How to answer the question 'What attracted you to this company?' in an interview

It seems like a question designed to make the interviewers feel good about themselves or their company.  You could be right.  A lot of interviewers may select based on how good you made them feel in the interview and yet this question maybe asked for a host of reasons different from self-grandiose.

So, Why ask this question:

  1. Sometimes the applicant is so obviously good (or better than what the company usually pulls in) that it does surprise the interviewer.  Why would someone so good, want to work with us?
  2. It could also be that the applicant is new to the industry and hence the interviewer may want to know if he/she has done their groundwork.
  3. It maybe asked to understand if there is a strategic fit or not.  What plans does the applicant have for him/her self and how does the company play a part in it.
  4. It could be another way to judge if the applicant is serious about the job. Some applicants do tend to apply to multiple organizations in the hope of creating a safety net and would not think twice before leaving for their dream company.

So How should you the question 'What attracted you to this company?' in an interview

first and foremost truthfully.  If you have done your research, you would already know why you want to work here.  You will be spending a significant part of your life at your place of work and you should spend some time and thought into selecting that.

second, as with all interview questions, your answer should be able to show off some part of your repertoire or skill set and become a lead to the next question.  If you can achieve that, very soon you will notice you are controlling the interview, not the interviewer.

So, you should show how the company would be best suited to your particular skill set, dream, vision, character, value system etc and how, the company would benefit by you being a part of it. 

Remember

The whole idea of an interview is that the the company thinks you are the best for the position.

Think of yourself as a doctor, a healer if you will.

The company is in pain and hence it has advertised for a position.They need someone who can come in, take charge of things and take care of them, they need someone to reduce that pain.You are the doctor they are seeking out.

The interviewer is there to select you and not to reject you.

Examples

During my internship, I was fortunate to work at your sister concern and I have to confess, I have been following your company since that day.  I feel the corporate culture, the direction the company is headed in, is where I want to be.  I see myself getting the learning and the freedom I need to achieve my professional goals

What this answer does is the following:

  1. It makes the interviewer ask about your internship. You can now show how good you were then.
  2. It prompts the interviewer to ask you something more about his company (since you tracked it) and this gives you another opportunity to show off your preparedness.
  3. It suggests you know what you want to achieve and are willing to learn too!

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