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Why do you apply with us? Good answers

The question is a classic in every job interview: "Why do you apply with us?" And it is also clear: Anyone who stutters, evades, pushes around or does not know a clever answer, is not very convincing. Even the indignant rhetorical counterattack - "It's in my cover letter!" - is of course taboo. Why did you apply to us? - the question is completely legitimate, is in the room and needs to be answered by you personally. But how? In the following you will find out how you can react confidently to the applicant question and what good answers are ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Why is the question asked in the interview at all?

In fact, there are numerous questions that can be asked in job interviews - HERE alone we list around 100 typical questions. There are also so-called stress questions or trick questions, inadmissible questions or generally critical application questions. And the everlasting bestsellers, such as ...

The following applies to all of these questions: Good preparation is the best way to pass an interview. That doesn't mean that you have to have a suitable answer ready or even memorized for all the questions. That would be just insane (and it doesn't help either). Rather, it is about consciously (and in advance) dealing with such questions, being clear about your motives or motivation - and then freely and authentically formulating an answer accordingly.

This so-called self-presentation in the interview doesn't even have to be perfect. Much more convincing is someone who is honest, credible and enthusiastic about chatting with their interviewees.

And that is exactly what the question is about: “Why are you applying to us? (Also synonymous: "Why do you want to work here?" Or "Why are you interested in this position?")

A recruiter who asks this applicant question doesn't want to hear just ONE answer, one “right” sentence. Rather, the interviewer is interested in several points ...

  • What do you find appealing about the company, the specific position?
  • What tasks and activities do you expect and which of them do you find particularly exciting?
  • Correspondingly: Did you find out about the company and the position thoroughly in advance?
  • Have you dealt with the desired job?
  • Or are these just naive dream ideas about a job that could burst and demotivate you?
  • Do you know the company's products, services and values?
  • Can you identify with the environment and the culture?
  • How do you think you can use your strengths, your know-how and potential profitably here?

You can already see: There is no simple answer according to scheme F to the question - "Why did you apply to us?" -.

Rather, the aim is to talk to you as an interesting candidate (otherwise you would not have been invited in the first place) and to learn a little more about your personal motives. But also whether you have really dealt with the company and the job - or (which would not be so good) have simply applied en masse for any position.

Checklist: Good preparation for the applicant question

In order to prepare for the question of motivation to apply, some Internet research is essential. Ultimately, you will also need this for the cover letter - so the effort is not in vain.

Are you looking for information about ...

  • How is the company positioned in the market?
  • What does the brand (s) stand for?
  • What distinguishes the company as an employer (leadership, development opportunities, ...)?
  • What requirements does the job advertisement name?
  • What challenges do you expect in your job?
  • How do these align with your strengths, interests and professional goals?

Ideally, you will discover a perfect and as large as possible intersection - which underlines your fit for the spot. It is comparable to a declaration of love in a relationship: the more you see in common, the longer the partnership will last.

Good answers to: "Why are you applying to us?"

Of course, every HR manager knows that you have (usually) also applied for other positions and job offers. It also makes sense not to put everything on one card when it comes to your professional future. The interviewer is all the more interested in why you applied HERE of all places, i.e. your specific motives.

Identification with the products, professional reorientation, financial worries, unemployment, lack of alternatives - there are a lot of reasons to apply for a job. But not all are equally good.

A good answer to the applicant's question should therefore neither sound like an emergency solution nor look like a stopover, motto: "I'm just passing through here on my way up ..." No company wants to hire an employee who just wants to find a place to stay or earn money. It can then be a little more passion.

Ideally, start your answer with specific statements about the company, what excites or fascinates you. Because that dispels the frequent suspicion of a mass application and at the same time documents that you have dealt with the company as well as the position and also have a realistic idea of ​​what to expect.

A possible formulation could be, for example (!):

Thank you for asking, because I of course found out about your company and your position in advance. What appeals to me is how you have currently positioned yourself in the market and competition, especially in the _____ area where this position is also located. I could imagine that you are facing challenges like _____ and are therefore looking for candidates like me. I find this task extremely exciting, because I think I could use my experience from _____ and help you to expand the _____ area even further ...

It is crucial that the motives, answers and arguments refer again and again to the facts mentioned in the job advertisement or correspond to the (presumed) goals of the company or the associated position.

Even if the question sounds like what the applicant wants, a good answer should aim to emphasize the benefit to the employer.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with showing enthusiasm and enthusiasm. After all, you are not just a pure work machine, you look forward to the job. The HR manager wants to feel that. In addition, tangible motivation shows that you are planning a long-term commitment here.

HR managers are good starting points for this if they also make a reference to the corporate culture or the company's prospects. For example, use sentence components like ...

  • "I can identify well with _____ ..."
  • "What particularly suits me is ..."
  • "I found myself well in _____."
  • "I was thrilled ..."
  • "What motivates / fascinates me most of all is that _____."
  • "... that corresponds to my ideas about _____."
  • "That also coincides with my personal goals, like _____."

In short: present yourself as a suitable candidate - with your knowledge, skills and strengths - who also identifies with the company. This is then more than just “wanting” a job: you know what you want and what you can achieve. And you want to make that happen here. These are always convincing motivations.

Why did you apply to us? - It's taboo

In addition to all the positive tips, there are of course a few possible answers that make an applicant look less good. This generally includes all phrases and clichés of the type: “The job just suits me”, “I think your products are great”, “I like your website” or: “I find the salary attractive.” In general, there are justifications that only refer to Aiming for one's own advantage (earning more money, better working hours, more free time, ...) taboo. Even if it is perhaps the truth, opportunistic motivation rarely goes down well with HR professionals.

Also forbidden are transparent flatteries or hackneyed oaths of loyalty of the type "I always wanted ..." HR managers hear them every day and are as credible as Snakeoil. Also, you should never use the opportunity to make comparisons with your previous employer and possibly blaspheme about him. Anyone who talks negatively about former employers collects minus points and does not seem really professional. In addition, the application looks more like an escape than a further development or the search for new challenges.

Interview checklists: the best tips as a download

So that you can prepare even better for the interview, we have also prepared some extensive checklists for you - with typical questions, clever questions and more than 100 tips. You can download all of them free of charge:

111 tips for job interviews

Precisely because the interview is so important, there are numerous myths and ideas surrounding this application section. These have already proven themselves with numerous readers of the career bible. We have summarized a total of 111 of the best and most important interview tips for you here, which you can download free of charge as a PDF. So you are optimally equipped for the job interview. Naturally, with the large number there are also a few points that you take for granted or have known for a long time. But it doesn't hurt to recall these basics every now and then. In addition, the list is of course intended for all readers - even for the less experienced.

100 typical interview questions

Here you will find a list of 100 typical interview questions, which you can download here free of charge as a PDF, print it out and use it offline in order to optimally prepare for the interview. Perhaps you also have friends and acquaintances who are also currently looking for a job: Then ask each other the questions and give each other honest feedback on how the answers affect you. This exercise also helps you become looser and more confident.

Typical stressful questions in job interviews

There are countless variations of so-called stress questions. Most, however, can be broken down into five types: analogy questions, trick questions, provocations (which are not questions), brain teasers, and funnel questions. You can also download a complete checklist of these types of questions, including some examples, free of charge as a PDF here in order to better prepare for the interview.

100 questions for the interview

Because it is so important to ask questions during the interview, we have put together a list of 100 clever questions for HR decision-makers. You can also download this free of charge as a PDF, print it out later and take it with you to the appointment as a memo or cheat sheet. Just please never pull out the slip of paper and read it - that doesn't really look prepared. And please don't ask all of the questions about it. It's best to pick five to ten of them and memorize them shortly beforehand.

Job interview checklist

Have you really thought of everything? This interview checklist is less of a preparation, more of a control and a supplement. Because tension and adrenaline levels are often high on the day of the interview, some details are simply forgotten. To ensure that your job interview is a complete success and that you still think of everything, we have created the following checklist. Of course, you can also download, print and tick them off as a PDF free of charge.

[Photo Credit: Dean Drobot by Shutterstock.com]

Even more interview tips

➠ Interview: All the tips

Job interview process
➠ Interview preparation
➠ Application questions + answers
➠ Job interview clothes
➠ Introducing yourself
➠ self-presentation
➠ End the interview

Interview types
➠ Second interview
➠ Assessment Center
➠ Stress interview
➠ Job interview English
➠ Video interview
➠ Telephone interview

Typical questions
➠ These 100 questions can come
➠ 25 trick questions + answers
➠ Stress issues
➠ What are your weaknesses?
➠ What are your strengths?
➠ Why should we hire you?
➠ What was your last salary?
➠ Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
➠ Why did you quit?
➠ Inadmissible questions
➠ Inquiries to HR managers

Tips & Tricks
➠ Practice interview
➠ Interview mistakes
➠ White lies in the job interview
➠ body language tips
➠ Overcome nervousness
➠ Where to put your hands?

➠ Confirm the interview
➠ Postpone the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Follow up after the conversation