Job interviews are nerve-wracking, but when you prepare for certain questions, you’re empowered to come across as confident and professional. Besides questions about your education and work history, you’ll most likely hear, “What interests you about this position?”
The truth may be that you need a job and are applying to anything, but you don’t want to say that aloud. Having an idea of what to say when you hear this question will help you give an answer that impresses the interviewer and conveys your desire for the job.
Read on to learn why interviewers ask this question and how you should respond.
- Why Do Interviewers Ask, “What Interests You About This Position?”
- How To Answer “What Interests You About This Position?”
- Examples: How To Answer “What Interests You About This Position?”
- Additional Tips for Impressing an Interviewer Asking What Interests You About This Position?
- Additional Questions To Be Aware Of
- Wrapping Up
Why Do Interviewers Ask, “What Interests You About This Position?”
Interviewers ask, “What interests you about this position?” for many reasons. They want to know your motives for applying and how you think you’ll fit in with the required duties. It’s a way to learn about you and your work ethic.
The interviewer knows you’re interested in the job because you applied. But they don’t know what drew you to the company or the role, so they want to learn more about your process and how you’d do the job.
What Is the Interviewer Looking For?
The interviewer wants to know more about you at this point. Asking an open-ended question like this gives you a chance to explain what you think the job entails and how well you can complete it.
The interviewer might also look for other insights about you and your experience.
- You understand the job: Some people apply to jobs like throwing spaghetti to the wall to see what sticks. The interviewer wants to know if you read the job description and can complete the necessary duties.
- You can handle the work: Once the interviewer knows what you think of the job and why it interests you, they’ll better understand how you can handle the workload. You can explain how the duties align with your education and job history.
- You’re excited about the opportunity: Many people apply to jobs because they need a paycheck. Interviewers worry these people might quit soon after accepting the job. If you’re genuinely interested in the position, it will come across in your answer.
When the interviewer hears your response to the question, they’ll already know how well you can handle the work and how you’d fit in with the overall work environment. They can then change the scope of future questions to find out if you’re the ideal candidate.
How To Answer “What Interests You About This Position?”
Do some research before your interview to ensure you’re giving the interviewer all the information they need to see you as the ideal candidate.
What To Focus on When Answering This Question
This single question is an excellent opportunity to show the interviewer how qualified you are and how much you want the position. Focus on several key points to ensure this comes across.
- Specific skills: Highlight some of your skills as mentioned in your resume. Explain how these skills can help you excel in the position. This answer will help the interviewer realize you can do the work and show them that you researched the company and the job.
- Professional language: If you’re applying for a job in a specific niche, ensure you use industry-specific terms in your answer. This approach shows the interviewer you know the field. Though you may feel excited about the potential, stay professional and don’t lapse into casual language or slang.
- Follow-up question: The interviewer wants to know if you’re the right person for the job, but you can also ask questions to ensure this is the right company for you.
When you focus on these points in your answer, give yourself time to reply. You don’t need to rush and have an answer ready as soon as the interviewer stops speaking.
What To Avoid When Answering This Question
Though this question might not feel high-pressure, there are a few things you want to avoid in your response.
- Generic answers: If you tell the interviewer that the position interests you because of something vague, like you’ve always worked in the field, you won’t impress them. This is the time to be specific and not give generic answers that don’t tell them anything about you or your desire for the position.
- Stumbling: You don’t need public speaking skills to master a job interview, but don’t stumble over your answer. You’ll look unprepared and unprofessional. If you don’t know what to say, take a breath and think about the question before responding.
- Negativity: It’s easy to think about past jobs and how they didn’t work out for you, but never express these thoughts to the interviewer.
Avoiding these factors and focusing on the positive attributes of yourself and your job expectations show the interviewer that you’ll be a great addition to the team.
Examples: How To Answer “What Interests You About This Position?”
Check out these example answers to the question, “What interests you about this position?”
You’ll get an idea of how a descriptive answer will give the interviewer information they want to know while positioning yourself as the ideal candidate. As you read the three examples, consider how you can customize them for your background. You can even combine them into one answer.
My Skills Suit Your Needs
Tell the interviewer that you’re interested in the job because your education, work history, and skills align with their needs.
They’ll understand that you’re a good fit for the position when you give them specific examples from your resume. Use professional language and mention examples of a certain skill in solving a problem in your previous jobs.
Why This Answer Works
This answer works because you’re showing the interviewer that you understand the job description and measure it against your background to ensure you’re an ideal candidate.
You’re highlighting specific items from your resume so they can refer back to it and remember you’re qualified.
I Appreciate Your Company’s Values
You don’t have to focus on your professional experience when you answer this question. You can focus on the company’s mission, values, and sense of community.
If they’re an inclusive company, you can explain that you want to work in that environment. You can also mention what you’ll bring to the company in terms of your personal background.
Why This Answer Works
This answer works because you still give the interviewer a lot of information about yourself and how you’ll fit in. You’re showing them that this job is going to be more important to you than a paycheck because you care about the goals.
You’re also giving a glimpse of your personality and how you value the whole team instead of working alone towards individual goals.
I Want a Chance To Grow
Many people apply for new jobs because they want a challenge, a chance to develop more skills, or the opportunity to climb the ladder.
Answering the question “What interests you about this position?” with information about your future plans shows the interviewer that you’re looking for a career, not a temporary position.
Why This Answer Works
This answer works because the interviewer wants to hire someone committed to the job. They want to know that you’ll work hard in your new role, benefitting both yourself and the company.
When you tell them that you want to grow, they know you’re going to work hard in the position instead of kicking back and pulling in a paycheck with little effort.
Additional Tips for Impressing an Interviewer Asking What Interests You About This Position?
When compiling possible answers to the question, “What interests you about this position?” keep the following tips in mind.
1. Combine Answers
There are three solid examples outlined above, but you don’t have to pick one and stick to it. You can combine answers to give the interviewer a comprehensive picture of your skills and intentions.
Highlight how your skills are adequate for the role while also explaining how your personality and work ethic will benefit the team environment as you devote time to the company.
2. Be Positive
Always keep your language and demeanor professional and positive. It might seem tough to put a positive spin on past work experience if it was a bad job, but your interviewer will look for this negativity.
If you badmouth your old jobs, they’ll know you might do the same about them. They don’t want that negativity in the company’s community. On the other hand, if you stay positive and upbeat, they’ll see you as a candidate who won’t feel beaten down by challenges.
2. Focus on the Company
If you don’t think you have enough experience to talk a lot about yourself, focus on the company.
After you explain why you’re interested in the job, ask a clarifying question, like “Is there growth potential in this role?” or mention things you saw on their website or in the job description that interested you.
After all, you want to make sure the job is right for you, just as they want to as the ideal candidate for the position.
Additional Questions To Be Aware Of
“What interests you about this position?” is a leading question. Prepare yourself for these follow-up questions.
- Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?: The interviewer wants to know what your long-term goals are, so have a professional answer in mind.
- Why Do You Want This Job?: Though it’s similar to the question outlined in this article, the interviewer wants a different answer here.
- Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?: It’s time to be diplomatic and put a positive spin on even the worst working conditions!
- What Can You Bring to the Company?: Highlight everything you can offer the company, from your professional skills to your sparkling personality.
- What Do You Bring to the Table?: Similar to the question above, this question is your chance to shine the spotlight on your positive attributes.
Now you know why the interviewer asks, “What interests you about this position?” and have examples to use in your response.
Give them information about your skills and how your personality aligns with the company’s mission. The interviewer will love the chance to get to know you and see how you’ll be a vital part of the team.