Turn Setbacks into Setups

How To Answer The Most Dreaded Interview Question… “Why Are You Here?”

June 7, 2019

So…why are you here?

It’s a hard question to answer, even at the best of times—a little too existential to respond to on the fly. But when the question comes at you out of nowhere during an interview, it can be even harder to find solid footing. Especially because the answers you think of first (like “to make money” or “because I need a job”) don’t really cut it.

For many, this can be a pretty frustrating interview question to prepare for, but it’s not so difficult with a little perspective. In the end, it’s all about connecting your answer to the questions your interviewer really wants to know. So let’s take a look at how it’s done.

First, what does this question actually mean?

On the surface, this question seems like a throwaway. It sounds like your interviewer just wants to bask in a discussion of how great the company is.

But the reason this question carries so much weight is because—when answered well—it tells the interviewer a lot about you. Most importantly, it should explain why you want this job, and why this company. It can show how you fit into the company culture (which, if you didn’t know, is a huge concern for employers). And it can demonstrate your motivations as a worker, as well as your long-term career goals and preferences.

What is an interviewer looking for as an impressive answer?

So where do you begin to answer this question? In the end, it all boils down to this: how do you fit into the job and the company?

To answer, the first thing you should do is research. Make sure you’re familiar with the company and its specific culture by checking out the website, mission statements, blog posts, social media accounts, and news coverage.

Next, explain how you fit with the company. Based on your research, speak to why you’re a good fit for the organization, and how you can help it succeed. Be prepared to share specifics about why you’ll actually enjoy working there: for example, do you like the general reputation, the mission statement and values, or the company culture?

Finally, show off your enthusiasm for your specific job. Share how good you are at what you do, as well as why you love it. It’s crucial to not only show off your skills and abilities but also your interest, as the company is looking for someone who works well and who is enthusiastic about said work.

Of course, whether or not someone asks you this specific question during your interview, honing your ability to answer shamelessly can give you a leg up on the competition. Preparing to explain exactly how you fit in, as well as how your skill and enthusiasm sets you apart from others, will help you seal the deal. But should you need more specific help, practice, or insights for your own situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a mentor to take things a step further!

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