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How to Answer Why Do You Want This Job?

How to Answer: Why Do You Want This Job?

The hard work begins after you've landed an interview and are sitting in front of a potential employer. When I suggested that you enter armed with a relatively honest answer about why you want the job you're interviewing for, syako asked for advice on how to respond when you're only planning on staying at a job for a short while. To see my advice,


Savvy says: Approach the question as if you don't plan on leaving any time soon. While right now you may view the position as a stepping stone before you move on to something bigger and better, there's no telling how the job you were hired for could change in the time you're there. Instead of channeling your long-term career plan and laying it all out for your interviewer, stay mostly in the present while indicating that you hope to grow with the company.

Consider what attracted you to the job opening in the first place. If it's a lateral move, then you'll want to talk up how much you want to be a part of the specific company and how you are excited about the possibility of bringing your developed skills to the job while exploring new ones as called for by any subtle differences in job descriptions. Reinforce the things that you like about the job — problem solving, working with people, being kept on your toes, etc.

When it comes to bringing up the future, instead of giving off an 'I'm using you until something better comes along vibe,' simply discuss how the particular job will help your growth in the meantime and that you're certain your current skills will make you a fast learner.


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
great advice.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
That's fair ! :) I've seen resumes come in here though with two or three jobs over one to two years, and not just "transition" jobs in food service or retail. It's like pop said, it's not worth training someone who I don't think will be around that long.
syako syako 8 years
you could always substitute "one" :D ;) Well considering I've been in the workforce for a whole two years, there's not a lot of room to judge yet. :P
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
I don't think it looks good to be at a job for less than two years anyways. If I were to interview someone with a string of jobs they left after less than two years I would be concerned.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I was speaking hypoethically. We need additional words for "you" in English. :) But as a side note, 2 years seems plenty long to me!
syako syako 8 years
well I don't know if you're talking hypothetically or directly to me, but Pop when I say "a little while" that usually, to me, means 2 years at least.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I hire people for a VERY small company. It would devastate me if I hired someone for a long-term position and they were only planning on working for 3 months before, say, having a kid and quitting. We put so many hours of training into someone that it's a huge loss if someone leaves. I realize that we're all out there looking for #1, but if you ARE going to pretend you'll be at a job for a while, at least make sure it's a big company where they won't feel the loss like a small, family-owned company would.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Answer: I need money! I actually had a staffing agent tell me she asked these types of questions to prepare possible candidates for interviews and one girl once answered " I really don't want the job, per say, but my boyfriend said he can't marry a girl who doesn't have a job so I need this to shut him up and make him marry me" And the agent had to explain why it wasn't the right answer and how you aren't supposed to be 110% truthful in this case,haha!
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Good to know :)
syako syako 8 years
btw, totally hypothetical question on my part. I'm happy as can be at my current job. :)
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I agree, don't let them know that you only see this as temporary at all.
syako syako 8 years
Thanks for answering my question Savvy. That makes more sense for me now. :)
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Also remember to tie it back into why you are a good fit for THEM --- not just vice versa. Stay away from IT'S ALL ABOUT ME! responses. And the answer is never, ever: I just need a job or I need a paycheck, etc.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
This is my favorite question to ask. Good answer Savvy.
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