What MBA Admissions Looks For In Work Experience

How to Answer This Common Job Interview Question

“Why do you want to work here?”

It’s one of the most common, yet difficult interview questions to answer. Joel Schwartzberg, a professional presentation coach and author of “Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter” and “The Language of Leadership: How to Engage and Inspire Your Team,” recently offered three effective strategies for answering the ‘Why here’ interview question.


Connecting your passion to the company’s product, service, or mission is a great approach to answering “Why do you want to work here.” But conveying that passion, Schwartzberg says, is less about expressing enthusiasm and more about explaining what matters most to you.

“Employers want to know you’re passionate about what they do, whether it takes the shape of a product, a service, a mission, or a brand,” Schwartzberg says. “You can also connect your passion to the company’s core values, which can often be found on their website. Showing you’re passionate about the position is particularly important if you’re applying for a role at a nonprofit where the mission matches your personal values.”

But questions assessing your values can be asked in a variety of forms. Experts refer to these types of questions as ‘value-based’ interview questions.

“Value-based interview questions help an employer determine whether a candidate’s values align with their company,” according to Indeed. “People and businesses often possess values that help determine their actions, and value-based questions ensure a candidate can easily assimilate into a particular company’s culture. Answering value-based interview questions requires an understanding of a company’s culture and the personal values your prospective employer accepts or rejects.”


Employers want employees who enjoy coming to work and doing the job. Schwartzberg says making a connection between the role and your joy is key to answer the “why” question.

“That connection can be as simple as ‘X is something I enjoy,’ but expressing how or why you enjoy it makes that point even more valuable and memorable,” he says.


On top of conveying your passion, interests, and joys, you’ll also want to describe what you’ll bring to the table, if hired.

“Express confidence about your ability to succeed and grow in the role,” Schwartzberg says. “Use phrases like ‘Given my experience in X, I can see myself succeeding…,’ ‘I look forward to using my skills to…,’ and ‘I think I will contribute by….’ The key is to describe how your previous experience has prepared you to hit the ground running.”

Sources: Harvard Business Review, Indeed 

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