4 mistakes you might make when answering “Why do you want this job?”

Here are four common mistakes you should avoid:

  • Not talking about the company: Think about it this way: You can bring your skills anywhere. The trick is explaining why you want to use them for this particular company.
  • Only saying what’s in it for you: Maybe this job would give you the chance to learn a lot about marketing, or it’s an opportunity to grow your quantitative analysis skills—that’s great, but your interviewer wants to know what’s in it for the company, too. So align your interests with and express enthusiasm for using your skills to contribute to the company’s greater goals.
  • Bringing up points that aren’t relevant: In the heat of an interview, it can be really tempting to mention that the office is actually quite close to your daughter’s school or that the company’s flexible hours policy would make it easier to carpool with your roommate, but don’t give in. These are nice perks, but (hopefully) they’re not the only reasons you find this position exciting.
  • Answering the wrong question: Have you ever gone on a date with someone who wouldn’t stop talking about their ex? Well, turns out this happens during job interviews, too. Don’t be that person who can’t shut up about why you need to leave your old job, stat. Even if the reason you’re job searching is directly related to your previous position, focus on the future.