What do you say when the employer asks you why you want to work for this company?
1. Don't mention money or benefits
Your answer should be about the company and not about you. The employer does not want to hear that you are thrilled with the benefits or that you think you can get a higher salary here.
The company wants to know what you can contribute and what you know about their operation.
2. Show that you have researched the company thoroughly
Many applicants don't know that much about the company. What little they do know is from the job description itself. Be sure you Google the name of the company to see what the current issues are and thoroughly search the website. You may be surprised what you can find, such as annual reports and surveys.
Here are some examples to show your knowledge.
A. I saw that you won the Sterling Prize last year and my experience is compatible with those principles.
B. I believe your engineering department is the best in the state and I would like to work on the _____ Project.
C. I read in your Annual Report that you are embarking on the ____Project. I have designed some prototypes that could be very helpful in developing this project
3. You can mention locale, but it should not be your first answer
Everyone would like to live in Hawaii or Florida or be near skiing so those really aren't good reasons. However, if your parents live in the area, that is worth mentioning but only as number 3 or 4.
4. Be Sincere
Don't say that this is your dream job unless it really is. If you have always wanted to work here, say so. Tell them that you wanted to get some experience elsewhere so that you could hit the ground running,
5. Show that you are the best-qualified for the position
You want to work for this employer because everything you have done up to this point has prepared you for this position. Then you can briefly go through some of your previous jobs and explain how the duties or experience have relevance to this job.
6. Be enthusiastic
Don't get crazy, but show your future employer that you are a good fit for this job and why.
7. Be careful about making suggestions.
Don't be hasty in making suggestions. If asked how you would do something, don't give a definitive answer. Say you would ask others what they thought and research thoroughly before giving an opinion. No one likes a know-it-all and if you give an off the cuff suggestion, this can backfire.
Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of How to Interview Like a Pro, Winner of 13 book awards, How To Negotiate Like A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of 10 book awards, and How to Mediate Like a Pro, Winner of 13 book awards. Visit www.MaryGreenwood.org