If you're in the hot seat in an interview situation, or are struggling to put together a personal statement, this kind of question can stump you. Being able to provide a compelling and authentic answer can really elevate you above other candidates because it will show that you've invested time and some deep thought in really thinking about and it will also showcase your enthusiasm, your commitment, and sometimes your commercial awareness as well.
And who wouldn't want to hire you if you gave a compelling answer to this question!
So how can you go about answering “Why do you want this job?”
Well, let's break down your answer into three different areas: Professional Fit, Culture Add and Personal Fit.
Professional Fit is about listing the ways that you meet and exceed the criteria that they are recruiting for. So it's about showing and evidencing how you can map your skills, strengths, knowledge and experience to the person specification and the job description.
So, you can also talk about how this role is going to challenge you, what you feel you can contribute, how you can impact the employer’s bottom line, contribute to their success. You can strategically reference your past achievements and how you can repeat and build on them for this employer.
More and more companies are striving to become more diverse and more inclusive and the term culture fit is really starting to fall out of favour because it implies someone having to blend in and fit in. Whereas now more and more employers are looking to see how candidates can add to their organisation’s culture. So what you can think about is, what is what is it that you bring that's unique to you, that you bring to the table? And how can this enrich the culture and add to the culture of the organisation with fresh perspectives, and different life experiences?
Personal fit is about what this company does and what they stand for, what their values are and how these align with your sense of purpose and your career values. So, where these meet, you can share how your sense of purpose and their guiding principles meet and align and are congruent.
Above all, be authentic in how you approach these three aspects of yourself because if you can't find a way to answer the question "Why do you want this job?", it could be that this company is not the one for you.