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“So why do you want this job?” Answering that question should be really easy! Often the answers are:

  • Well, I want a job…
  • I want to work…
  • I want to pay the mortgage/rent….
  • I want a promotion, it’s a bigger job…
  • I hate the job I’m in, I need to do something different…
  • My family are moving so I need to change jobs…
  • I got made redundant…
  • I’m a bit bored…
  • I like the sound of it…

I could go on.

The difficulty with all of those answers is that they may well be true and they may well explain why you have applied for a new job but they do not tell the interviewer any good reason why you should have the job. When you are going for an interview or applying for a job you need to give the interview compelling reasons for giving you the job and that starts with the basic question: Why do you want it?

So how do you give them that compelling reason? By treating this question as an opportunity for your sales pitch. By thinking about what it is that the interviewer wants in a candidate and what it is that they need to hear.

Ever been turned down for a job because you did not sound very enthusiastic? Been told that they were not sure if you really wanted it? It is actually a pathetic bit of feedback to give someone. Surely the correct logic is that they offer and if you don’t want it, you turn it down. If you are the best person for the job they should offer, but, it happens, so you need to make sure that it does not apply to you. This is your chance to sound enthusiastic, if not actually passionate, but how do you do that without sounding gushing and false?

Here are 4 key steps to selling yourself into that job:

When you are asked about why you have applied for this role, why you want it etc… start with:

Step 1:

‘This is a great company /organisation because…….’  Everyone likes to be flattered, so tell them why you think they are a good company, what it is you like about the company….

Step 2:

Describe the challenges of the role, even if it is a job that is pretty routine. What are the issues they face in getting someone to do the role well?

Step 3:

Tell them the things that float your boat, the things you have just been doing, the challenges you really enjoy and give some brief examples.

Step 4:

Think about why they might not want to hire you and refute their logic.

So if I was going for a job in my local Co-op shop I might say:

I think the Co-op is a great organisation, I admire their ethical stance and I was very impressed when they had no issues over horse meat. That’s the sort of company I’d like to be in. I know you need staff who can work shifts, who are good with customers and who will make sure that the shelves are kept stocked and tidy. I really enjoy working with customers, helping them find things, explaining the difference between products and I hate untidy shops. It’s really important to me to be polite and friendly, when I worked in the garage I tried to get every customer to smile before they left!  It has been a while since I have done shop work but I don’t think you lose the passion to please the customer and make sure they always come back – I haven’t.

Remember this is your sales pitch and this is where you can bring together your knowledge of them and your enthusiasm. It is all about why they are great to work for not why you need the job.

RELATED: How to Sell Yourself Effectively in an Interview

Mary Hope

Mary Hope is the founder of Mary Hope Career Success, she works with executives and managers to support them get paid more, promoted faster and feel more satisfied. She has 30 years experience of HR, training and headhunting both private and public sectors, is a published author and career coach. Follow Mary on Twitter @maryhopecareers