#5: The ONE question you need to get right

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“Why do you want to work for us?” Whether you are speaking to one of the company ambassadors, the actual recruiting managers or even writing your cover letter, the one thing you want to ensure you do, is to let the person at the other end know that you are impressed with their company and that you can’t wait to work for them. Give compliments. So how to do this without sounding like every other candidate who goes on about how excited he or she is to work for a company that “values transparency” and has a “great company culture?” Consider these 3 points:

1.) Why is this company unique?

The key to answering this question well is being specific. If you can give the same answer to another company, then you’re not being detailed enough. Your answer should be unique to each place you interview with—no general statements about “working with talented people” or “global impact.”

If you want to address the culture, talk about the precise aspects of it that you like. You can find plenty to work with when checking the companies’ “Mission Statement” or „About us“ on their websites. Even better, double check your assumptions with the ambassadors. They are the perfect source to verify the information you researched and they are ultimately there to help you jump ahead to get the job. In any case, this is the perfect chance to show off that you actually did some research.

2.) What and how do they communicate?

Somewhere along the application process, someone you’re interviewing with has likely Googled you – so do the same. Aside from the news that comes up when you Google the company (which you should also read), corporate blogs are real honeypots to find information. Whether it’s a post welcoming new employees to the team or detailing recent changes, these are the things you should know about. Lastly, check out the company’s Twitter and Facebook profiles. Is the tone professional or casual? Is it nonstop promotion with zero interaction? Is the team responsive to complaints? Take away positive news and examples you encounter during your research to make use of.

3.) Who are their competitors?

Aside from knowing as much as possible about the place you’re interviewing with, it’s a good idea to be able to talk about the industry as a whole and even more impressive to be able to talk about competitors and how the company fits into the bigger picture. Then, make sure you know the points why you prefer them to the competition.

There is no one way to answer this question – as long as you do your research you’ll be fine. Good luck!

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