In a time when workers are leaving their jobs and making career changes at an unprecedented rate, many Product Managers find themselves in search of a better opportunity. Whether you are a new Product Manager searching for your first position, or an experienced one looking to change things up, job hunting realistically involves applying to many opportunities every day. Yet, in most Product Management interviews you will be asked the same question: “Why do you want to work here?”
How can you answer the question and ensure that you make an impression on the recruiter, in a crowd of interviews?
Why Does the Interviewer Ask “Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
The saying goes that finding a job is a full time job itself. If you’re not applying to multiple jobs every day, you’re not doing yourself any favors on the job hunt. But when an interviewer asks why you want to work at their company, there is a balancing act that goes into answering.
You may just want to work there because it is a job that pays and you are undiscerning. The interviewer likely knows that the chances are good you are applying for other positions besides theirs. But all the same, you want to find a way to come across as both in-demand and set on working for their company in particular.
When asking you why you want to work for their company, an interviewer is looking for two things: understanding and passion. You want to make it clear that you did some research and have a solid understanding of what they’re all about. People generally want to work with those who are passionate about the same things they are — this question is a great chance to show you are keen.
Companies also want to know that you are selective with which opportunities you apply for. Even if you are applying for dozens and dozens of different jobs, most companies want to feel like they are the only job you are applying for. The way to create this impression lies in one thing and one thing alone: research!
How to Prep for the “Why Do You Want to Work Here” Question
Before you are even in the interview, there is preparation work to be done. The first thing you should do is go to the company’s LinkedIn page. By going through their feed, you should be able to find news and announcements in their last couple of months that you can get excited about.
If that’s lacking, you also go to their website or their social media and see what you can find. You’re looking for positive and public announcements that they have made in the last 30 or so days that illustrate where they are at as a company and what they’re excited about right now.
When you’re formulating your answer, you want to be able to talk about a few of these exciting things that they have shared with the public. For example, congratulate them on recent funding, or mention a webinar they put on that you attended. The more specific and well researched you are able to be, the better off you are. Ideally you’ll be able to talk about at least three of these things that have caught your eye, and this will naturally trigger dialogue with the interviewer.
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How to Answer
Now that you have done your supporting research, you should be able to formulate an answer that is compelling and engaging. Why do you want to work for the company? A great, straight-forward response is: “who wouldn’t want to work for the company right now, with all of the exciting things going on?” Then you follow up with specific examples that you can talk about with confidence.
A similar strategy in response to the “why do you want to work here” question is to reference the company mission statement or values that you find on their website. This isn’t necessarily a bad answer, but it is exceedingly generic and many people do it. If your goal is to stand out and make an impression, you want to try and come up with the specific details that can demonstrate that you are engaged and passionate.
While your answer to the “why do you want to work at our company” question is not going to make or break your interview, it is an excellent chance to set yourself apart from other candidates. Not only can a memorable answer help you in the interview process, but doing your research for this question can also serve as a litmus test for yourself. If you’re unable to find a single thing about the company’s activities that interest you, you may want to reconsider why you’re applying for the job.
Ace the Product Manager Interview and Land Your Offer
Even if you are in a position where you just need a job as soon as possible, accepting a role as a Product Manager at a company that is not a good fit will inevitably lead to you being back on the hunt again for something better in no time.
If you need help narrowing down what sort of Product Management jobs are going to be perfect for you, or if you’re struggling to refine your answers to the most frequently asked PM interview questions, schedule a free 30 minute call today with one of our career coaches. Let us show you how Product Gym can help you crush the interview process and land a Product Manager job faster.