‘Why do you want to work for us?’ is one of the most common interview questions asked by employers. It’s usually asked to see what you know about the company and how you think you’ll fit their culture. Essentially, they’re trying to figure out whether you’re interested enough in the role to have done your research and imagined yourself doing the job.
This question typically comes at the beginning of interviews, so having an impressive answer can help you make a good first impression. Here’s how to best answer ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ questions, a templated answer you can paste into an online job application, and 10 more sample answers for inspiration:
How to answer ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ questions
New hires are an investment for employers — and they expect to get a return on those investments. So when an interviewer asks ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ (or some version of that) your answer should show employers that you’re genuinely interested in contributing to the company’s goals.
Therefore, you should avoid answers that are self-focused or not related to the job, like these:
- ‘I’m impressed by your benefits package’
- ‘your office is near my house’
- ‘I just need any job I can get right now’
- ‘I hate my current job‘
Instead, determine the company’s needs by:
- reading the job advert
- researching its website and social media profiles
- looking it up on employer review sites like Glassdoor
- talking to people you know who work there (if possible)
Then, go through your CV’s work experience and education section, recalling any examples of your skills and achievements that show how you’d fit in at the company you’re attempting to work for. Pick the most relevant examples, based on your research, and either write them in the job application (don’t forget to proofread) or practice speaking about them for an in-person or remote interview.
Here’s an example job advert for a maths teaching position, followed by a sample explanation of why an applicant wants to work there. The relevant information from the job advert that the answer includes is underlined. Look at each colour to see a particular element in the job description — the same colour highlights the same information in the answer:
Based on the job description above, this is a great answer if the interviewer asks about your reasons for wanting to work there:
I want to work here because I share your vision for personalising maths education through one-on-one mentoring. I’ve got 4 years of experience developing and adapting maths curricula to meet the needs of each new group of learners I encounter, and everything I’ve read about Broadgate Primary leads me to believe that I could continue following my passion for finding new ways to help students grow into their full academic potential in maths here.
And here’s the same answer reformatted as a template you can copy and customise for any type of job:
I want to work here because I share your vision for [company goal from the job advert or your research]. I’ve got [X] years of experience [example that proves you share the company’s vision], and everything I’ve read about [Company Name] leads me to believe that I could continue following my passion for [example of work you do that aligns with the company’s goals].
‘Why do you want to work for us?’ answer examples
Still unsure about how to answer if an employer asks why you want to work with them? Here are 10 more sample answers for:
- inexperienced candidates
- experienced applicants
- retail jobs
- IT jobs
- customer service jobs
Answers for inexperienced candidates
If you don’t have much relevant experience, your answer should expand on the job-specific skills on your CV and explain your relevant career goals. Here are two example answers that do that well:
As you probably noticed from my CV and cover letter, I just completed my BSc in Marketing & Advertising. I’m ready to apply my consumer research skills in the real world, and after talking to Ms Jones from your Marketing Research department at my university’s career fair, I knew I had to try to get on the cutting edge of marketing tactics with you at Kurt Geiger. Plus, I’m a huge fan of your bags and shoes, and I’m excited for the opportunity to sell products I believe in.
I’m interested in this job because I believe it perfectly matches my skill set. Even though I’ve never worked in graphic design professionally, I’ve developed professional-level skills through college courses and self-study. I looked through your website and social media, and I found images and graphics that are similar to ones I’ve made for personal projects, friends’ blogs, and album artwork for a few local bands. My goal has always been to make graphic design into a career, and I believe your company offers me the best opportunities for that.
Answers for experienced candidates
Employers prefer candidates with relevant experience because they’re easier to train. If you’ve got job-specific experience, emphasise it when the interviewer asks you why you want to work with them:
I’d like to work for you because I’ve long admired your attention to detail when it comes to your website’s UX and accessibility. I’ve worked in UX focusing on making information easily available to the visually impaired for the past 10 years, and I have a lot of ideas for making your website even more accessible and user friendly.
I want to work for Diageo because I read about your planned expansion of your Asian markets, and I believe my experience perfectly positions me to lead that charge. When I worked at Wiper and True, I headed up an expansion into Southeast Asia that pulled in £3 million annual in revenue from exports. I’m excited just thinking about the results I could produce working with the extensive resources you have at Diageo.
Got an interview for a retail job? Your reasons for wanting to work at your target company should include your desire to produce merchandising and sales results.
Here are two answers to interview questions about why you want to work in retail:
I want to work in retail because I love improving every aspect of the customer experience. I’m obsessed with optimising product displays and finding creative ways to use promotions and signage to draw customers in and convince them my products are what they want. I’m a frequent shopper at your store, and I know I can help you improve the already great retail experience you offer.
I’m interested in working for you in part because I’ve got fond memories of interning at another Signet Jewelers brand, H. Samuel, while studying at university. While my career took me down a different retail path, I’ve always wanted to return to the jewellery business. At my current job selling high-end fashion, I’ve set multiple sales records, and I’m ready to do that for you now.
If you’re interviewing for an IT job, employers want to know how your IT skills qualify you for their open position. Here are two answers to the question ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ that showcase the candidates’ relevant technical skills:
I want to join your company because you’ll give me the opportunity to help underdeveloped nations access the internet. I’ve spent the past 5 years setting up Wi-Fi networks in rural areas in the UK, but I’ve always wanted to find a way to use that skill for an NGO like yours, giving students in every part of the world the same access to information that we have here.
Customer service–specific answers
To work in customer service, you’ll need great soft skills for interacting with people. When customer-service employers ask you why you want to work for them, your answer should showcase examples of your relevant interpersonal skills:
I do all my grocery shopping at Morrisons, and I’m impressed by your excellent customer service. I currently operate the till at a local village shop, and my manager often praises me for my ability to brighten shoppers’ days while scanning their purchases. I’d love to do that as part of a larger team in Morrisons.
I was attracted to the waiter position here at Hudson Steakhouse after I brought my partner here to celebrate our anniversary. As a seasoned restaurant waiter and host, I’m quite proud of my ability to interact with customers in a friendly and professional manner, and when I experienced your waiting staff’s professionalism, I knew this would be a perfect place for me to apply my customer service skills.