiterate why you want to work for the company and why you’re a good fit. 

What to include in your follow up thank you email

In your follow up thank you email you should include:

  • A personalised greeting to the interviewer/s
  • Appreciation and thanks for their time
  • A summary of why you want the job, reiterating where your values align and what you bring to the table
  • A call to action encouraging them to get in touch if they need anything from you

Examples of thank you follow up messages

Example 1

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for meeting with me yesterday to discuss the position of retail trainer for Big Box Stores. 

It was great getting to meet you and learning more about how the company strikes a balance between cost-effective and high-quality fashion. I’m very excited by the prospect of using my five years in sales and two years in leadership training to help guide the team on educating your customers about your locally sourced products.

Looking forward to speaking soon. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s anything else you need from me.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

Example 2

Hi Tom and Sue,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. I loved getting to see your workspace and meeting your friendly team!

The more we spoke the more I could see myself using my skills in the buying team, finding new local manufacturers to bring new products to your customers. Having worked in the industry for more than five years, it’s refreshing to see your dedication to sustainability – something I am very passionate about.

If there is any other information you need from me, please reach out.

Kind regards,
[Your name] 


Ultimately, answering the interview question of ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ comes down to your own internal motivators for applying for the job. Is it what the company does or the values they hold? This is your chance to showcase your passion and how your goals align with those of the business. Your answer could be the reason an interviewer decides you’re the right person for the job. 

FAQs

What is the interviewer looking for when they ask this question?

When interviewers ask ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ they’re looking for cultural fit, alignment with company values, knowledge of the business and long-term commitment. Your response demonstrates your research, skills and passion for the role. Companies value candidates who are a good cultural match, are well-prepared and show dedication.

How do I research the company?

The best way to research a company before a job interview is to explore their website and online profiles, like their SEEK Profile. A company’s About Us page is also a good place to look, as it should have key information on their history, team, values and products and services. 

How do I align my goals with the company's goals?

To align your goals with a company's, research their values and revisit the job description. Craft a personalised response emphasising relevant skills and experience. For instance, if your goal is to become a manager and the company values industry expertise, highlight your commitment to continuous improvement and upskilling team members. This demonstrates your enthusiasm for learning, and aligns with the company's desire to employ industry experts.

How do I showcase my fit with the company culture?

To showcase your fit with a company’s culture, research how their people dress, the language they use online and the company’s values, and demonstrate these in the interview. Be sure to dress similarly to their current employees (if unsure, dress business formal) and mention values you both share throughout your interview. This will help the interviewer feel that you are a natural fit for their company. 

What are some common mistakes to avoid when answering this question?

Some common mistakes you want to avoid when answering why you want to work for a company include:

  • not having a response, 
  • using a generic answer that’s not personalised,
  • showing lack of research into the business, 
  • being overconfident,
  • only mentioning how the company can benefit you, and
  • not connecting your skills to your answer. 

Your response should be authentic and communicate the values you and the company share.

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