Tough Interview Question - What interests you most about this job?

What interests you most about this job?

Similar interview questions:
What is it about this position that you find attractive?
How does this role align with your interests?
Why are you interested in this job instead of other jobs?
What is it specifically about this job that would make you want to come to work?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer wants your personal self-assessment of your competencies and how they align with the competencies required for the position. This requires that the candidate: a) knows and understands their own competencies (many do not); b) understands the competencies required for the role (many candidates do not do their homework in advance); and c) can make the connection between their competencies and the competencies required for the role (a big stretch for most candidates who have not prepared in advance for this question).

The best approach to answering this question:
In many cases, candidates end up giving a rambling answer while making broad assumptions about the role and the employer. Don’t let that be you. Know your competencies, know the competencies required for the role and take the time to make the specific connections. Yes, you do need to be specific. Do your homework on yourself, the employer and the role in advance. Think about it: it’s not the job of the interviewer to connect you with the role. That’s your job. Talk about a specific competency and/or skill required for the role (from either the job description or from your interviews to date), then connect to your competency which meets that requirement. Turn the question into an opportunity to behaviorally answer with another of your competencies for the role.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"I’m really interested in the problem solving competencies required for this role. There are plenty of roles out there requiring great coding skills. However, this role also requires detailed problem solving, including the use of complex algorithms. That ties in directly with the work I have been doing in my current role in updating our search algorithms, which required a large amount of problem solving. Let me give you a recent example of how I applied my problem solving skills…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"I’m very interested in the practical application of chemical theory within this role. In my most recent internship, our team excelled in applying chemical theory in practical ways. Let me give you an example of how we did this with my key project…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I guess I like the benefits and I also like that I would have my own cubicle. Where I currently work, I sit in an area that they call the pit. I call it the swamp. It’s hard to get things done with all the noise around me. I’m just looking for the opportunity to plug in my music and work in peace and quiet without anyone bothering me…"

Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!

Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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