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You have probably heard the common interview question, 'What interests you about this role' during a job interview before. When a hiring manager or interviewer asks this, it can be tricky to know how to avoid generic answers but instead tailor a response that best showcases your unique skills as a candidate.

Being prepared is a huge part of interview and job search success, even if you are the perfect candidate on paper and have a perfectly built CV and cover letter. If you're not prepared for your interview or don't know the best way to sell yourself to a prospective employer or hiring manager then you are going to be out of luck.

With that in mind, we're sharing our expert advice on how to answer this common interview question like a pro, with some great answer examples that you can use in your next interview.

Answering ‘What interests you about this role’ in a job interview

There are a lot of ways you can approach answering this open-ended question. If answered correctly, it's a good tool that will enable the hiring manager to learn more information about you, gauge your level of interest, your understanding of the role itself, and check that your values align with the company's.

There are three key ways you can potentially answer this question and that's by either focusing on yourself, the company, or the role itself. You can either focus on one of these approaches or a mix of any of them to answer what interests you.

Use any of these examples below for a well thought out response to this common interview question, or use them as a template to build out your own answer:

Focus on yourself

With this approach, you will focus on your fit for the role, your own goals and how your experiences make you the perfect candidate for the job. This is looking beyond the job title, and looking more about how you're the best fit for the business.

Let’s look at a couple of key things you could highlight with this approach:

  • Culture - talk about how you will be a great cultural fit for the business and how you can see yourself working well with potential co-workers. If there is a certain element of the culture that's already been discussed with the hiring manager during the interview that interested you, highlight this and discuss how that helped you come to your decision to carry on with the hiring process.
  • Progression - a lot of prospective employers want to see that you are interested in moving forwards through the company and that you don't see this role as just a quick career stop. Make it apparent that if you are successful in this interview, you will be part of the company long-term. Highlight how you see yourself progressing to show you have a better understanding of the company and its potential. This will ensure you stand out from other applicants.

💡 Top tip: Matching the job description with your own personal career goals shows that you have taken the time to think about whether this role is a good fit for you, your personal brand, and that you're not just answering interview questions without any thought.
Example answer:

There are a lot of elements that interest me about this role from the job description, but one of the key elements that really appealed to me is that I feel I would be a great fit within the company culture. I want to work in a progressive team and the collaborative of this company is something that interested me in this job. Looking over the company website, and from our previous discussions, I believe this role would also give me the ability to progress in my career and develop my skills in a lot of different areas such as ‘X, Y, Z’.

Related: How to manage your online reputation

Focus on the company

It is important to have a vested interest in the particular company you are applying to that are specific to that organisation. Saying 'I need to pay my bills' is not a viable reason for applying for a job and shows you are only interested in the pay and not the company or the role itself.

When focusing on the company in your answer to 'What interests you about this role', there are a few things to mention:

  • History - a popular angle when answering this question is to highlight your interest in the company due to its reputation, history or innovation within the industry. This shows you are involved in the company’s growth, understand its current position and want to be part of that journey.
  • Problem-solving - this requires some research but can be a very good answer if approached in the right way. This is where you will highlight an issue within the business that you could help solve, or perhaps a trend that you foresee coming that the company has not addressed. This also shows that you want to help the company achieve success and are aligned with its mission and goals.

Example answer:

One of the big factors that attracted me to this role is the company itself, I have loved your recent innovations and the development of ‘X’. Historically, the company has proven time and time again to be a market leader and that would be a great environment for me to develop in. Looking at your previous projects, have you ever considered the implementation of ‘Y and Z’ to further increase profits and increase engagement? I think this would be great for a business like yours.

Focus on the role

In this answer, you want to focus on the job listing or the role specifically. Drill down into the job description and the role and how this particular position suits both your needs and the needs of the hiring manager.

  • Experience - pick out areas of the job description that match up with your experience and showcase how your previous experience will be invaluable in this role. As much confidence in your own ability to get the job done, the better. Having some previous examples written down or memorised can help prove you are organised and interested in this job.
  • Opportunities - focus on how the role will provide you with the ability to further develop your career and specialise within your industry. At the end of this answer, you could also ask what kind of support they give or training opportunities do they offer. You have a unique skillset, but you also want to showcase your thirst to develop and grow within this particular company.

Example answer:

This job suits me and my experience as I have been looking for the opportunity to get involved in ‘X and Y’ which directly links to my previous roles where I had extended experience dealing with ‘Y and Z’. I feel there would be a lot of opportunities for me to grow in my role and further my knowledge in ‘X’ and progress my career.

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