The person interviewing wants to know that you are interested in this job specifically and not just picking up any job you can get. By asking this question, they are making sure that you understand the job description and are applying because you have qualities and experience that is relevant to this position.
Points to Emphasize
A job interview is an opportunity to test compatibility between you and the company. Remember these points as you respond and hopefully you will hit the mark and succeed.
- Emphasize key points brought up in the job description. Bring up those specific keywords and phrases included in the job description that appealed to you.
- Bring up values and characteristics of the company that parallel your same traits and values.
- Highlight what you bring to the table. The company wants to know how your skills will add to the company, not how having the job will improve your situation.
- Be enthusiastic. If you are in an interview for a job that you are not really interested in, this will be transparent. If you really do want the job, be enthusiastic and positive.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Avoid doing those things that will make you appear disinterested or unknowledgeable about the job and company.
- Avoid acting unsure. Do your research about the company and the job going in and you will project enthusiasm and confidence.
- Do not give generic answers that were not mentioned in the job posting. Avoid giving canned answers that you think apply to any job.
- Don't act disinterested. If you do not seem interested in the job, this is going to be clear to your interviewer.
- Don't focus all your answers on you. You talked a lot about you in your cover letter and resume. Now is the time to show the company what you know about them and what you bring to them.
A great sample answer addresses specific traits and qualities of the job and the company while showcasing your experience and how it applies, like in the following example.
What interested me most about this position was the opportunity to work with first generation college students. I have always had a keen interest in education and as a first generation college student myself, I can appreciate the value of working hard to achieve educational and career goals that are emphasized in your mission statement.
The most important thing to remember when answering this question is that they want to know you want that job and not just any job. If you apply for and get a job that you want, you will be more likely to stay long-term.