Why Do You Want This Job?

Before you set out to accomplish a goal, you need to understand your motivation for pursuing it. Being fully versed in the “why” behind your goals, provides vision, purpose and energy.

When others can sense your passion and level of commitment, they are more likely to support your cause. During an interview, it is very important that you are able to articulate genuine interest in a position. Usually, hiring managers can tell whether your responses to their questions are sincere. Memorizing scripted answers to commonly asked questions is not foolproof. Furthermore, you risk coming across as robotic and inauthentic.

Employers want to see your personality because they seek candidates who will fit seamlessly into their culture. On the flipside, job seekers need to assess whether the company is a good match for them. As an employee, you will have to show up to work every day. If you resent the company or your duties, it could negatively impact your productivity and overall health. In some instances, having a low-paying job with the right company is better than a high-paying (high-stress) job with the wrong company.

Gaining a clear idea of the type of employer and position that best aligns with your values and career goals, will prepare you to respond confidently when a hiring manager asks, “Why do you want this job?” Before applying to another position, you should ask yourself the following questions to help structure your job search:

  1. Why are you looking for a job?

  2. Are you looking for a full-time, part-time or flexible position? Why?

  3. Do you have obligations that require you to have flexible hours?

  4. What are the most important factors in selecting your next job? Money? Location? Hours? Work environment? Work-life balance? Advancement opportunities? Something else?

  5. Do you prefer working outside, in an office environment or from home? Why?

  6. What would be the ideal job for you?

  7. Why did you accept your current position or last job?

  8. What do you dislike most about your current position or last job?

  9. What job responsibilities allow you to showcase your strengths?

  10. What are your career goals?

  11. Do you need to pursue any additional education or training in order to qualify for the position(s) you are interested in?

  12. If so, how will you go about meeting such qualifications?

This list is not exhaustive, but your responses to these questions will give you a better sense of which opportunities to pursue. Rather than applying for a position simply because it’s available, you will be able to search for jobs that match up with your current goals and needs. Remember, to make ends meet, you may have to work in a position that does not reflect your interests. Do your best no matter what position you hold and continue to apply for those ideal jobs in the meantime. Don’t lose hope based on where you are in the process. Knowing what you want in a job can bring you closer to getting it.

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