Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 10th 2017 Contents B6
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The question of, "Why do you
want to work here?" is not limited
to interviews. You'll find it knock-
ing on your door in networking,
informational interviewing, and
even at job fairs.
In fact, I became an interview guru
as a result of my own terrible blunder
when I was a new college grad attend-
ing a job fair for the first time. Who
knew you had to be well prepared? I
didn't then, but now you can learn
from my experience!
When you are asked this inno-
cent-sounding question, you need
to have a strong answer that demon-
strates your knowledge of the company
and the skills, talents, experience, and
strengths you have to be a match for
their culture and the targeted position/
Very Bad Answers
Here are some answers you nev-
er want to find coming out of your
"For the money."
"It seems like a nice place to work."
"My cousin Fred works for you, and
he has great benefits."
All three of these answers are similar,
and may be absolutely true. However,
they share the same problem -- they
are all about what you want. However,
they do not make the employer inter-
ested in hiring you.
Don't make the mistake of thinking
that you should know up-front what
is in it for you (salary, vacation days,
sick days, benefits, etc.), so that you
are not wasting your time.
Employers are looking for what you
can do for them, not what pleases you.
Once you have an offer, then you
have them almost where you want
them, and you can address your needs
But, not before!
Employers want to make only one
offer - to the person who is the right
match for them.
Until you get to the point of receiv-
ing an offer, however, they are just
looking at reasons to eliminate you.
By focusing on what you want, you
are not focused on why they might
Also Bad Answers
"Because I know I can make a really
"Because I know you have an open-
ing for ______________ and I am qual-
While these may seem better, they
err in the similar manner of being
vague, "vanilla" answers that anyone
could give to any employer.
What's Wrong with These Answers?
With answers like these you show
lack of knowledge or interest in the
company, and you won't stand out
from those who also want the position.
In short, you fade into the woodwork
and get lost among the other job seek-
ers who have not done their homework
either. These answers will never get
you far with an employer.
Do Your Homework
When I say, "homework" I am re-
ferring to research and preparation in
three key areas:
• 1. Know yourself
• 2. Know the company
• 3. Know the position and the
department (if possible).
Let me walk you through these:
1. KNOW YOURSELF
Before you talk to employers, or even
network for positions, you need to have
a strong grasp of what you can offer
them. (What's the return on invest-
ment you provide to the employer?)
You should be able to talk about your
strengths and your accomplishments,
and to readily give concrete answers
to questions such as "What are your
, "Why should we
, and "Tell me about your-
2. KNOW THE COMPANY
Get to know the companies you will
be talking to (or talking about, if net-
When you know details about them,
their culture, their goals, their prod-
ucts, and their challenges, you are then
able to talk about yourself and your fit
into the company.
Visit LinkedIn and view the com-
pany profile information, and search
for current/past employee profiles.
Google the company, and read all
you can. Visit their company website
to learn more about them.
3. KNOW THE POSITION
and the Department
In this economy, there is no room
for shopping for "any job you find me
Instead, you need to know where you
would fit into the company, whether
there is a current advertised opening
Again, resources like LinkedIn will
let you search profiles for staff in target
Use the information to learn more
about their job responsibilities and to
identify LinkedIn Groups they belong
to (and join them).
Also, using Google and viewing
the company website will allow you
to learn more as well.
Putting it All Together
Once you have done all your pre-in-
terview homework, you will never
again find yourself blundering on
critical questions like, "Why do you
want to work here?"
Instead, you will be prepared to talk
knowledgeably about the company and
position, why they interest you, and
how you will fit in with your skill set,
personality, and experience.
Play the game, and realise that even
if this job is not a match, if they like
you and want to hire you, they may
find the right place for you (at the right
salary) in the long run.
As long as you've done your home-
work in advance and demonstrated
your interest in them.
Why Do You Want To Work Here?
How to Answer this Question...
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