Answering the Question “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

Career Blog

Published: September 9, 2020 by iSchool Career Advisor

“Why do you want to work here?” or “Why did you apply for this position?” These are common interview questions that you’ll want to put thought into before heading into your interview. Think about what prompted you to apply for this particular position and what is appealing to you about this job? Your goal is to show that you are a perfect fit for the position.

The interviewer wants to learn about you and your career goals and how this position fits with your plan. They want to ensure that you are sincerely interested in this job and that you are enthusiastic, even passionate, about this work, and that you will be motivated to perform.

So, as part of your interviewing preparation process, come up with a compelling answer that specifically demonstrates why you are uniquely interested in this job. Here are some tips to consider.

  • Be able to articulate what excites you about this position.
  • Share how your past experience, skills, and strengths are a great fit.
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm and sincere interest in the job.

Here are two sample responses to this important question

“I love the energy of working on a college campus. It is inspiring and I enjoy being challenged with student’s reference questions. I also enjoy the diversity of the patrons and knowing that I am helping people and providing a service. While in graduate school, I developed an aptitude and a strong interest in social media and I am fascinated at how it can connect people across the world with information;  I really want to be a part of that.”

“I am interested in this position for three main reasons. First, I am interested in working for my alma mater, and I am at a point in my life where I can now give back and help to make a difference in the lives of people who are walking in my shoes. Secondly, I am especially interested because of the challenge of working with this population of people. I know that the issues, questions, and concerns I’ll be dealing with on a daily basis will each be different and challenging, and I look forward to stretching myself to continue to research and learn new things. Thirdly, I am interested in this job because all of my experience and the completion of my MLIS degree have prepared me well for this next step in my career. I am highly skilled in reference, instruction, and technical services and look forward to applying these skills in your library.”

For more tips on interviewing success, check out the interviewing section on our Career Development website and for a unique experience practicing your interviewing skills; try our online mock interviewing tool Big Interview.


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