What Interests You About This Job?: Tricky Interview Questions

Interview Tips

June 24, 2021

One of the biggest mistakes candidates often make when interviewing for graduate jobs is being too general in their responses to open questions.


Recruiters only have a very limited time to gauge whether or not you’re the right person for the job, so they will also ask you questions that look beyond what they can read on your CV. Who are you, why are you applying for this job and what makes you the right fit for the job and the company?


Answering such questions is easier said than done, but we’ve got you covered. Whether your next interview is in person or on the phone, here’s our guide to help you impress any interviewer that asks you the dreaded “what interests you about this job?”


What is the purpose of the question?

First and foremost, this isn’t a trick question — the interviewer simply wants to gauge whether or not you’ve done your research and understand what the role entails. 


You need to take this opportunity to share why you’re the right candidate for the job. Avoid generic answers. Instead, give specific answers that show off your qualifications, personality, professionalism. The answer should demonstrate your suitability for the role, and the wider company.


This is also a great chance to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Recruiters see countless CVs and interview numerous candidates, all of whom have similar qualifications and experiences. Show them how much you want the job by doing the extra research and giving a well-thought-out answer to this all-important question.


How can you answer?

Your answer to this tricky interview question will depend on the role you’re interviewing for, but generally speaking, an easy way to ensure you’ll give the best possible answer is by doing thorough preparation and research for the position you’ve applied for as well as the company as a whole.


You need to express why you’re the right fit for the job, with specific evidence to back up your point. Go beyond saying “I’m interested in this job because I like working with numbers.” Take the initiative and tie in your knowledge of the role as well as past experiences/examples where you’ve benefited past employers with this knowledge or interest. Capitalise on the compelling power of anecdotal evidence.

Student Circus Tip: Job postings often have a specific list of skills & tasks involved in the job. Match your answer with the requirements that are listed on the job posting, explaining how you fulfil these requirements. 

Remember that you need to show the recruiter how hiring you would benefit the company, not just how getting the job would benefit you. So don’t spend too long talking about how it will fulfil your lifelong dream to work with numbers. Touch on this but then quickly tie it back to show what value you will bring to the business. 


What to say, what not to say?

If this question comes up in your interview, stay calm and remember to pitch yourself to the recruiter. This is one of the best questions to show off your knowledge of the role, your passion for the industry and your suitability for the company. 


In need of some inspiration? Here are some sample answers to help you out, just remember to tweak them to fit your specific experience and the role you’re interviewing for:

  • “I’m extremely interested in this job because I would be responsible for xyz task, which is something that I was directly accountable for in my college role. I’m excited to bring my learnings and enthusiasm to a professional setting in your company.” 

  • “The product/service that the company provides its users is extremely relevant & pertinent. I would love to work on a product I believe in.”


When it comes to what NOT to do, never answer this question by focusing on the job’s perks or salary. Obviously pay is a big factor when deciding which jobs to apply to, but don’t say this to the interviewer, not even as a joke.


Don’t give generic answers that show you’ve done no research. Also, refrain from over-emphasising the job’s value to your CV. The recruiter won’t want to hire you if they think you’re just using them as a stepping stone while you look for something better!


Going the extra mile

Above all, remember to do your research and always put the job role and company you are interviewing for at the forefront of your answer. Prepare some answers in advance, but try not to sound too rehearsed or robotic on the day as recruiters will also be looking for clear and confident communication skills.

Written by Talya Honebeek
Talya is a freelance writer and Journalism Master’s student at the University of Sunderland, writing about everything from fashion and lifestyle to education.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

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