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Ask Ed Johnson Your Own Question
Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Human Resources Consultant
Category: Job
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  GPHR Cert from SHRM; Military provided 20 yrs exp managing & directing all HR areas + 7 yrs corp
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please tell us why you are applying for the security ...

Customer Question

please tell us why you are applying for the security officer postion and why you feel you are suited to it?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Job
Expert:  Ed Johnson replied 11 years ago.

Dear caurdel,

Thank you for the opportunity to answer this question.

The only person who really knows why you want the job, is you. This is a very good question that is asked by nearly every interviewer. After the years of working in HR, I wish this question would go away. It has no real value for selecting anyone, and it is very torturous. A more valuabel question, is why you left your last position.

None the less, we all have to deal with this question. Of course we all know that we want the job or the positon beause we need to pay the bills. We are unemployed and we need the job, and we think we can do this job. However, this would be the wrong way to answer it.

The interviewer may be well intentioned and just wants to assess your motivation and interest level. This question give you the opportunity to display interest and motivation.

Here are a few topics that you can consider putting into your answer. Remember...there really is no right or wrong answer other than responding in a way that shows interest and motivation. Consider the following:

Opportunity: Opportunity is a powerful motivator. On a small scale it may simply mean landing a job so you can get paid. On a larger scale, and more attractive to the hiring company, it might be about your recognition that the company is doing something exciting and important and you want to be a part of it.

Career Path: One reason you would be interested in this postion would ber that it has something to do about the logical or your desired next steps in your career. This opportunity might represent an entry point for a new direction in your career, or the next logical step in your already established career. A lot of candidates talk about what they want to acquire from the job - skills, knowledge and experience. Okay. What if you could APPLY what you have learned and experienced before into this job? What if one of your reasons was that this job, and the requirements asked for, presents an opportunity to bring those things together? Wouldn’t that be a powerful reason?

Cultural Fit: If you know or sense a strong fit from a cultural / style perspective, that is a plus and worth stating. Of course, if the interviewer doesn’t see the fit, it doesn’t matter, but fit is often the deciding factor in who gets hired.

Interest: What is it about this particular company that draws you to them? Their reputation? The way they do business? The quality of their people? A strategy that they are pursuing? You need to be able to apply some of your reasons to this specific company.

Personal Value Proposition Fit: This is where it comes together. Your personal value proposition - what you bring to the table, then applied to a specific opportunity can be a powerful thing. Yes, it is a combination of some of the reasons above, but it is integrated, and on purpose. The candidate who knows

You Can Be Successful: You never want to take a job where you can’t be successful. When you sense that based on the role description, the mandate and all those other factors, you can succeed in this job, this seems to me to be a powerful reason. Interviewers aren’t interested in people who can’t be successful

Of course, at the early interview stage, you may not be interested yet. You may be investigating them, just as they are investigating you. Not only is that fine, it is healthy. In this case, you can respond with statements like, “From what I have seen so far...” and “Based on my research so far...” and leave the impression that a) you wouldn’t waste your time or theirs if there weren’t real interest, but b) you are still in the courtship phase. If you really have something to offer this company, they will be fine with that, for now.

As long as your interest escalates as the hiring process proceeds. The hiring manager will understand if you have multiple opportunities and are carefully weighing your options. However, there is a point in the process where “hard to get” is not a good idea. To really seal the deal, you should think about demonstrating your escalating interest and explaining why them in a convincing way.