How to Answer “What Interests You About This Position?” [+ Examples & Tips]
It's a question that always comes up in job interviews: "What interests you about this position?" As a young marketer, this can be tough to answer. Do you focus on the company itself, the product, or the team you'll be working with? And what if you don't know much about the company or the role? Here are some examples and tips to help guide your answer.
As a freshly graduated prospect, an apprenticeship is a great first port of call in the professional world of digital marketing. Unfortunately, landing your dream apprenticeship isn’t always as easy as you’d expect.
You’ve got the resume, you’ve got the cover letter, and you’ve got the documents that prove all of your hard-earned qualifications. After fighting off the competition you’ve reached the final stage selection stage: The job interview.
Things are going smoothly; you’ve answered every question well so far until you get faced with the question: “What interests you about this position?”
Your mind goes blank. You haven’t prepared for this question, and are left frozen in silence as you desperately plunge into the depths of your mind to come up with something good to say. It never comes.
How do you avoid this situation? Prepare, prepare, and prepare!
In this article, I’ll break down EXACTLY how you should answer the question, “What interests you about this position”, as well as give you some general interview preparation and guidance. I’ll also tell you what you should avoid saying and where and how you can improve your interview skills.
What the interviewer really wants to know
Job interviews are nerve-wracking. You want to make a good first impression by not making a mistake, but you also want to be yourself. The best way to do that is by getting clear on what the interviewer is looking for and then making sure you’re providing it.
With that in mind, here are some of the main things interviewers are thinking when asking the question, “what interests you about this position?”:
1. Can you do the job?
Job interviewers want to find out if you have the dedication, the right skills, knowledge, and experience to do the job in question. This can be done in a variety of ways—from asking about your past work history to having you perform tasks relevant to the position.
2. Do you have the right attitude?
The right attitude means being able to work well with others, being punctual and reliable, having integrity, and so on. These are all important qualities that will help you succeed in your career!
An interviewer will gauge this during an interview based on the way in which you present yourself. Here, you need to show enthusiasm every time you respond to the interviewer’s questions such as “what interest you about this position?”.
3. What excited you about the position
It’s not good to have a perfectly qualified candidate who has no interest in the job. Interviewers want to know why you’re passionate about the job. So make sure you include this in your answer.
They’ll usually assess by asking questions focused on situational judgment, and seeing how you would respond under a variety of proposed scenarios.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the interviewer isn’t looking to catch you or make you feel uncomfortable; most interviewers will actually go out of their way to make sure you’re feeling comfortable enough to be able to showcase your skills and personality.
How to answer “What interests you about this position?” [with examples]
You may be asked a lot of marketing-related questions. It can be hard to respond when you don’t know what to say. By thinking about the question beforehand, you’ll be able to come up with some great answers.
Generally speaking, in your response, you want to convey why you’re a great fit for the position while showing off who you are and what you can do.
When you’re answering this question, think about how your interests align with the company or organization’s mission and values. Then, think of an example that shows how you’ve demonstrated those same qualities in your past work experience.
Your answer could be either centered around yourself, the company, the position itself, or any combination of the three. We will discuss these in detail below.
Center on yourself
First, talk about how the company’s culture is well suited to you. Find out what kind of workplace it is, and if it’s something that appeals to you. If so, tell why it appeals to you and why you think you’re well suited to it.
You can start your search using the company website. This will give you an overview of the company’s history, mission, and values.
From there, you can narrow your focus to specific areas that are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for.
For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you’ll want to research the company’s marketing strategies and campaigns.
It’s also a good idea to read any news articles or press releases that mention the company. This will give you a sense of how the company is perceived by the public and what kind of reputation it has.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the company’s social media accounts. This can give you insights into the company culture and help you see how employees interact with each other.
Second, talk about progression. This means that you should talk about how you see yourself progressing in the company—not just for the next few months or even years, but for your entire career with them.
Finally, professionalism. This means that you should mention how your personal career goals match up with the job description.
For example, if they say they’re looking for someone who can work independently and manage their own projects effectively while also being able to collaborate easily with others on larger projects when necessary (and vice versa), then mention how those skills are ones that you have already had experience developing through previous jobs or classes/internships at school (or whatever).
Combining these three approaches: Sample Answer
“What interests me about this position is the culture. Having heard much about the company, it sounds like a pleasant place to work. I was impressed by the way you have created an environment where people can feel comfortable and valued. I believe that’s really important, especially when you’re working together on projects that require so much creativity and collaboration.
I also feel that this position is a long-term fit for me because it will allow me to continue to grow professionally, which is important to me. I love learning new things and finding ways to improve my skillset, so I want to be able to do that in my career—and this job would give me plenty of opportunities for growth.”
“What interests me about this position is the company culture. I really like the idea of a small, close-knit team that is supportive and encourages progression. I also feel like the company has a lot to offer in terms of career growth. There are many opportunities for development and the team is constantly expanding, which means there are lots of chances to take on new challenges.”
Center on the company
When you’re answering this question, you should always be sure to touch on the company’s reputation. You can do this by discussing how much you’ve heard about how successful they are, what their growth trajectory looks like, or any other notable achievements they’ve had.
It’s also important to talk about how you can help solve some of the challenges that the company faces. You can do this by doing research on the company beforehand, and then bringing up specific instances when you’ve worked on similar issues in the past.
Combining these approaches: Sample Answer
“This position really interests me because the company is growing rapidly and has a reputation for being a leader in its field. I think it’s a great opportunity to be a part of something that is already doing so much good work.
The challenges that come along with that kind of growth—like learning to adapt your product/service offerings to new audiences—are also something that intrigues me, and I would look forward to helping you overcome these challenges”
“I am interested in this position because it represents an opportunity to join a company with an excellent reputation and to work on some very challenging projects. I have the necessary skills and drive to learn quickly.
In addition, I believe that my ability to work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously will be a valuable asset. I am confident that I can be a successful member of the team and that I can make a positive contribution to the company’s success.”
Center on the position
When focusing on the position, you should start by pointing out how your experience aligns with the job description, and how it will help you excel at this role.
Talk about what you have done in previous jobs that make you a great fit for this position, and why it’s important that you are a part of this team. Also, discuss how the role will allow you to grow within the company, and how it will help you develop more expertise in your field.
“I’ve worked for ABC Corp. for a few years, and while I have valued the friendships I have formed and skills I have acquired there, I no longer see room for growth there. This position interests me because it will allow me to utilize some of the new and innovative data analysis solutions I have been learning and developing.
Although this is a significant step up in responsibility, I am excited to take on new challenges and grow along with the organization. I found that ABC has an excellent professional development program that aims to upskill its workers, which indicates a commitment to collective improvement that I appreciate.”
“I have been working as a marketing intern at [company name] for the past year, where I’ve learned about how to plan and execute campaigns for our client’s products. The skills I’ve developed there are extremely valuable to me, and I’m excited to learn more about how they will help me grow in this role.”
See how others got their marketing experience and landed their dream jobs with Acadium.
What not to say when answering “What interests you about this position?”
1. Don’t give generic, copy and pasted answers.
You should always avoid giving generic answers. “I’m interested in the position because it is a good opportunity for me to grow.”
It’s not very interesting and shows no original thought or effort on your part. If you’re not excited about the job and the company, why should they be excited about you?
2. Don’t mention any career ambitions outside of the company.
You might have ambitions above the role you’re currently applying to – that’s okay, but if you say that it’s only a stepping stone, then the hiring manager may think you’re only looking at this position as a way to get somewhere else.
They may also think that you’re not interested in learning anything new, which means they’ll be less likely to offer you the job.
3. Don’t say: “I’m interested in this position because it will pay me well.”
This might seem like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, some people really do answer this question with something along those lines!
Asking for more money than the job pays isn’t an effective way to show the hiring manager how much value you’ll bring to their organization.
4. Don’t bring up irrelevant points.
If you are in the middle of an interview, it can be tempting to mention the company’s flexible hours or the proximity to your daughter’s school, but do not give in. The perks are nice, but (hopefully) they’re not the only thing that makes you want to work here.
5. Don’t answer the wrong question.
Did you ever go on a date with someone who wouldn’t stop talking about their ex? Well, it turns out it happens during job interviews too.
You don’t want to be the person who can’t stop talking about how you need to leave your old job ASAP. You should focus on the future even if the reason you’re job searching has something to do with your previous job.
If you don’t already have an interview lined up or having a hard time finding a job without experience, Acadium’s digital marketing apprenticeship program is the perfect opportunity to not only give you a leg up in the interview process but also put your newly found interview skills to the test.
When you complete an apprenticeship program, you will have gained valuable experience that will make you more attractive to employers.
By choosing to participate in an apprenticeship program, you are sending a strong signal that you are serious about your career and are willing to invest in your own development.
We’re focused on creating a community where you learn from real-life experiences, not just theory. In our program, you’ll be matched with an experienced business owner who will mentor you throughout your apprenticeship, so you can practice what you learn in real time.
As an Acadium apprentice, you’ll get to work on completing real-world digital marketing tasks and have the opportunity to grow your skills and expand your network while doing it.
We’re looking for people who are passionate about digital marketing and have an interest in technology and we’re excited to help you sharpen your skills!
Princess “Ji” Kang is a staff content writer at Acadium who unveils complicated topics about digital marketing. She's been wordsmithing for various brands and industries for nearly 6 years, after earning her Master's Degree in English Language and Literature along with her Digital Marketing certification. Her work has appeared on sites such as asksebby.com, wellpetcoach.com, Ready Home Singapore, ThePerfectMedia Group, and more. You can find her at her home mini-library reading, sipping hot coffee, or playing with her cats in her downtime.
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