Is it better to answer it focusing on why the company is good, or how the job will affect you personally? (ie: by gaining experience and growing)

Also, I never feel I answer correctly when they tell me to "tell them about myself", what should one focus on?


Just tell them...Do you want to know the truth?

They should get it...:)

+8  A: 

My (honest) answer to that, at my most recent interview, was:

Because it looks like you do interesting work, because I think my skills fit in well here, and because I think I can learn a lot here.

And I ended up getting the job.

Mark Biek
+2  A: 

For me, as a student, I've looked for internships and co-ops from time to time. My response usually has to do with them offering me a chance to learn something - a new process, a new technology, a new team dynamic, something.

Thomas Owens
+2  A: 

When asked to tell someone about myself, I just concentrate on what I've been doing with my life for the past 2-3 years (jobs, schooling, etc... they don't really care much about your personal life or you as a person; the question is misleading).

Whatever your answer is to the "why do you want to work here" question, be honest. If you want experience, say so. If you try and BS and tell them what a wonderful place it seems like it would be to work, they're going to trip you up, because you likely have not done enough research for that to actually be the case (regardless of how much research you have done). Of course, if you want to work there for a particular reason (because you know someone else that works there and heard how great it is), do say so.


I find it best to answer by talking about your excitement at your ability to help the company and bring it up a notch. If there are exciting things about the job description that you like, mention those, too, but I would avoid talking about perks, hours, or other non-job items. The question is "why do you want to work here," not "why do you want to be employed here," and I think it's always a good idea to speak to why you like what you'd be doing.

Brian Warshaw
+1  A: 

I have tried to focus on what the company does that interests me or something that just makes that place stand out from other companies.

In talking about yourself, provide an answer that lets them see how for you programming isn't just a 9-5 job but something you enjoy and spend time outside working on other projects. Talk about your personal website you designed or wrote. Some of the programming competitions you've been in anything like that works really well.

+24  A: 

Just glance nervously at the photo of your interviewers wife/daughter on the desk..

Seriously though, I think the best thing is be honest.. Why are you there?

  • Do you find the projects they are working on interesting?
  • Are you new to your development career, looking for a professional, reputable company to work for ;)
  • Are the financial rewards attractive? (dont be afraid to comment on this, this is what we work for! - just make sure its not the only reason, or you have a problem).
  • Are you looking for a fresh challenge?

I would say you are better of being honest and turned away than being seen to be a liar and turned away.. They may just keep you on file and call you back a year later if they like you.

Rob Cooper

If it's true, I try to tie the company and personal theme together (why do you want to work here), so they see why we'd be a great fit.

Similarly, when telling the interviewer about myself, I try to make it personal, while doing so in a way that shows strengths/attributes that would carry over to the job.

It's worked for me so far, in terms of finding "fits"...I've landed jobs where I'm fairly happy and am able to be a contributing, valuable member of a given organization.


...because the panhandling business is in a bit of a downturn lately, and Ramen isn't free.


Because it seems like you have some interesting challenges, and I think I could learn a lot here.

If I can't say that honestly, then I don't want the job.

I normally also add a bit about how I think I would be a good contributor, and something specific that makes their challenges interesting (startup, scaling issues, unique algorithms ...), but the quote above is the real heart of it.

Derek Park
+2  A: 

Because I hear your checks don't bounce. ;)

Stephen Cox
I've used this before. I got a very disapproving look and had to do a lot to recover from it.
David Sokol
+1  A: 

Is it better to answer it focusing on why the company is good, or how the job will affect you personally? (ie: by gaining experience and growing)

I've been asked this before, and my answer was, "well, why DO you want to work there ?".

Also, I never feel I answer correctly when they tell me to "tell them about myself", what should one focus on?

How can you not answer correctly when you tell them about yourself ? Seriously... if they don't like your answer, then the place isn't for you, and you'll be happier elsewhere :)

Drew Gibson

why do you ask? Is there something you know that I should know?


I think a combination of why is this company good and how you will be excellent for the company(Insert Monty Burns voice if it helps). This can be a number of different things though I also think part of the interview process to get to see how things are done at a company.

The "tell me about yourself" for me tends to be a little about where I was born and grew up, quickly noting university before going through various highlights of past work experience, what did I enjoy, what did I do because I was asked to do it and I thought it was stupid to do it this way but I did it that way anyway, and how I got to being before you today.

I tend to focus on what skills did I get from each position, what did I like there that is worth passing on, what did I not like that I hope isn't passed on here, what am I looking for in terms of a work environment outside of salary.

JB King

I want utilize my skill and experinece for estmeed organization,I also want to explore my knowldge.and go forward in my life


Because I like to be challenged.


because let's see blah blah blah and because i wonna have a job i like to be challenged and buy dodge challenger to chlallenge you to buy dodge challenger to challenge people around you to buy dodge challenger and they would challenge everybody to for challenge to have dodge challenger.

yeha thats right