“Why do you want to work here?” is one of those questions in an interview that the interviewer will 100% ask.

The question is meant to check if you’ve done your homework about the position, as well as the company.

And trust us, winging it is NOT the answer here.

In this guide, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know in order to answer this job interview question.

Read on to find…

  • 5 Practical Tips on How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
  • 3 Sample Answers Split by Seniority Level (Entry, Mid, and Senior)
  • 4+ Mistakes to Avoid When Answering “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

How to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

There is no right way to answer this question, but there is definitely a wrong one.

Something like “I’m very passionate about paying my rent… So when would my first paycheck be?” will definitely not fly. So how do you go about it?

First things first – let’s talk about what the recruiter is expecting from you when asking “Why do you want to work here?”.

The interviewer is testing if you’ve done the necessary research on the company prior to the interview.

Are you really passionate about working at this specific company? Or are you just spray-and-praying, applying to dozens of positions, hoping one of them sticks?

They’re also trying to figure out if you really understand the position you’re applying for.

Now that that’s clear, we’re going to give you 4 essential tips on answering this interview question.

Tip #1: Do your RESEARCH!

Visit the company’s website, blog, social media accounts, and any other article written about them in recent days, weeks, or even years.

This knowledge is EXACTLY what is going to help you tailor your answer to that specific company.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Any specific product or service

I’ve been a fan of your smartwatches ever since they were first introduced to the market. I remember thinking it was a revolutionary product when it first came out.”

You’ll make a good impression if you know the company’s products, services, or what they are currently working on. Even better if you’re actually a customer! This will make onboarding easier since you already have the know-how. It also helps the hiring managers see you as a passionate future employee.

  • What sets them apart from the competition

I’ve always been a fan of your cutting-edge technology and immaculate designs. There’s no one else in the market paying so much attention to detail. I would love to be a part of a team that is truly at the top of their game.

Knowing how the company is different from its competitors is key to understanding their mission and their offering. It also helps the interviewer see you’re interested in the industry.

  • Recent news about the company

I read recently that your company was ranked in the top 10 best tech companies to work for in 2020. With such a merited reputation, how can I not be excited at a chance to work here?

Being aware of the latest news about the company shows you’re interested in their performance and activities.

Because you already have insights into what it is they are doing, you are instantly more valued as a candidate as opposed to someone who has no clue.

  • The company culture

I truly admire your company’s culture, and the emphasis you put on teamwork as the only way to work effectively. In my opinion, introducing agile methodologies in software development can make or break the end product. I am also most efficient when I work in teams, so I believe that I’ll be able to fit in in no time.

Recruiters often look for people that are able to easily fit into a company’s culture, which makes for happier and more productive employees.


No interviewer wants to see a bored and unenthusiastic potential employee.

You are trying to show him/her your interest in the company and the job itself, so a passionate answer will go a long way.

Interviewers know that enthusiastic employees perform better and are more productive.

Be one.

Tip #3: Focus on what YOU can offer!

Although it doesn’t look like it, this question gives you a chance to show what you can offer to the company.

Do not focus your answer on what you have to gain from them. Rather, try to show them that you understand their needs and that you will be able to meet them.

Avoid answers like: “The pay is great and it’s close to my apartment.” Even if it’s 100% true, it will show the interviewer that you want the job for the wrong reasons.

They might also think that you don’t have much to offer in terms of passion and dedication.

So a good practice is to be knowledgeable about the company’s skill set requirements and incorporate how you can help meet them.

Tip #4: Mention the People You Know

This only applies if you really know people working for the company. Don’t go around stalking employees on LinkedIn just to name drop them in the interview.

If you actually know someone working there, make sure he/she is relevant to the position you are applying for.

Being college buddies with Anne from Accounting won’t really matter if you are applying for a Web Developer position.

However, incorporating something like:

Oh, I actually know someone that works here. Jeff? He does front-end. Well, he was the one who told me about how much he loves working here, and how much he loves your family-like culture, so suffice to say, I’m pretty excited about working with you.

can be a much more tactful and subtle way to mention someone who can add to your credibility and potentially help you get the job.

The RIGHT person can vouch for you and what you can bring to the table.

The Best Way to Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” – Example

Here’s how you do it right:

“I am familiar with all your CSR projects and your latest program that aims to help women in the workplace. Empowering women is particularly important to me and I would love to be a part of a company that shares the same passion. That, along with your great reputation in the financial industry, is what drew me to apply. I would fit in perfectly in a company that is not only an industry leader but also cares about social causes dear to me”.

And here’s how you shouldn’t do it:

“I really like the salary, it is definitely what I need now that I am unemployed. As far as I know, the benefits are great, too. Also, the office is located very close to my apartment so I do not have to wake up early and commute to work.”

You can definitely spot the difference between the two.

It’s pretty obvious that the first example shows that the applicant has done her homework and has a real connection to the company and its core values.

The second example simply lists all the one-sided benefits that this position will give her, with no regard for the company or its mission.

A BIG no-no.

Why do You Want to Work Here? 3 Answer Samples

All clear so far? Awesome!

But at the end of the day, theory is just that – theory.

It can be super complicated to actually come up with an actual solid answer to “Why do you want to work here?”

That is why we have created 3 sample answers (split by seniority level) to help you get inspired!

Entry-Level, Student, or Recent Graduate Answer Sample

Recently graduated?

Here’s how you’d answer this job interview question if you’re applying for your first job:

“I have always admired your company culture and your focus on teamwork ever since I first heard about your company. Although I have graduated recently, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for an entry-level journalist position, once I saw you had one available. I am familiar with your recent content, and the level of skill motivated me to apply. I am certain your high-quality team of writers will also inspire and teach me to develop my own skills beyond what I learned in school. I am determined to work hard and learn from the best in the field to achieve that. ”

This is a great example because:

  • it combines your awareness of your shortcomings because of your lack of experience
  • It shows the fact that you are willing to learn and grow with the company.

Mentioning a few of the company’s core values and achievements that speak to you is a great final touch.

Mid-Level Professional Answer Sample

Lack of experience is not an issue for you? That’s great to hear!

Here’s a good answer for a mid-level professional:

“My previous experience has taught me to value product quality and how the consumers benefit from it over anything else. That is precisely why I decided to apply for an open position at your company. I would love the opportunity to work with a dedicated team of people towards meeting and potentially exceeding customer expectations in any way possible. Over the years of observing your marketing strategy, I have come to understand that the customers are actually at the core of your business, and it’s not just empty marketing talk. Your company’s initiatives towards continuously making improvements in your service design and responding to changes in customer behavior are really in-line with market needs. I believe that my previous experience in customer-centric product development with other companies, along with my industry expertise will help the marketing team improve customer retention and acquisition and make the most out of the customer base with quality products that they will come to love.”

The extensive experience in your industry gives you a lot to pick and choose from when deciding how to phrase your answer.

This example helps highlight the candidate’s skills and strongest points while tying them to the company’s operations.

You can be more flexible with your answer and have the freedom to choose what you mention and what you don’t.

Senior Professional Answer Sample

Are you a senior professional with many years of experience in your field?

If that’s the case, anything like the company’s culture, the great reputation, the product or service itself, the workplace, or the mission would be a great reason for wanting to work in that specific company.

Here’s an example that focuses more on what draws you to the specific job and company, rather than the career opportunity itself:

“I have had my fair share of experience in Software Development and as soon as I heard about your company, I was intrigued by the new technologies that are being developed and introduced to the market. Augmented Reality has definitely caught my attention as the THING of the future. I believe that my experience as a developer for Virtual Reality games and equipment along with my background in Enterprise Software will definitely be an asset to the team. I would love to do my part in developing such an innovative end-product that has the potential to change the way we see the world…literally”

This example perfectly connects the company’s reputation in the field with the potential employee’s devotion to the company’s recent innovative projects.

The candidate manages to recognize the company’s efforts and shows that he/she can add more value to the team.

4+ Mistakes to Avoid When Answering “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Even now that you know all the essential tips, there are still a million ways this can go wrong.

So let’s talk about what not to do when asked “Why do you want to work here?”

Here are the most common mistakes that job-seekers usually make when answering this question:

1. Do NOT lie, but do NOT be too honest either! There is a fine line between the two. You have to answer the question honestly and give reasons that speak to you. On the other hand, answers like ”I am looking for a job and you are offering one” will not cut it, even if they are true. You want to impress them, not get ready to file for unemployment.

2. NO vague answers! Ditch answers like “Oh, I just love your workplace!” or “I love the company culture!” The interviewers have definitely heard those before. Plus, they are experts at noticing when you’re saying something just for the sake of saying SOMETHING. Focus on the specifics instead and build your answer from there!

3. Do NOT be indifferent! Being unenthusiastic in an interview is a death sentence. If you keep saying things like “Oh, well, I guess your office is cool and stuff…”, you’ll have the interviewers falling asleep 5 minutes into the interview. The interviewers are looking for enthusiasm and passion, so make sure to give it to them.

4. Do NOT be inappropriately funny! Anyone can try to fall back to inappropriate humor to try and leave an impression and become memorable. HOWEVER…it can leave a worse impression than you intended and make the situation very awkward. Try to stir away from phrases like: “Because you look like you could need some help from the best” or “I’m obviously here for the money. LOL”. They’re heard that joke before, trust us. It’s not that funny.

Key Takeaways

Even though there are definitely some wrong answers to “Why do you want to work here?”, there is no specific “right” answer you can prepare that will guarantee you’ll get the job.

However, some key points will help increase the odds of you succeeding, so make sure to keep them in mind when preparing your answer:

1. Always do your research! It will prepare you for what is to come and in any case, extra information doesn’t hurt. Also, especially in an interview, being informed on the company and what it has to offer is always advantageous and will give you some extra points.

2. Be yourself and give an honest and informed answer that shows who you are and what you have to offer while emphasizing your knowledge and skills. Interviewers love a confident person that knows what he/she wants and knows how to get it.

3. Show your motivation and enthusiasm to join a new team and work towards success. Passion shows a lot about a person and the more motivated you are, the better your chances of succeeding.

Now that you are equipped with the best tips and tricks, you have an ace up your sleeve.

It is up to YOU to know how to use it to your advantage and finally land that job.

Good luck!