- On September 20, 2019
Before any interview, the most important question to prepare for is “Why are you interested in us?” because you know it will come up. That’s your chance to sell your interest and fit. Even if you are not specifically asked this question, you still need to work in elements of that answer throughout the interview.
Here are the top three things to keep in mind:
1. Understand why you are asked this question so you can tailor your answer. Employers ask why you’re interested to assess skills/personality/cultural fit and likely longevity. To prepare for this answer you should research the company:
- What is its mission? Point out how it aligns with your interest, specialty, training, etc.
- How is the company organized, and how fast is it growing? If it’s scaling quickly, give examples of how you have put systems into place. Or if it’s focused on teams, give examples of working with cross-functional teams and results generated.
- What are the key responsibilities of the job? Think of concrete examples and success stories they would care about.
- How is the company doing? Look at the news, SEC filings, consumer reviews, and weave that information into your answer, e.g., why you are interested and how you can help.
- Research your interviewers before the interview to understand where they are coming from, and set forth how you can help them. The head of Sales has different concerns from the head of Compliance.
2. Your answer should include specifics, which can help set you apart from other candidates. A good article by Forbes lists what to include: “[S]hare specific details of how your background, experience, talents, interests, education and other attributes make you a great fit for the job and asset to the company. Respond by adding that you will be intellectually challenged and afforded the opportunity to grow your career while creating value to the organization. Offer solid reasons why the company appeals to you, including the corporate culture, its reputation, the ability to advance and any other valid details as to why you would like to work there…. Stay away from the generic answers that everyone else gives.”
Ian Mathews in his post shares a successful answer he gave to why he was interested, one that demonstrated his analytical skills and interest in the company: “Your company plays in a profitable market that will grow over the next four decades. Your product will always be local, cannot be outsourced and is too capital intensive for new competitors to quickly disrupt. Within your market, you are the most profitable company and playing for a winner is important to me. You are a big organization, but in comparison to my company, this will feel like working for a startup. I can make a bigger impact in a company that is growing much faster.”
3. Delivery. Not only must the content be on point but also your delivery must be positive and high energy. Show genuine passion and motivation for your answer to stick!