To help you answer the latter, Deepa Somasundari, Director of Client Success at global job site Indeed, has rounded up her advice for not getting caught off guard, and giving an impressive answer to your potential future employers.
Do your research
It's such an obvious suggestion, but you'd be surprised what a difference it makes—and how easy it is to do. Have a quick Google search of the company and the person who's interviewing you, as well as some of their most recent work and bigger projects that might stand out. As Deepa tells Cosmopolitan UK, "The secret to answering 'Why do you want to work for us?' properly lies in the preparation, and candidates should do their homework researching products, services, mission, history, and culture. Read company reviews to give a solid understanding of a company’s culture, and what others are saying about this employer."
Remember specifics, and refer to facts
Doing the research is all well and good, but what's more important is remembering the important bits on the day. Are there key facts and figures you can pull out? What were you most impressed by? "By sharing the facts you've discovered through your research while also displaying authentic enthusiasm for the organization and industry, you'll leave the employer with a favorable impression and get one step closer to landing the job," Deepa says.
Pinpoint exactly how the job helps you achieve your goals
"Why do you want to work for us?" is easily answered by tying together your career objectives with what the job offers to help you get there. Like the career expert says, "Make a list of your career objectives, to compare with the job description. Look for ways the position will help you achieve your goals. When responding to the interviewer, mention the things listed in the vacancy that align with your career objectives and highlight duties that would make use of your best skills."
Show your passion
While being put on the spot is tough, if the company is right for you, you should be able to give a genuine answer about why you want to work there. "Your answer should mention the aspects of the company that appeal to you and align with your career goals and it's also important to explain why you're looking for these things in an employer. Being able to connect with the company's vision will show your passionate."
Study the job description
There's a reason you applied for the specific role, and this question is your chance to explain exactly why. "In addition to being knowledgeable about the company, the interviewer also wants to make sure you understand the role you’re interviewing for and all the duties it entails," Deepa finishes. "Take time to go back over the description—especially information about what makes the company a great place to work and specific job responsibilities."
Consider the awkward questions, covered.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.