What to say when an interviewer asks "what made you choose this company?"

'What do you know about the company?' and 'what attracted you to this position?' are two of the most common questions asked in interviews, and everyone should use them as an opportunity to show off all the effort you have put in to researching the company you're applying for.

 

Despite these being two different questions, they will often be rolled into one, for example: "Why did you choose this company?"

However, for the purpose of this exercise we have separated the question into 2 key sections.


Part 1: What do you know about the company?

What your interviewer really wants to know here is:

1. Have you done your research?
2. Do you have a solid understanding of what the company does?
3. Do you know what you are getting into?

As you can probably guess,thorough research is absolutely essential to answering this question well. Have a root around the company's website, look for news stories about the company's recent successes and challenges, and watch/read profiles of current staff or graduates.

Make sure you put everything you read into your own words; don't just repeat 'parrot style' that you like the company's "vibrant and creative" culture. Share that you like the culture but extend your answer to say what you see as a benefit. E.g."I enjoy the idea of a company sports team" or "company socials would be an ideal way to get to know the team or the city".


Part 2: What attracted you to this position?

What your interviewer really wants to know here is:

1. Is your understanding of the role accurate?

2. Are your skills, strengths and interests a good fit for this position?


It's vital that you know what the job you are applying for entails - if you don't have a good understanding of the role, it might not be as suited to you as you thought. From an interviewer's point of view this means you're probably not going to stick around for very long.

Talk about several aspects about the position that you like and adapt them to show off your skills and experience. E.g. "One of the things that attracted me to this position was that it offered the opportunity to manage people right from the off. In my internship with company X I successfully managed a team of 5 to achieve (Goal Y). It's something I really enjoyed and I'd love to apply the leadership skills I've developed so far."

In one sentance you've highlighted your recent work experience in a great company, your success and your budding leadership potential.

Avoid mentioning the salary or holiday allowance which come with the position - it'll make it seem as if you are attracted to the perks, rather than the position itself which, while that might be true, it won't be what your interviewer wants to hear.

As always, your level of success in interviews will be down to how much effort you put in - the more you put in, the more you will get out, so be sure to research thoroughly and practise your answers where possible.
 

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