Basically, your answer to this question says a lot about all of the most important things an interviewer is evaluating: what skills you have, how interested you are in this job (and why), and what you’ll bring to this team or company
And they want specifics. With “Why do you want this job?” interviewers aren’t asking, “Why do you want to be an accountant?” they’re asking, “Why do you want this accounting position at this organization?” They want to know what motivated you to apply and why this position makes sense for you (and, of course, why you make sense for the company.
You can talk all day about how excited you’d be to join the team, but it will only sound genuine if you actually know a thing or two about the company. So spend some time homing in on a few key factors to incorporate into your pitch for why you’re interested in this job.
It’s always impressive when a candidate has done their homework, but especially with smaller companies. And the best thing about this is you rarely have to go beyond reviewing the company website or having a quick conversation with a current or past employee to learn enough to sound like you’ve been following the company for a while.
Next, you want to sell why, exactly, you’re right for the role. There are two ways you can do this: You can either focus more on your experiences (what you’ve done before that brings you to this point) or your skills (which is especially helpful if you’re pivoting positions or industries).
Try to pinpoint what the job is all about, plus a couple of the “required skills” from the job posting, and make sure you speak to that. Keep it short—you’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk about how you got your skills and share relevant stories throughout the interview. For this question, just focus on highlighting a couple key relevant abilities or experiences for the position.
Finally, you want to show that the position makes sense for where you’re going in your career. Ideally, you won’t give the impression that you’re just using the position as a stepping stone. Your interviewer will feel more comfortable investing in you if they think you’ll be around for the long haul. Of course, you don’t have to state specifically that you see yourself in the position for a long time. Just show that you’ve given some thought to how the job makes sense for you right now and how it will continue to make sense for the foreseeable future.