Why are you interested in this position?

There are many motivations behind a job application. In most cases, all we really need is a job—any job, really—so that we can pay our rent or mortgage, feed our families, and treat ourselves on the weekends. However, as you might guess, this is not exactly what the hiring managers want to hear from you. They need to hear your excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead. People who work there are hoping to hear glowing reviews of the company and the employment opportunity it presents. They are looking for someone with the right skills and personality for the job, so be sure to highlight those in your application. That’s why prospective employers want to know what piqued your interest in the opening, role, vacancy, position, or whatever they call it.

Here are 7 examples of how to answer the question. I made an effort to provide a variety of examples suitable for a wide range of careers and interview contexts. Some of the options on this list may come as a surprise, such as being totally forthright with the interviewers or taking a more philosophical stance. Carefully read through the options, think about how they might apply to you, and then modify your responses so that they are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. Then read my comments below the answers for more information and clarification.

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Here are 7 examples of responses to the question “Why are you interested in this position?” Questions for an Interview

  1. For some reason, I feel like this role plays right into my skills and interests. Aside from spending time with friends and family, working on houses has always been one of my favorite pastimes. When it comes to equipment, supplies, and labels, I’m an expert. Selling something you have an interest in and some familiarity with is much more likely to result in a sale. This is because you will be able to make more informed recommendations to the customer and draw on your own experience with the product to help convince them to make a purchase. That’s why I want to work as a sales associate at your store rather than anywhere else.
  2. In my mind, it’s the natural next step for me to take in my career. After five years in the field, I can confidently say that I have a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of managing a company’s cash flow. After everything I’ve been through and learned, I feel prepared to take on the role of financial manager at a company and really make an impact there. There is no reason for me not to be interested in the position you are advertising, especially given the higher salary and benefits.
  3. I just need a new experience. There’s no doubt that in a small cafe on the outskirts of the city center, I might seem overqualified for the role. However, I am interested in this role because I have recently suffered from burnout and can no longer fathom a career in corporate America. Please help me find a low-stress position that requires minimal use of electronic devices. A place where I can be myself and have genuine conversations with others. At this point in my career, monetary gain is lower on my priority list. Please consider giving me a chance to demonstrate my enthusiasm and competence.
  4. Obviously, everyone wants to work for Amazon. I’ve always wanted to work for one of the Big Four in the tech industry, where I could contribute to groundbreaking research and develop cutting-edge services and products that millions of people around the world rely on every day. My guess is that the desire to make a difference is universal. This is the kind of effect I hope to achieve. In addition, I believe I am a strong candidate for the position due to my background in engineering and familiarity with the necessary programming languages. In my opinion, we’re all winners here, and I’m hoping that by the end of our conversation, you’ll feel the same way.
  5. To be completely forthright, I need to find work so that I can pay the bills. There is a lot of competition for jobs these days. You take out a loan once, maybe twice, and then things don’t work out, you incur some unexpected expenses, and soon enough debt collectors and executors are knocking on your door. At the moment, this is how things stand with me. That’s why I’d like to apply for the job opening you’ve posted, despite the fact that I understand it’s a lot of work for low pay. However, given my current circumstances, I cannot afford to sit around and hope for the best in job interviews for positions I have little chance of getting. I am currently unemployed and very interested in this position because I am willing to work hard and need a steady income immediately.
  6. If I’m being completely honest, I have no long-term interest in this role. I believe my skills and experience would be an asset to your public relations team. I’m also impressed by your PR director. While I understand that you are not currently hiring for any positions in public relations, I would still love the opportunity to prove my communication and diplomatic skills in your company and, hopefully, move into that field in the future. On the other hand, I do not see the sales job I am interviewing for as merely a stepping stone to something else. I believe I have a lot to learn here and that I can help you achieve your monthly sales goals while also bringing in some fun new customers. It would be to your advantage to have me on board. At the end of the day, however, my sights are set on your public relations team.
  7. There are a few reasons why I’d like to fill this position. To begin, I believe social work to serve an important social purpose. Moreover, I despise the idea of working for the sole purpose of financial gain. Knowing that I made a difference in someone else’s life and that they were able to find some measure of comfort in the face of adversity makes each day’s work worthwhile. Second, I admire your company and everything you stand for, including your training program, your values, your marketing efforts, and your name itself. Finally, I think I’m a good candidate for the position because of my background, skills, and attitude.


Pay attention to your nonverbal cues as well

No matter how much you gush about the company’s name, the office, the pay, or anything else that might have piqued your interest in the job posting, they won’t hire you. In an interview, you won’t convince anyone unless they can detect energy in your voice and see that you’re “pumped up” in some way.

Don’t forget this, and use your words and body to convey the right message. You don’t have to get up from your seat in a flurry of excitement after each question. On the other hand, you need to act enthusiastic, shake hands firmly, respond favorably, ask questions, etc….

*Tip: This isn’t the hardest question you’ll be asked during an interview for a respectable position. You can expect to be tested on your ability to prioritize tasks, remain calm under pressure, and adapt to uncertainty, among other skills tested. Have a look at our Interview Success Package if you want to make yourself stand out from the crowd and ace the interview. To help you breeze through the interviews, we have compiled a list of up to 10 premium responses to 31 challenging scenario-based questions (and more). We appreciate you taking the time to look!

More specificity is always preferable.

Include specifics and numbers whenever possible when answering questions. Saying that you want the job because “it is a good job” is fair enough. However, unless you can articulate why you think the position is suitable, you will likely not impress hiring managers.

Everything from pay and benefits to a shared sense of purpose and a connection to the company’s brand can be brought up in a job interview. They will accept your answer as long as it makes sense (talking positively about the salary offer at a company that only pays the bare minimum is not going to impress anyone). They will also notice that you took the offer seriously because you did your homework and came to the interviews prepared.

It’s not just the interviews where being forthright can help you out.

Most of us fill out job applications only out of necessity. Money is the center of the world, and if you don’t have any, you’ll find yourself on the margins of society, struggling to meet your most fundamental needs. No one hopes to end up in that situation.

However, if you are having trouble making ends meet or are only a paycheck away from homelessness, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. You haven’t had it easy, and it isn’t your fault, but the money-driven society we live in now is unforgiving and cruel.

If you’re applying for a job that few people want, for example, a job on a construction site that’s physically demanding and pays poorly, telling the truth is your best bet. You could argue that you are currently in a position where you have no other choice but to take any job offered to you in order to make ends meet.

You shouldn’t go into the meeting with the hiring managers acting like a victim or sounding desperate. You keep your chin up, but you recognize your predicament, accept the current reality, and do what you must to stay afloat until better times come.

Athina Iliadis is a Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in corporate environments working for companies such as Pearson, LexisNexis, Hershey, and Reckitt. In her current role as a consultant working with clients around the world, she coaches managers and employees on HR issues, supports leaders in their business, produces content about careers, interviews, and job opportunities. She is fluent in English, French and Greek, and she holds a BBA with a major in HR from Université du Québec à Montréal. Find her on LinkedIn and at athinailiadis.com

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