Interview Question: "Why Are You Interested in This Position?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers usually ask job candidates a range of interview questions to assess their ability to answer quickly and honestly. One open-ended question you can expect is "Why are you interested in this position?" Your answer can help the hiring manager determine your enthusiasm about the opportunity and the motivations that led you to pursue the job. In this article, we discuss why employers ask this interview question and explain how to answer it effectively.

Why do hiring managers ask "Why are you interested in this position?"

When hiring managers ask the interview question, "Why are you interested in this position?" they are usually trying to assess the following:

  • How well you understand the position and its duties

  • How your experience and goals align with the position

  • How enthusiastic you are about the role

  • How you might contribute to the organisation

It's important to address all four of these in your interview. Keep in mind that many companies value job candidates who aim to contribute to the organisational goals while also advancing their careers.

Related: 4 Situational Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

How to answer and explain why you're interested in a role

Although it's important to craft a response to this interview question that addresses your unique qualities and skills as it relates to the job, there are several steps you can take to prepare before the job interview:

1. Research the position

Think about this question before the job interview so you can quickly answer the interviewer. To create a good response, consider understanding the position's responsibilities. You can review the job advertisement carefully to determine the job's specific duties and responsibilities. Learning the role's duties and responsibilities can help you properly communicate your motivations for pursuing the position. It can also help you determine which of your qualifications are most relevant and which professional skills you can highlight in your answer.

For instance, if you're applying for a teaching position, your duties and responsibilities might include planning, researching, crafting and delivering classroom lessons via video, discussion, lecture or writing. In an interview, you can say something like, "I want this position because I am looking for an opportunity that allows me to exercise my math skills and eye for detail. I believe this role allows me to succeed, as my interpersonal skills can help me build meaningful relationships with students and parents, and my experience with children allows me to confidently manage them and help them learn."

Related: Research Skills: Definition, Benefits and How To Develop

2. Research the company

In addition to reviewing the job advertisement, research the company you're interviewing for. If you show the hiring manager that you researched the company in advance, including its business model, you can demonstrate a specific interest in the job. Here are a few places where you can start your research:

  • The company's website: Browse the company's About Us page and review their blogs, press releases or social media profiles.

  • Outside media coverage: Look for recent press releases or news stories related to the company.

  • Personal networks: You can reach out to your professional networks to learn about the company culture and inner workings.

3. Structure your response properly

After reviewing the job advertisement and researching the company, consider condensing and structuring your response. Although you can write your answer for practice, it's important to be prepared to respond without information in front of you. Consider remembering a couple of key points you want to address instead of memorising them. You can use the following outline when answering the open-ended question:

  • Share how the job can help you advance your career

  • Mention something interesting about the position

  • Discuss why you're a good fit for the position

Make sure your response shows that you took the time to read the job advertisement thoroughly. Craft it in a way that shows you reflected on whether the job was honestly a good fit for you now and in the future. Finally, make sure it indicates that you are interested in that specific opportunity as opposed to similar roles.

4. Ask a follow-up question

End your answer with a question to keep the conversation going. You can ask a follow-up question so you can leave a great impression and show the hiring manager that you are engaged with the conversation and want to know more information about the company. It can also make the interview more conversational. For instance, you can ask, "How do you assess the work performance of the person in this position?" or "What's your favourite thing about working in this company?"

Related: How To Respond In an Interview to "Do You Have Any Questions?"

Tips for sharing your interest in the role

Here are a few tips to help you prepare a meaningful answer to this interview question:

Be enthusiastic

Make sure your response shows that you're excited to work for the company. Consider sharing what makes you happy about the position with the hiring manager. Hiring managers prefer candidates who can give a genuine response and are passionate about the role and the company values.

Focus on your career goals and the organisation you're applying to

While it's acceptable to mention the benefits of working at the company, it's better for your response to show that you want the role beyond the compensation package. Focus on how your experience, skills and qualifications can benefit the organisation rather the solely furthering your career goals. For instance, you can begin by saying, "The opportunity to grow as an administrative assistant attracted me to this role. I value companies that have a culture that supports career development."

Related: Career Goals: Definition, How-To and Examples

Be specific

Make sure your response to the question is specific to the job and company you are applying to. Keep it direct and concise to keep the hiring manager's attention. If the job advertisement doesn't include the information you need, consider researching a similar position. For instance, the job descriptions of a housekeeper and home cleaner are similar.

Example answers

For inspiration as you craft your response, here are a few example answers following the above steps:

Marketing manager

If you're interviewing for a marketing manager position, you can use the following answer for inspiration:

“I've enjoyed the past 15 years with my current employer, but I'm ready to take on a role that requires more leadership. While I manage five teams consisting of 10 employees each, I noticed that this job would require me to manage five teams of 20 employees—a challenge I'm excited to take on. Would you tell me more about the various types of teams you need someone to put together?”

Business analyst

You can use the following sample response when interviewing for a business analyst position:

“While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position fits perfectly with my skill set and how I'm looking to grow in my career. I'm also seeking a position at a company like yours that provides support to underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine. Can you tell me more about how the company creates growth opportunities for people who work here?”

Architect

If you're applying for an architect position, you can use the sample response below when crafting your own for your job interview:

“While I do enjoy working on small-scale residential projects in my current role, this position allows me to use my technical expertise for more large projects with higher impact. I'm eager to combine my technical skills with my artistic talents to make designs for an industry leader like Finest Architecture Inc. Can you tell me more about what you're looking for in an ideal candidate for this position?”

Laboratory technician

If you're interviewing for a lab technician position, use the following sample answer for inspiration when crafting your own:

"The amazing research you do at LabTech Inc. aroused my interest in this role. In my previous job, I collected soil and water samples from several construction sites. This job allows me to work in an environment where I can collect samples, analyse data and provide reliable results. I'm eager to utilise my skills to achieve my career goals and perform research projects for this company. Can you tell me more about the company's values and what working here is like?"

Teacher

If you're interviewing for a teaching position, you can use the following sample answer for inspiration:

"This role interests me because I'm passionate about your school's mission, which is to help learners reach their full potential. I'm passionate about teaching children, but I need the exciting challenges that this role offers. In my previous role, I taught science and volunteered as the Writing Club instructor. I'm eager to utilise my strategies for teaching science to students in your school. Can you discuss other extracurricular activities learners take part in?"

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