Being prepared for the job interview is a huge factor that determines job search success, even if you might be the perfect candidate on paper with a flawless CV and cover letter. If you’re clueless about the best way to sell yourself to a prospective employer or recruiter, you are going to be out of luck.
Read on to learn these expert tips on how to professionally answer this common interview question, with some practical answer examples that you can use in your next interview.
How to answer, ‘What interests you about this role?’ in a job interview
If answered well, this question will enable the hiring manager to learn more about you, gauge your level of interest and understanding of the role, and check that your values align with the company’s.
There are three key ways in which you can approach this question – by focusing on yourself, the company, or the role you are applying for.
Use any of these examples below for a well-thought-out response to this common interview question, or use them as a template to build your own answer:
1. Focus on yourself
With this approach, you will focus on your fit for the role, your own goals, and how your experiences make you the perfect candidate for the job. This is looking beyond the job title, and looking more at how you’re the best fit for the business.
Let’s look at a couple of key things you could highlight with this approach:
- Culture: If there is a certain element of the culture that’s already been discussed with the hiring manager during the interview that interested you, highlight this and discuss how that helped you come to your decision to carry on with the hiring process. Talk about how you will be a great cultural fit for the business and how you can see yourself working well with potential co-workers.
- Progression: A lot of prospective employers want to see that you are interested in moving forward with the company and that you don’t treat this role as just a quick career stop. Make it apparent that you intend to be with the company for the long term. Highlight how you see yourself progressing to show you have a good understanding of the company and its potential.
Top tip: Matching the job description with your own personal career goals shows that you have taken the time to think about whether this role is a good fit for you, and that you’re not just answering interview questions without any thought.
There are a lot of elements that interest me about this role from the job description, but one of the key elements that really appealed to me is that I feel I would be a great fit within the company culture. I want to work in a progressive team, and the collaborative culture of this company is something that drew me into this role. Looking over the company website, and from our previous discussions, I believe this role would also give me the ability to progress in my career and develop my skills in a lot of different areas such as ‘X, Y, Z’.
2. Focus on the company
It is important to have a vested interest in the particular company you are applying to that is specific to that organisation. When focusing on the company in your answer, there are a few things to mention:
- History: A popular angle when answering this question is to highlight your interest in the company due to its reputation, history, or innovation within the industry. This shows you are involved in the company’s growth, understand its current position, and want to be part of that journey.
- Problem-solving: This requires some research but can be a very good answer if approached in the right way. This is where you will highlight an issue within the business that you could help solve, or perhaps a trend that you foresee that the company has not addressed. This also shows that you want to help the company achieve success and are aligned with its mission and goals.
One of the big factors that attracted me to this role is the company itself. I have loved your recent innovations and the development of ‘X’. Historically, the company has proven time and time again to be a market leader and that would be a great environment for me to develop in. Looking at your previous projects, have you ever considered the implementation of ‘Y and Z’ to further increase profits and increase engagement? I think this would be great for a business like [Company Name].
3. Focus on the role
In this answer, you want to focus on the job listing or the role specifically. Drill down into the job description and how it suits both your needs and the needs of the hiring manager.
- Experience: Pick out areas of the job description that align with your work experiences and showcase how these will make you invaluable in this role. Demonstrate your confidence and capabilities, substantiated with some concrete examples that will prove you are organised and genuinely interested in the job.
- Opportunities: Focus on how the role will allow you to further develop your career and specialise within your industry. At the end of this answer, you could also ask what kind of career development or training opportunities they offer. You would want to showcase your desire to develop and grow within the company.
This job suits me and my experience as I have been looking for the opportunity to get involved in ‘X and Y’, which directly links to my previous roles where I had extended experience dealing with ‘Y and Z’. I feel there would be a lot of opportunities for me to grow in my role, further my knowledge in ‘X’, and progress my career.
This article is contributed by Michael Page.