In our series on answers to tough interview questions, today, we will tackle, “Why are you interested in this position/our company?”
As is true with many of the toughest interview questions, there is usually a question hidden behind the question asked. In this case, when asked, “Why are you interested in this position/our company?” the interviewer is really listening for what you know about his/her organization, what value you can add to the bottom line, and how your background and experience can support the organization’s direction and strategy. Please read Answers to Tough Interview Questions – Part I.
To answer this question first requires conducting research on the company. The firm’s website, of course, is the starting point, but the successful applicant will likely have used a variety of sources to come up with a richer understanding of the company’s current position. (Link to Best Websites for Company Research for the Job Seeker). Your response to the question must demonstrate first that you have a sense of, and secondly that you can contribute to the organization’s strategic initiatives.
Answer to tough interview question 2, “Why are you interested in this position/our company?”
“My research shows that you are growing through mergers and acquisitions, and your organization has recently acquired three companies, whose culture is very different from yours. As a senior finance executive, I have prepared several organizations, including XYZ, ABC, and ACME Materials, for mergers and acquisitions, as well as played an instrumental role in merging and acquiring firms and overseeing the integration. I have firsthand experience on what pitfalls to avoid, therefore, I feel that my background can really help with these specific strategic growth initiatives.”
Your response needs to be specific and succinct, as well as truthful and positive. Candidates who tell the interviewer about particular situations that relate to each question will be far more effective and successful than those who respond in general terms. The best way to answer tough interview questions is to briefly describe the situation, what specific actions you took, and the effect – financial and otherwise - on the situation, and the positive result or outcome.