4 dangers to avoid when responding to “Why are you interested in this position?”


It’s a classic interview question that every interviewee must have a prepared answer for. This question enables you to showcase your skills, your cultural fit and your enthusiasm for the role. To be frank, even if this direct question doesn’t come up, the interviewer needs to leave the room knowing the answer……

An article by Lily Zhang lists out the common mistakes made when answering this interview question and has some ideas on how best to avoid them:

1. Not talking about the interviewing company
Perhaps you’ve identified that this company offers you the chance to work in your particular dream area or it provides you with the ideal package of financial reward with flexible working hours. These are valid reasons for applying but they won’t get you the job. You need to flatter the interviewer by telling them why their company is different from all the rest and why you particularly want to work for them.

2. You only say what’s in it for you
Remember an interview is not all about you. Be clear about what role the interviewer needs fulfilled and think of the company as having a problem that you are the solution for. The interviewer will want you to be happy in the role, but ultimately he needs to know you can do the job. Look at your skills and think carefully about how you are going to contribute to the company’s objectives.

3. Getting lulled into bringing up irrelevant reasons
We’ve all been there, the interviewer is so friendly you suddenly realise you have divulged way too much personal information. I doubt many interviewers try and trick you, but you need to always remember the objectives of the meeting. Your primary reason for being interested in the position may well be that your partner works in the building next door and you can share lifts, but share this in an interview and you will probably find your application goes no further.

4. Talking too much about your history
It’s easy to relax into talking about why your current role isn’t working out as a preamble to saying why you are interested in the position. Keep it short though and focus on the skills or achievements which will help you in performing this new role. For whatever reason you are job hunting turn it into something positive.

At ISL we work with our candidates to help them prepare for interviews and work with clients to ensure we understand the role requirements. If you are looking for your next career move, please contact us.