What truly lies behind this interview question and why is it so important?
Choosing the right company is crucial for a fulfilling career. A well-matched workplace can bring you job satisfaction and professional growth. It sets the stage for a positive work environment, where your skills are valued, and your aspirations are supported. Selecting the right company aligns your career goals with organizational values and brings you an enjoyable professional journey. Considering this, ask yourself what motivates you to work with them. What values can you bring to them, and which of their values align the best with you? Is there anything you have in common with that particular company? Can you see your future and growth with them? If most of these answers are positive, then you may be on the right path. However, if most of these things did not align with you, maybe you should rethink about joining them.
Why is this question commonly asked in interviews?
Have you ever wondered why recruiters ask this question? Have you ever wondered why this can be crucial for your career growth? When a recruiter asks you Why do you want to work at our company? they want to learn more about you:
- what motivates you?
- what are your values?
- what are your career plans?
- what work environment are you looking for?
- what are you expecting from the company?
Sure, they can ask you direct questions about all of these (and they probably will). But answering them allows you to tell them a story about you and the company you’re looking for. It also gives you the chance to reflect on your values and ask yourself what is truly important to you.
Think about the company where you felt demotivated, experienced burnout without support from your colleagues/company, and wanted to grow but didn’t have an opportunity or support. All of these are good motivators to change the company. Alongside that, the motivation to change the company is usually the following:
- Good project
- Time flexibility
- Strong company brand
- Great team and company culture
- Learning and growth opportunities
Depending on the stage of life you are currently in, some of these things would be more or less important.
Let’s go a step back and think about this question, can you spot the importance of it now? Every company has its own culture, size, work model, working hours, and values that can be aligned with you or not. It’s up to you to check if they are the right fit, even before you apply for the position. Not every company is good for you, and neither you are for every company – and that’s okay. Most of the information can be found on the company website, and my professional advice for you is to spend some time and research the company before applying.
There are several ways for that:
Always check company reviews before the interview. Therefore you can understand how other candidates have described the process and its components. This can help in your preparation for the interview as well. Besides preparation, you can read about the projects, culture, communication, team, and benefits. That can give you insights into how the company treats its employees and see whether you would like to join their culture.
Friends and family insights
If you know someone who is working at the company you applied to, there is no better insight than directly from the person inside the organization. Do not hesitate to use your sources.
It’s essential to check the company’s website. Try to get familiar with the areas of work, work styles, and products they are offering.
The interview is a great place to ask meaningful questions about the company. Please read the job description carefully, and prepare relevant questions for the role, team, project, and the company in general that will give you insights into their culture.
Every step of preparation is an opportunity for you to see if they can offer you something you are looking for from your next employer.
How to prepare for the next round of interviews if both, the company and yourself, decide to go further with one another?
After your first interview, if the recruiter hasn’t mentioned it, always ask about the next steps of the hiring process, there will probably be more rounds of interviews or testing technical knowledge. Knowing what to expect prepares you for each phase. If a technical interview is part of the next steps, ask for specifics.
Before the interview, be sure that you have prepared questions for recruiters that will make your next step easier, and that will give you a clear picture of the role and your potential future team. Naturally, you won’t be able to prepare everything you want to know, so during the interview, if something is unclear – always ask for an explanation.
The interview is a great place to talk about your career development plans and check if the company is open to helping you grow with them or not. They can not promise you anything more than the role you are applying for, but you can discuss further opportunities and check if they are open to working with people who are motivated and ambitious.
Alongside with career path comes learning and growth opportunities that the company can offer you. This is also one of the commonly asked questions from the candidate to a recruiter – what are the learning opportunities and what exactly are you doing to support employee growth?
Let me ask you a question (give an honest answer to yourself): have you ever checked companies earlier, and would you be checking them now? I hope you understand the importance of this question now, you are choosing the company and the company is choosing you.
Now, a challenge for you. If you’re between jobs and looking for new opportunities, ask yourself, don’t wait for a recruiter: Why do I want to work in their company?