Even if you’ve prepared all your answers to the most common
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Your graduate job interview is well underway. You’ve just finished answering the tell me about yourself interview question, and are about to plunge into the next; ‘why do you want to work for us?’
The employer will want to find out the motivations behind your graduate job application and not just because you stumbled across it on a jobs board. It’s also an ideal opportunity for you to enforce why and how you would be a perfect fit for the company. Read our complete guide to Interview Questions.
Scroll straight to the bottom to see a quick, summary video of how to answer!
We’ve found the best way to tackle this particular graduate job interview question, is to first understand, why does an employer ask it?
Before your next graduate job interview, ask yourself ‘why do I want to work there?’ to decipher what attracted you to it in the first place. Firsty bullet point all the reasons why you would like to work for the company and then structure an answer from there.
This is a chance for you to demonstrate how much you know about the company, understand what they do, and the industry they’re in - ensuring you link these back to your genuine interests will enhance this.
Do your employer research to get a feel for the business and put a face to the name when looking at their ‘Meet the Team’ page, and finding out whether you support their core beliefs will also be a crucial part in navigating your answer to this interview question.
Discussing your aims with the employer will enable them to gauge your eagerness for the graduate job - do your goals match the company’s objectives?
Explain which parts of the job role are most appealing to you and how you can incorporate these aspects into the company – this will demonstrate your long-term plans and longevity is something employers often look for in a graduate hire.
Check out our recent blog for more tips on what things you should be looking for in a company.
You will have a proper opportunity to convince the Employer why you’d be a great fit for the company when they ask, ‘why do you think you’re right for the position’, but subtly adding this to responses throughout is a great way to tie everything together.
Make sure you relate your interest in the company, sector, and brand values with how this would benefit the company. Perks and benefits are of course also important when choosing a company, however make sure you don't place too much emphasis on this in an interview...
Read our shortlist of top company perks that every graduate needs to consider.
Example answer for a graduate applying for a role in the Technology sector:
"I have always had a keen interest in the Technology sector and when I saw the job role advertised online, I was excited at the prospect of working for a top tech brand that's leading the future of the industry. You have a very impressive portfolio of high-tech software and big clients!
I have read a lot about your company and I would welcome the opportunity to work in an organisation that has a reputation for high employee satisfaction, encouraging professional and personal development for staff.
When I read your 'meet the team' page, it became clear that my values align well with those of the CEO and so I think that I could bring real value to your team, in a job role that I would strive to excel in."
While it is good to be prepared for your graduate job interview, you need to ensure you don't sound like you are just reading from a script. Draft a few possible answers of why you want to work for the company to avoid this from happening in the interview (particularly when nerves are running high!) Ensure the interview flows like a conversation and try to allow yourself to relax.
Reeling off a list of vague responses will put your lack of research under the spotlight. Make sure your answer is clear and concise – do elaborate but make sure you don’t trail off course and onto a tangent as that could lead to talking yourself out of the job. Check out top advice on how not to ramble in a graduate job interview.
Responding with “I live close by”, “it will be a good stepping stone, for when I move onto something else”, or “it’s a great salary”, doesn’t illustrate a genuine interest for the graduate job or the company. It is important to be enthusiastic and prove that you deserve the job.
Even though the graduate job hunt can be a long road, you don’t want to share this anguish with the employer. A graduate saying “I just really need a job and I’ll take anything right now” would not be very appealing and is a sure-fire way to strike yourself off the contender list. So when you are asked 'why do you want to work for us', make the employer believe that you were made for the job and the job was made for you!