"WHY DO YOU
WANT TO WORK
Help! Nightmare interview question “why are we your dream company to work for?”
What happens in an interview when you can do the job, but you’re not sure what you think about the company?
Have you ever been in this situation before? You are actively job seeking and you see/hear of an opportunity that ticks some of your boxes. You’re intrigued to know more. You can’t get hold of a hiring manager to discuss your suitability, so you rely on applying directly or via a recruitment company. Before you know it, you’ve been invited in for an interview. In the interview you try your absolute best and they love you - congratulations! But hold on, you’re sure you can do the job, but you’re not sure on the company. Does this sound familiar?
I’ve been there myself. Liked the look of an online advert. Phoned/enquired for more info, none really forthcoming, so had to apply through the designated process. Next stage is finding myself sitting in front of an interview panel having to answer their questions about why working there was my dream goal. Perhaps I’m too polite/English for my own good, but it didn’t feel right to promote my skills and suitability for the role and yet appear lacklustre about the organisation. Cue lots of indignation down the track, “but he seemed so keen?” The worst example was an interview for a contract role (while I was setting up Prescript Recruitment). It was for an immediate start and l was interviewed the same day that I applied. I successfully got through the interview, proved my ability to do the position and confirmed my availability to start the next day. Last question was “What do you know about our company and why do you want to work for us?” Bear in mind this was for a one week contract. I was truly at a loss for words. I’d not heard of their company until that day and had no ambitions to join their company long-term.
So what went wrong?
Today, in certain sectors, the competition for good people is fierce. Unless you are Google/Macquarie Bank/Twitter, please don’t expect every candidate to have a burning desire to work for your organisation at the first interview stage. Absolutely, they need to demonstrate they have done adequate research. Absolutely, you should not hire anyone permanently unless they have proved their enthusiasm to work for you. What I’m saying, is that at first interview stage, please recognise it is a two way process. The candidate is deciding if they want to work for you, just as much as you are deciding if you want them to join the team. It is up to you to sell the opportunity – great candidates want to be wooed.
What can be done to improve this process?
In one word ‘information’. Look at your recruitment process – do candidates have adequate opportunity to rule themselves out prior to interview? Can they talk to someone knowledgeable? If you are using a recruitment company, have you briefed them properly? If you are the interviewer, can you spend time making the company sound enticing to the candidate? Do expect the candidate to prove their ability, but don’t expect them to see your company in the same light that you do. Hook their interest in the first interview and by the second interview their commitment will be firmer, more genuine and then you can ask the really hard questions!
What do you think?