Why Do You Want This Job?

There are many questions that you might be asked in a job interview.

One of the most likely is why do you want this job?

On the face of it this shouldn’t be a difficult question to answer.  In reality it’s one of those questions that accountants struggle to answer.

Why is it a struggle to answer this question?

Truth is this is likely to be one of several roles that you are interviewing for.  Especially in the earlier stages of your accountancy career.

Equally few in my experience take time to really consider what they really want from their next role.

Yes more money might be a factor (but not one you generally talk about), it might be about a new challenge (but it’s quite a vague) or something else.

If you have really taken the time to step back and consider what you might want from your next role, you will give a much better answer.

Let’s take a few examples to illustrate.

Example 1

Your last role was very broad.  You got involved in a lot of areas but you didn’t go deeper in any area.  You have just completed your professional accounting exams and want to do an extended period in Management Accounting and have applied for a Finance Manager position.

Possible reasons why you want this job include:

  1. To get experience in budget setting
  2. To do more analytical work
  3. To get experience in report writing
  4. To improve your skills in presenting information
  5. To partner with an area of the business and contribute to achievement of goals
  6. To apply your learning from exams in practice
  7. To get some experience of managing a small team.

Example 2

You have gained a number of years’ experience, been managing teams and projects and are looking to move into a leadership role.

Possible reasons why you want this job include:

  1. To gain experience of leading
  2. To work at or close to Board level
  3. To influence business strategy and planning
  4. To be involved in change
  5. To sharpen your communication skills
  6. To help win business
  7. To restructure a team

 While these are just examples, the 3 important points to remember are:

  1. It’s worth investing time to get clear about what you really want from your next role.
  2. The clearer you are the better you will be at answering this question.
  3. The better you answer this question the greater the chance of being offered the role.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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