How to answer the question: Why do you want to join our organization?

‘Why do you want to join our organization’ is one of the most frequently asked questions at any job interview. How can you 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 aligned to the vision - both yours and that of the organization's.

 Vague answers such as looking for ‘better career opportunities’ or ‘less travel’ will not take you far. Here are three tips to help you effectively answer the question:

Do your homework well:

Before you attend the interview, research the company thoroughly, and learn about its corporate culture, vision, mission, and values. Check if they’ve received any recent awards or recognitions from governments, their clients, customers, or media mentions. These could relate to developing innovative products and services, investments made to fulfill corporate social responsibilities, etc. Use this information and map them with your personal and career goals to frame answers such as ’’At the recent industry awards, your company won the award for demonstrating a great work culture that is pro learning and development. Learning and development is one of my personal career goals. I therefore 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 his/her interest as well as capabilities for doing the job well. As the interviewer evaluates your fit for the job role, hearing about your relevant work experience, client experiences, and learnings will only help him/her make the right decision. For instance, if you are an advertising professional 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 with 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 amalso doing a course to strengthen my skills in that domain. While the current 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.

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