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Why do you want to work for us? How to answer this interview question

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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 comprehensive advice for interviews.


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Why do employers ask the question “why do you want to work here”?

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.

    Firstly 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.


Why do you want to work for us answer

When constructing an answer to this question, we recommend you choose 2 or 3 key points, backed up with a summary explanation of why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

Here are some example answers to help inspire your own response to this common graduate interview question.

  • “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, and having worked in sales for 2 years now I am confident that I can help to grow this portfolio and become a strong asset to your team!”

  • “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.

    I have already received a great deal of training from my previous job roles and continually learning new skills is something that is really important to me”

  • “When I read your ‘meet the team’ page, it became clear that my values align well with those of the CEO.

    As you can see from my LinkedIn profile, I also do a lot of charity work and volunteering.

    I think that I could bring real value to your team, in a job role that I would strive to excel in, as giving back to the community is so important to me.

    Would there be any opportunities for me to run any of my own charitable initiates?

    As this is something that I would be really keen to get involved with.”

  • “Something that is very important to me is working for a company that I can be truly proud of.

    You are obviously a very reputable brand, with a huge network of satisfied customers and your online reviews really reflect this.

    It would be amazing to be a part of this and have the opportunity to bring my previous experience in customer service, to continue to improve the quality of your already fantastic service!”

  • “I really liked your recent social media campaign about ____, I thought the competition was very clever and I thought the witty tone of voice really reflected the light-hearted and fun side of your brand.

    I would love to use my innovative mindset to bring more new ideas and create content that will go viral, in an industry that I am passionate about.”

  • “When I saw this job role advertised on your site I was really excited, as this is a brand that my family have been using for years and I have many fond memories of.

    The idea of working for a company that I can really relate to and have aspired towards since I was little would be a dream.

    I believe I can really enhance and drive your brand forward, as your company ethos is true to my own beliefs.”

  • “I heard about your company a while ago, as I have a friend that works in the marketing department.

    I only ever hear good things about how you treat staff and how quickly you have grown with the new initiatives you get involved in.

    It sounds like a very exciting time to join your company; I think would fit well in the team and I have some ideas of my own that I would like to bring.”


What to avoid when answering ‘why do you want to work for us?’

  • 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 our advice on being concise in a 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 in 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 surefire 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!


Question variations of “why do you want to work for us?”

  • Why are you applying for this position?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why do you want to work for this organisation?
  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • What do you expect from this job?
  • What do you hope to gain from this job?
  • Why do you want to work in this industry?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why do you want a job here?
  • What are your top 3 reasons for applying for this job?
  • Why do you want to work at our company?
  • What influenced you to apply for this role?
  • Why do you think you are right for the position?

Read the best career advice on our blog – or check out the latest graduate jobs UK!

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