Most jobseekers are faced with the question “Why do you want to join this organisation?” While it may sound clichéd, an impressive answer may be the key to actually getting the job. Every employer expects a new recruit to be enthusiastic about the job so that even the interviewer feels that he has taken the right decision with the selection.
Here are some pointers compiled by the industry specialists at Gallopper.com for making your answer stand out from the crowd:
1. MOST IMORTANT : Research
As with many aspects of the job hunt, the key to success lies in thorough research. While the company’s homepage is a great place to start, it is best if you can to go beyond basic facts and figures to really impress.
Look for news articles about the organisation – what recent successes and challenges have they faced? Has there been anything in the press about the industries they work in? Search to see if the company has a YouTube channel; if so watch some of their recent videos and see what information you can pick up. Sites like Glass Door provide great insights into a company’s culture.
Avoid simply repeating everything you have read or heard. Your potential employer will want to know that you have taken the time to research their organisation.
For example, if a company describes its culture as progressive, it is best to avoid saying something like: “I like the progressive culture of the company.” Instead, say: “At this organisation I understand that you aren’t afraid to try new ways of doing things and always strive to stay ahead of your competitors. That’s something I really admire.”
2. What to talk about or to avoid
There are five main topics that you can talk about when answering the question “why do you want to work here?”:
1. What the organisation actually does – the product/service it provides and what interests you about it. If the potential employer is a builder, then what kind of projects do they develop.
2. The organisation’s culture – what it’s really like to work there. If you already know someone there, it is good to find out from them. Although a person’s opinion is quite subjective, you can interpret it in your own way.
3. The organisation’s recent successes and the challenges they face.
4. The philosophy and mission behind the organisation.
5. The training and development they offer.
Rather than spreading your efforts on every possible reason you can think of for wanting to work there, focus on two or three of these topics and go into more detail.
There are several things that you definitely shouldn’t talk about when answering the “why here” question. Anything to do with how fantastic the salary, commission or holiday entitlement is; it paints the picture of someone who is more interested in the perks than the organisation.
If on researching a company you are struggling to find anything that gives you a negative vibe and doesn’t match your personal goals, it could be time to look elsewhere. Remember that finding a job is a two-way process; as well as the company needing to find out if you are right for them, you must also assess if they are right for you.
3. Taking your answer from average to outstanding
Once you have some concrete answers for why you want to work at an organisation, it is time to take your answer to the next level by adding your reasoning.
Giving reasons adds credibility to your answer and is an excellent chance to show off, though in a subtle way, about what an extraordinary candidate you are. Remember that your application and interview are personal sales pitches – you must weave into every answer why the potential employer should choose you.
Continuing with the example above, rather than simply saying you admire a company because it strives to find new ways of doing things, you should also talk about how your skills or preferences match this philosophy.
For example, you might say: “Through interning at company X and as a designer in Organisation Y, I developed the ability to think of innovative and cost-effective solutions to problems. I know that your company values the ability to find new ways of doing things, so this is one of the reasons I think I would be a great fit for you.”
It’s this reflection on what you’ve researched, and your ability to match up the company’s needs and ideals to your own skills and preferences, that will truly impress.