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How To Answer “Why Do You Want to Work Here” Question

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In every job interview, one of the key moments is when the employer asks: “Why do you want to work here?”

Almost 90% of hiring managers state that preparation is crucial for a successful job interview. That includes being ready to answer when they ask you the aforementioned question.

This question is more than just a routine inquiry — it’s your chance to show what makes you the perfect fit for the job and the company.

In this article, we’ll guide you through what are the best ways to answer and what answers you should avoid. We’ll also provide tips for formulating your answer as well as additional examples specifically for hospitality industry job interviews.

Table of Contents

Why Do Interviewers Ask “Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Interviewers ask “Why do you want to work here?” because they use it as a part of their elimination process.

They also ask this question because they’re interested in assessing:

  • Your cultural fit: Interviewers want to ensure that your values and approach to work are in sync with the company guidelines, as a good cultural fit often translates to higher job satisfaction and better performance.
  • Your motivation for applying: Interviewers seek to understand what specifically draws you to this company, whether it’s the industry, company values or specific work they do, as it indicates a deeper level of commitment and interest.
  • Your knowledge about the company: Interviewers often test whether you’ve taken the initiative to research the company’s background, achievements and challenges, reflecting your seriousness about the position.
  • Your suitability for the role: Interviewers use this question to see if you have a clear understanding of what the job entails and if your skills and experience align with the job requirements.
  • Your long-term plans: Interviewers are interested in whether you view this role as a long-term career move and how you might grow and evolve with the company, indicating stability and potential contributions.
  • Your enthusiasm and passion: Your enthusiasm for the role can be a strong indicator of your future engagement and performance and interviewers want to see that you have a genuine interest in what the company stands for.

Variations of the “Why Do You Want to Work Here?” Question

Interviewers might phrase this question in other ways, such as:

  • “What attracts you to working for our company?”
  • “What motivated you to apply for a job here?”
  • “What can you tell me about yourself and about the role we have available?”

These variations all aim to inspect your interest in the company and the specific role you’re applying for.

Basic Guidelines for Answering This Question Properly

These starting points will set the tone for a response that resonates with your interviewer.

Here are the most important tips you should keep in mind:

  • Research the company: Before an interview, 71% of candidates conduct thorough research on the company because it’s important to understand the company’s mission, culture and recent achievements.
  • Show enthusiasm: Express genuine excitement about the role and the company since you’ll be able to also connect with your interviewers. If you’re more enthusiastic during the interview, interviewers will notice that as a positive sign.
  • Mention growth and learning opportunities: Talk about how the role aligns with your career goals and how it offers opportunities for growth.
  • Be specific and authentic: Avoid generalities by providing specific reasons that are true to your experience and aspirations.

15 Ways To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work Here” + Examples

Good answers to “Why do you want to work for us?” reflect a blend of your personal goals and values with the unique aspects of the company.

Here are some reasons you can integrate into your answer, with sample answers for each:

1. Aligned Values

Demonstrating an understanding of the company background and finding a personal connection indicates a deeper level of engagement. It also shows you have the potential to stay in the company longer.

Answer example: “I want to work here because your emphasis on exceptional customer service and community engagement aligns with my personal values and passion for hospitality.”

2. Specific Interest in the Role

This shows how your professional skills and personal passions align with the specific role, suggesting a unique suitability for the position.

 

Answer example: “I am drawn to this role because it perfectly combines my experience in event management with my love for creating memorable experiences for guests, aligning with your hotel’s renowned service standards.”

3. Company Culture and Growth

Expressing value for personal and professional development aligns with a company culture that promotes growth, indicating you’re a forward-thinking candidate.

 

Answer example: “Your company’s culture of fostering employee growth and emphasizing team collaboration is something I highly value. I see this as an ideal place to hone my skills in hospitality management.”

4. Unique Opportunities

When emphasizing unique opportunities within a company, it’s beneficial to focus on specific attributes or programs that set the company apart in its industry. By doing so, you demonstrate an understanding of what makes the company exceptional and how its distinctive offerings align with your career goals.

 

Answer example: “The opportunity to be a part of your innovative culinary team, known for its creative approaches to fine dining and fusion cuisine, aligns perfectly with my career aspirations as a chef.”

5. Admiration for Company Achievements

Expressing knowledge and admiration for the company’s achievements shows eagerness to contribute to ongoing success.

 

Answer example: “I’ve been impressed with your hotel’s recognition for outstanding customer service and environmental initiatives. I’m eager to contribute to such a dynamic and forward-thinking team.”

6. Professional Development

This indicates you prioritize learning and growth, valuable traits for companies that invest in employee development. You also show that you recognize and value the company’s resources and programs that facilitate ongoing education and skill-building.

 

Answer example: “I am impressed with your hotel’s emphasis on continuous professional development and training programs, which I believe are crucial for advancing my career.”

7. Innovation and Impact

Focusing on the company’s innovation and your desire to contribute to impactful projects shows forward-thinking.

 

Answer example: “Your hotel’s innovative approach to integrating technology in guest experiences is truly impressive. I am eager to contribute to such impactful and industry-leading initiatives.”

8. Modern Workplace Policies and Employee Well-being

Emphasizing a company’s up-to-date approach to workplace trends and its policies that foster employee well-being can demonstrate your understanding of its progressive work environment.

Companies that prioritize these aspects often create a culture where work-life balance is not just a concept but a practiced reality. Hence, they will likely value a candidate who notices their efforts.

 

Answer example: “I am particularly impressed by your company’s forward-thinking approach to employee well-being and modern workplace trends. I’ve learned about your initiatives that actively promote work-life balance, which is especially noteworthy given the demanding nature of our industry.”

9. Social Responsibility

Passion for a company’s social responsibility shows awareness of broader societal impacts and a purpose-driven mindset.

 

Answer example: “Your hotel’s dedication to social responsibility, especially in sustainable tourism, resonates with me. I am passionate about joining an organization that positively impacts the community.”

10. Collaborative Environment

Appreciating a collaborative culture shows you’re a team player, valuing workplaces that foster collective innovation.

 

Answer example: “I’ve heard about the collaborative work environment in your hotel, encouraging innovative guest service strategies. This is something I value highly in my career.”

11. Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

This reason for applying shows contemporary values and a desire for a positive, inclusive work culture.

 

Answer example: “I am drawn to your company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the hospitality sector. I value an environment where diverse perspectives are celebrated and contribute to exceptional guest experiences.”

12. Global Impact

This shows that you’re thinking big and excited by the idea of contributing to a company with a significant global presence.

 

Answer example: “The global reach of your hotel chain and its impact on the international market is impressive. I am eager to contribute to a company that operates on such a significant scale.”

13. Leadership Programs

This shows ambition and a desire for personal growth, aligning with the company’s commitment to nurturing and developing its talent. This shows that you are not just looking for a job, but a career path where you can grow into a leadership position, benefiting both yourself and the company.

Answer example: “I am particularly impressed by your leadership training programs. As someone eager to advance in this field, I value a company that actively invests in and supports the growth of its employees into leadership roles.”

Bad Answers for “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

Not thinking through your answers to this question can give an impression of disinterest, lack of preparation or a poor fit with the company’s culture.

If you’re preparing for a job interview and you’re looking for answers to avoid when asked this question, we compiled a list of examples of what you shouldn’t say during an interview.

Here are some answers you should avoid:

1. “I’m applying because I heard you pay really well.”

Beyond suggesting a primary interest in salary, this response can also imply a transactional view of employment, lacking in loyalty or engagement with the company’s broader mission or community.

2. “I want to work here because your company seems nice.”

This type of answer shows a lack of effort in researching the company and doesn’t provide any specific reasons why you’re interested in them, making you seem insincere.

It also gives the impression that you didn’t consider how the company aligns with your career objectives or values.

3. “I’m not really sure what your company does, but I thought I’d apply.”

Admitting ignorance about what the company does indicates a lack of preparation and suggests you’re not genuinely interested in the company. Al.

This response also reveals a concerning lack of initiative. Employers prefer candidates who show proactivity and a keen interest in both the role and the organization, indicative of a more engaged and dedicated employee.

4. “I’ve been applying everywhere, and your company is just one of the many.”

Stating that you’re applying everywhere comes across as if you’re not interested in the company for its unique qualities but rather just need any job. This can also question your commitment to the company.

This not only shows a lack of specific interest but can also be interpreted as a lack of discernment and passion for your career path. It suggests that the role and company do not matter to you.

5. “I’m leaving my current job because I don’t like my boss.”

This comment raises red flags about the applicant’s professionalism and ability to handle workplace challenges. Criticizing a current or past employer (or boss) during an interview can be perceived as unprofessional. It suggests that the applicant may have difficulty managing relationships and dealing with conflict.

This can raise red flags about your ability to manage relationships and handle workplace challenges. It may also lead the interviewer to question your professionalism and discretion.

6. “I’m applying here because working for your company will boost my career.”

While ambition is a positive trait, this statement focuses solely on how the company can serve the applicant’s career goals, rather than expressing an interest in contributing to the company. It can come across as self-serving and lacking in genuine interest in the company itself.

7. “I want to work here because you’re a well-known company and I’ve always wanted to work for a big, successful organization.” 

When thinking of an answer in a job interview, avoid providing a generic answer that could apply to any company.

Sample Answers for the Hospitality Industry Job Positions

Besides the general answers we mentioned earlier, we also wanted to give you answer examples for specific job positions that you might also find useful.

Below are sample answers for these common hospitality industry jobs:

  • Restaurant Manager: “I am excited about the opportunity to manage your restaurant, known for its exceptional cuisine and service. My experience in staff management and customer service, along with a passion for the culinary arts, aligns perfectly with the high standards your establishment is known for.”
  • Prep Cook: “I admire the creativity and quality of the dishes your kitchen produces. I’m eager to contribute to this as a prep cook, bringing my meticulous attention to detail and dedication to culinary excellence, ensuring every ingredient is prepared to perfection.”
  • Line Cook: “Your restaurant’s dynamic kitchen environment and commitment to culinary innovation is what attracts me to the position of line cook. I’m enthusiastic about bringing my skills in high-pressure cooking environments and my passion for food to your team, helping to create outstanding dishes.”
  • Hotel Manager: “I am drawn to your hotel’s reputation for excellent customer service and innovative guest experiences. My passion for hospitality management aligns with your commitment to creating memorable stays for guests.”
  • Restaurant Server: “Your restaurant’s focus on farm-to-table cuisine and exceptional service resonates with my passion for providing guests with a unique dining experience. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to such a dynamic team.”
  • Event Coordinator: “I admire your venue’s ability to host diverse events, from weddings to corporate retreats. My organizational skills and creativity are well-suited to contribute to your team’s success in creating unforgettable events.”

Final Tips for Answering “Why Do You Want To Work Here?”

With our final recommendations, you can effectively answer key interview questions.

To summarize the dos and don’ts we mentioned above, here are the final tips you should keep in mind:

  • Reflect on personal connection: Think deeply about what personally draws you to the company and how it resonates with your career path.
  • Be specific and concise: Avoid long-winded explanations. Be specific about what attracts you to the company and how you fit in.
  • Discuss future vision: Talk about how you see yourself growing with the company and contributing to its future.
  • Balance professional and personal: While focusing on professional reasons, it’s okay to mention a personal connection if it’s relevant and it enhances your answer.
  • Avoid too much memorization: Prepare your answer but avoid memorizing it word-for-word. Keep it natural and conversational.
  • Prepare and research: Not showing a clear understanding of what the company does or its culture. Avoid saying something like: “I’m excited to work for your company because I enjoy finance,” not realizing the company specializes in marketing.”
  • Don’t talk negatively about past employers: Speaking poorly about past jobs or employers can be seen as unprofessional. Avoid saying something like: “I am leaving my current job because the work environment is toxic, and the management is incompetent.”

How to Answer Why Do You Want to Work Here

FAQs About Answering “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”

If you’re still seeking clarity on how to best answer this question, our frequently asked section is here to address further questions you might have.

At what stage during the interview process might I get this question?

This question is not confined to any specific part of the interview; rather, it can be used flexibly by interviewers at different stages to understand your commitment and fit for the role and the company.

How to answer “Why are you interested in this job?”

A good answer should highlight how the job aligns with your career goals, skills, and interests. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the job’s responsibilities and how they match your professional aspirations.

How to answer “What is your motivation for applying for this job?”

Your motivation can be driven by various factors, such as a desire to work in a particular industry, passion for the type of work, alignment with the company’s values, or professional growth opportunities. Hence, your answer should reflect a genuine interest in the role and the company.

How to answer “What makes you unique?”

In the context of the hospitality industry, your answer to this question should focus on traits or experiences that particularly suit the industry. For example, you might have exceptional interpersonal skills that enable you to handle customer queries with empathy and efficiency, or perhaps you have a multicultural background that gives you a unique perspective on catering to diverse client needs.

What if my main motivation is that I’m out of work?

If your main motivation for applying is that you’re currently out of work, it’s important to frame your answer in a way that still shows genuine interest in the specific company and role.

Instead of focusing solely on your employment status, you can discuss how the job aligns with your skills and career goals.

What’s the worst mistake I can make when answering “Why do you want to work here?”

The worst mistake you can make when answering “Why do you want to work here?” is giving a response that indicates a lack of genuine interest in or understanding of the company.

This includes answers that are overly focused on salary or personal benefits, generic responses that could apply to any company or indicating that you’re applying just because you need any job.

How to answer, “Why do you want to work here?” if you have no experience?

If you have no previous work experience, focus on your enthusiasm for the company and the role, and how it aligns with your career aspirations or interests. Discuss your eagerness to learn and grow, your relevant skills (even if they’re from non-professional experiences) and how these can be beneficial to the company

Stay Ahead in Your Career Journey With OysterLink

Knowing how to answer crucial job interview questions is something that will make or break your interview.

To help you manage these questions more effectively, we invite you to explore Spotlight for comprehensive career advice.

On Spotlight, you’ll find valuable resources such as:

Besides valuable resources on Spotlight, you can also find valuable information on salaries if you’re choosing between careers.

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Subscribe to OysterLink now for early access to premier job opportunities and resources that can help elevate your career journey. Stay informed, stay connected and take the next step in your professional life with confidence.

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