Have you ever been asked the interview question, “What interests you most about this position?”
You are not alone.
This can be a difficult question to answer on the spot.
As soon as the recruiter asks you, "What interests you about this position?" a dozen responses probably come to your mind.
After all, if you've made it to the interview, you have a number of different reasons why you want the job.
But it’s important to find the best answer (rather than a dozen!).
For this reason, you should take the time to prepare your answer to this common interview question before the interview actually takes place.
Reasons behind the question
It’s important to know why the hiring manager or recruiter is asking, "What interests you about this position?"
Once you know this, you can more easily mold your answer in an effective way.
Here are some of the reasons the employer might ask you what interests you about the job:
- To gauge your understanding of the position you are applying for.
- To understand why you consider this job a good fit for you.
- In hopes of better grasping your career plans.
- To get to know you better, in order to decide on your application.
- To test your confidence in answering a challenging question.
Here are a few questions the recruiter might imply by asking, "What interests you most about this position?"
- Do you fully understand what this position entails?
- With this understanding, do you still feel you are a good fit?
- Will you enjoy this type of work?
As you prepare your answer to this interview question, make sure to gear it in response to the above concerns and questions.
How not to answer
Though it might seem obvious, there are certain responses you want to avoid when asked, “What interests you about this position?” during an interview.
“The position pays well.”
It goes without saying that you're looking for a job for income, so you don't need to add this obvious piece of information.
“What interests me most about the position is that it is with Google and you guys are a great company!”
The above response is too vague.
Although clearly positive about the company, the speaker doesn't show any proof that he has actually taken time to research the company.
“I really like that you offer catered lunches and a full bar.”
Don't focus on the perks that the company offers. (Don't even mention them.)
At this point, focus on what you can offer the company.
“The people at ABC Company seem really nice.”
People can "seem really nice" pretty much anywhere.
Again, this response is too vague and will not gain you points when a recruiter asks, "What interests you about this position?" during an interview.
“The benefits are great!”
Every potential employee hopes for a job with good benefits. Avoid stating the obvious when answering this interview question.
In short, try to avoid focusing on company perks, culture, and brand names.
Additionally, don’t confuse what interests you most about the position with what interests you most about the company.
(Check out our article for more career advice on how to answer the interview question, "Why Do You Want To Work Here?")
How to answer
Overall, as you consider why you hope to work there, set aside the thought of ways the company will benefit you.
Instead, focus on what is so unique about the company and the position that you are seeking employment there.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you're preparing a response to this interview question.
- Ask yourself, "Why am I interested in this position?"
Really, think about it.
Plenty of positions out there offer benefits and other perks, but you are looking for a job with this particular company.
Why is that?
If you haven't pondered this yet, take some time to drill down into why you really want this job.
- Focus on the actual duties of the prospective job.
Maybe you would love to spend your days talking with people, and customer service management gives you the opportunity to do just that.
Perhaps crunching numbers is totally your thing and this is why you would love to oversee the finance department of a large corporation.
Think about what you will be spending your days doing, and if that thought gives you a thrill, mention it during your job interview.
- Talk about the most important aspects of the job.
Similarly, think about the "why" behind what you will spend your workday on.
If the company offers a great product that has changed your life in some way, mention that.
Perhaps the technology being researched by this business can improve people's quality of life and you want to be a part of that.
- Demonstrate confidence.
Sometimes, the hiring manager has interviewed dozens of people already.
They want to see someone who answers with enthusiasm and confidence.
You want to be the one they remember.
Prepare in advance so that you are ready to respond confidently and wholeheartedly when they ask, "What interests you about this position?"
Sample correct answer
Now let's cover good ways to answer this interview question.
Here is an example of an acceptable answer:
What interests me most about this position is the opportunity for me to work hands-on with the sales team.
Many other companies I have interviewed at for sales manager positions are too hands-off. They seem more focused on monitoring activity and pipeline than the actual development of the sales reps.
Training others and passing on my SaaS knowledge has always been a passion of mine, and I feel that ABC Company shares similar values.
I am confident that allowing me to train and mentor these sales reps will result in a huge increase in productivity and overall revenue gained.
(For more interview questions and answers check out the 50 Top Job Interview Questions and Answers.)
If you are truly excited about the job opportunity, then this interview question should not be very challenging.
But don’t think that you can walk into any interview and toss out a perfect answer.
It’s important to know what to avoid (and what to focus on) when crafting your answer to the question, “What interests you most about this position?”
If you need some extra help preparing for the interview, visit Find My Profession today.
We offer an executive career coaching service - managing your job search so that you don't have to.