How Do You Answer the Interview Question of "Why Did You Apply for This Job?"

The question "Why did you apply for this job?" seems simple but actually encapsulates several vital questions a job interviewer wants to know about, including the applicant's knowledge about the company and passion for the job. It is one of the most frequently asked questions in job interviews. Job seekers who plan ahead and prepare answers for this question are likely to do well in their interviews.

A sloppy and often unsuccessful answer to the question "Why did you apply for this job?" often reveals that the job applicant is only thinking about himself. Answers such as "I need a job," "I need the money" or "I hate my current job" reveal that the applicant has considered neither the needs the company is trying to fill in advertising this job nor what he brings to the job.

Instead, job applicants should treat this inevitable question as an opportunity to present a sales pitch for themselves, presenting their own qualifications and interests as an answer to the problem the job interviewer is trying to solve. Successful applicants often use this question to show their knowledge of the company, talk about their understanding of what the specific job entails, point out how their own experience and qualifications dovetail with the job's requirements, and forestall any objections or weaknesses that might make them seem like a weak candidate for the job.