‘Why do you want to join our organization’ is one of the most frequently asked questions at any job interview. So, how do you need to respond to this common, open ended question in a way that makes you stand out? For starters, it should be memorable, specific to the company, and the industry it caters to. Vague answers such as looking for ‘better job opportunities’ or ‘less travel’ will not take you far.

Here are three tips that will help job seekers effectively answer the question:

do your homework

Before you attend an interview, research the company, and learn about its corporate culture, vision, mission, and values. Check if they’ve received any recent awards or recognition from governments, their clients, customers, or media mentions. These could relate to developing innovative products and services, investments made to fulfil corporate social responsibilities. Use this relevant information and map these achievements with your personal and career goals. For instance, you can say ‘At the recent industry awards, your organization won the award for demonstrating a great work culture that is pro-learning and development. Learning and development is one of my career goals, which makes me believe that I’d be a good fit here’. The golden rule – give a well-informed, specific, and enthusiastic answer.

articulate your interests and capabilities

While answering the question, a job seeker should be able to subtly use the opportunity to convey information that demonstrates both you interest as well as capabilities of excelling at the jobs. ,  Mentioning about your relevant work experience, client experiences, and learning will help the interviewer in making the right decision. If you are an advertising professional, for instance,  appearing for an interview at a digital marketing firm, say something like ‘In my ten years of advertising experience across industries and geographies, I have come to realize that constant innovation is the only way to succeed and I am intrigued by the opportunities this role presents’. After all, who doesn’t want to hire a candidate who is not only good at their job, but also loves what they do. Passion for one’s job translates into higher motivation, productivity, and engagement for both – the company as well as the employee.

map the job and the company to your future plans

With highly skilled candidates who are in great demand, an interviewer always wants to know how long they are likely to stick with the company. Is the candidate just looking at the current job as a stepping stone, biding time until something better comes along or is it a long-term commitment? For instance, if you are a developer, appearing for an interview at an online gaming company that plans to foray into mobile gaming, say something like ’I wish to pursue mobile app development in the future and I am also doing a course to strengthen my skills in that domain. While the current job opening focuses on desktop gaming, working for this company will give me a chance to put my new-found skills into practice when the firm launches its mobile gaming platform next year’. This way, the hiring manager will know that you are a good catch not only in the current scenario but that your future plans align well with those of the company.

last few words

Answering an open-ended question for job seekers is easy as long as you are well-prepared and avoid giving any vague answers. A lot of job seekers, however, don’t prepare for these questions, which is why they miss out on some golden opportunities. So, the next time you are going for an interview, make sure you are prepared to answer these simple yet tricky open-ended questions.