An answer you need to nail

You have checked out the company’s values, newest projects and employer value proposition online. You practiced your strengths and weaknesses over and over again to deliver a confident answer to an inevitable question. You are looking fly with your dandy outfit and you rest assured thinking that you have what it takes to nail this interview. That is until the recruiter asks you what seems to be such a basic question: “Why do you want this job?” Truth is, it is not basic. Your answer can make or break the interview, and you do not want it to fall in the category of used and abused answers.

What are the used and abused answers? Answers like “I liked the sound of the vacancy and I need a new challenge” or “well, I like marketing so that’s why I applied to this marketing job” – the list goes on. Basically, the used and abused answers are the very generic ones with little enthusiasm and persuasion.

So, what might a good answer be? Well, it should contain four steps:


  1. What fires you with enthusiasm about this specific company?
  2. Why are you passionate about this specific role?
  3. How do you see yourself progress in the role you are applying for?
  4. Reiterate that you are happy to be invited for the interview


Let’s break them down.


What fires you with enthusiasm about this specific company?

You might have heard wonderful things about this company, it might be that you have followed them on LinkedIn through some time and you find their updates very appealing, perhaps you know of the great things they do for their employees which would make you feel valued as an employee.


Why are you passionate about this specific role?

For the second point, you need to know why exactly you are interviewing as their next Employer Branding Specialist or their new Business Development Coordinator. Whatever the title is, there will surely be a reason behind you wanting to do this specific job. Explain that your past knowledge helps you a lot to succeed in this role, that you understand a few of the challenges that come with this role (and mention them), and that you are passionate about solving these kinds of challenges.


How do you see yourself progress in the role you are applying for?

Recruiters like if you picture yourself a long time down the road at their company. Most likely, they will hire with the hopes that you will be a part of the team 15 years from now. As so, it is pivotal that you have thought about how this specific role allows you to grow. You want to say that you already have useful knowledge, but that it might be a field in constant change, and that you are curious to see what the future brings and how you can develop your strengths in this role.


Reiterate that you are happy to be invited for the interview

This is where it comes full circle. It does not require more than a single sentence showing the recruiter how appreciative you are to have been invited to an interview for such an interesting job.


Keen on examples? We got you covered! Let’s pretend that Bilal is interviewing for the role as Head of Digital Marketing at the dairy company Arla. When Arla’s recruiter asks him “Why do you want this job, Bilal?” He goes something like this:

I have always been fascinated with Arla as a company. You strike me as a caring company with strong opinions on ecology, a topic that I myself is very interested in. I’ve known a few people who were happy to be part of your organisation who told me a lot of great stories. All of them put great emphasis on the way you treat your employees with respect and the many career opportunities they got at your company, which speaks to me.

When I initially read the job description as Head of Digital Marketing, one of the aspects that really appealed to me was your wish to glocalise your brand. I find the discussion on localisation versus standardisation very interesting and my previous experience from XX allowed me to work in depth with this issue. As so, I have relevant experience that can benefit Arla. However, I am also aware that as the company grows, and new markets are explored, and not to forget, as the social media sphere evolves, the role of Head of Digital Marketing will challenge me in many aspects and allow me to grow in my role.

To sum up, this role and company is well suited to my interests, skills and ambitions, and I am very pleased to have the chance of interviewing for this opportunity.


In case you bring all these points on the table, you are sure to impress the recruiter. Make it personal. Make it different from what they usually hear and get one step closer to landing the job.


Now that we are already on the topic of nailing your next interview, we have written a few other pieces that can help you in this connection:

Want a little tip that most recruiters use? Check out the STAR method to help you skilfully explain your competences with hands-on examples.

Be prepared for another common question about salary – have a look at how much you can ask.

Leave these 9 bad habits at your doorstep when going to your next job interview.

And… impress the recruiters with a few Dutch words and phrases suitable for an interview.

Good luck!

All the best,

The Talentree Team

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