Why do you want the job? Accountancy interview questions uncovered
One of the most dreaded questions amongst interviewees is the ‘why do you want the job?’ question.
This is because you feel you have to give the correct answer, or perhaps, not scare the interviewer off by being truthful. It can feel like trying not to cross an imaginary line in the sand, but you don’t know where the line is.
The key is to understand why the company is asking the question and considering your answer before the interview.
Why companies ask the ‘why do you want the job?’ question
Companies ask the ‘why do you want the job?’ question to establish a deeper understanding of the interviewee’s motivations to move jobs.
Interviewers are looking for:
- Someone who can tell them why the company appeals to them, including values.
- A person who demonstrates why they’re a good fit.
- A person that shows enthusiasm about working with them.
More importantly, this question is to pick out areas of a person’s character that aren’t a good fit:
- Someone who is solely interested in financial reward.
- Can’t be a team player or isn’t open to learning.
- Might not work towards the company’s goals.
So, perhaps the answer is to put the company’s interests first and then balance them with any positive values that you prefer instead of detesting.
How to answer the ‘why do you want the job’ question
In practice, you answer the ‘why do you want the job’ question by researching the company and rereading the job description before the interview.
It’s also crucial to look for a positive reason to work for a company, rather than a negative reason why you want to leave your old or current job.
You then play a matching game. For instance, take the following:
- “We pride ourselves on diversity and inclusion.”
If you feel your current employer’s diversity and inclusion policy is non-existent, and it’s why you want to leave your old job, it’s an ideal time to show how admirable having those policies is.
“I’m looking to work with a forward-thinking business and specifically noticed your stance on diversity and inclusion. I truly believe that people perform their best when they feel part of a team and are supported to reach their potential for a company.”
Your positive stance shows that you don’t hold on to bitterness from a previous employer, yet it states your values — you get the same point across.
- “We aim to deliver excellence at every touchpoint.”
You might feel undervalued by your current employer, especially if you work hard. It’s an excellent opportunity to discuss why you want to work for a company that wants to go above and beyond to deliver for customers.
“I take pride in my work and think that’s a good match to your aim to deliver excellence at every touchpoint. I believe my skills and experience can deliver excellent results within this role.”
- Our vision is to make accountancy accessible for all.
If you’re drawn to making a difference, this is the time to highlight your fit to the company’s corporate and social responsibility goals.
“I’d like to use my skills to make a difference, and I feel that my skills and experience can support the company’s goal to achieve this.”
- Our innovative methods are revolutionising the accounting industry.
If you need a fresh start and a new challenge, you can highlight how enthusiastic you are about the company’s direction and how you can support that goal.
In all of these examples, you are learning how to spot a part of the company you are genuinely drawn to — why them? You can then try to match your skills, experience, and values to tick the interviewer’s ‘good fit’ box.
How not to answer the ‘why do you want the job’ question
As an interviewee, your reasons for wanting the job might initially be more money or that you’re unhappy with your current job, which you might be tempted to say — to be truthful.
But from the interviewer’s perspective, this is saying that:
- I have not researched the company.
- I can’t align what I have to offer with the new business.
You could say that although money and unhappiness are truthful, they are already assumed.
You would have told the interviewer what your current salary is; if this is more, then they’ll know that it will play a part in your motivation for moving. You wouldn’t be moving if your current job was ticking all the boxes either, so that can also be assumed to a degree.
By aligning what you like about a business and why it’s important to you, you can communicate the same strong values without jeopardising being offered the job.
Are you looking for an accountancy job?
If you’re looking for accountancy jobs, we’d encourage you to get in touch.
We have a tremendous track record of introducing you (anonymously) to our long-term clients by highlighting your skills and attributes in line with each firm’s needs.
We will handle your job search for an accountancy role with the strictest confidence and sensitivity.
Call Public Practice Recruitment Ltd today for a confidential chat on 03335 777 787 or upload your CV here.