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Answer This Job Interview Question:
Why Do You Want This Job?
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After ranking all your categories, now
evaluate your current/former job on a 1-10
scale for each category in the chart and see
how it ranks. This helps you see clearly why
you are not happy in your current position
and will give you an indication of why you
are interested in the new opportunity.
When you have completed the Matrix
for your current/former job, consider how
the job you are interviewing for meets your
needs. Make note of those points where the
new job fits your preferences.
The Career Matrix sounds simple, but it
does require some personal insight.
There was a woman who was doing great
in her job but was seriously unhappy and
did not know why. As a data analyst she was
chained to her desk with little people inter-
action and never heard a kind word about
With coaching, she discovered that she
was an extrovert, liked interacting with a
variety of people, solving problems, and
being recognized. Suddenly, it was clear
why she was not content in her current
position -- and what would be important
in her next job.
Use the Career Matrix as a good tool for
you to evaluate the position you are inter-
viewing for and the other opportunities you
Frame a Great Answer Based on Your
Needs and the Employer's Needs
Now that you know what is important
to you and how this opportunity fits your
needs, let's consider what is important to the em-
ployer, and why they ask this question.
Simply put, employers want to know whether you
are a good fit for them. Retention is a major issue
for companies as it costs them tens of thousands of
dollars to replace someone, and get them up to speed.
Consequently, employers are looking for
someone who is:
• Enthusiastic about the position and the company,
• Likely to be a long-term player.
• A good fit for their corporate culture.
• Someone that others will enjoy working with
as a team mate.
Thus, your response needs to show:
• How your skills match the role.
• Your enthusiasm for the job.
• How you fit into the culture.
Even if it’s true, do not mention salary, hours, or
commute as the primary reasons you want the job.
Those reasons will not impress an employer with
your fit for their job.
Your exercise in building the career matrix will
allow you to show that you have given some real
thought about what you are looking for and what
jobs would be a good fit.
Some good responses are:
• “I learned a long time ago that doing the same
thing every day is not for me as I enjoy prob-
lem-solving in fast-paced environments. I am
also a people-person who likes to build rela-
tionships. Based on what you have told me, I
would be the point-of-contact with customers
resolving issues and overseeing their product
delivery. So every day would be different and
interesting. I would get to know my customers
and build long-term relationships with them."
• enjoy what I am doing but I can also grow into
new positions. I am very good at what I do, but
in the computer field there are always new tools
and technologies coming out. I want a company
that allows me to learn more and expand my
capabilities into new areas. The fact that you
sponsor a week of training every year and that
most of the people I’ve met have been here more
than five years shows me that we share the same
• “To be honest, I do not enjoy politics at work
where each person is trying to outdo the other to
get attention. In my perfect world, I would work
with my team mates where we all are focused on
a common goal and support each other. I was
impressed by your team-building and employee
recognition programs as they indicate we share
the same values."
NOTE: Saying “we share the same values” is a
great closing line!
A final statement can be:
“A great job is one where I am excited about coming
to work, and that’s what I think this position offers.”
Taking the time to do the Career Matrix you will
understand yourself better and align your career
with what is important to you. You will not only
be able to give an excellent answer to this job inter-
view question, you will find this insight very useful
in the future.
Keep your Matrix, update it as time passes --- per-
haps every year as part of your New Year’s activities.
The Matrix will help you navigate to the best pro-
motion or next job for you, with this employer or
with a different employer in the distant future. And
it allows you to frame your answer to this question,
whenever you are asked it.
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