Mahesh Odedra, Resourcing Business Partner at Osborne, recommends including the following in your answer:
“Aim high but also be honest, no one will hold you to a career aspiration if later on you change your mind. Taking Osborne as a specific example, we want to understand what motivated someone to apply for a role with us. We like to see that people can describe what in particular about the role was of interest and then how it relates to what they have previously done, and just as importantly what they want to do next”.
Be honest about your skills and areas you’d like to improve further within the role.
It’s not a weakness to admit that one or two of your skills are areas you’d like to develop further. A job should be a two-way street, one where if hired your skills help the company to deliver their products / services successfully, while giving you the opportunity to become the best you can be.
Before the interview, have a good think about your existing skills and note down a couple of areas – as applicable – where you see the role helping to develop you as an individual.
This forethought and desire to get even better at what you do over time, is highly appealing to employers, as they know you’re unlikely to get the job and simply go through the motions, so to speak.
This question also links closely into the interview question: Why do you want to work for this company?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the question ‘what attracted you to this position?’ is likely to be preceded by the more general ‘Why do you want to work for this company?’
Volt International’s, Heather Lyn, offers her advice on how to answer this:
“Make sure you read through the company profile for inspiration. Look at any videos that have been posted on Linkedin or other social platforms and think about the company culture and message. Consider the company values and make sure you can relate to these.
“Don’t be afraid to say that you want to work for the company because it’s the best company in the local area and I want to work for a company close to home. Don’t be ashamed to say that you don’t want to travel for two hours i.e.: ‘I’m a working Mum and this job really fits in with what I want to achieve in my life’. The majority of companies have diversity and inclusion high on their agendas, so you should never feel like you have to hide anything in an interview.
“Be up front and honest in an interview, don’t bend or embellish the truth because in the long-term it won’t work for you or them”.
People buy people.
This is a common sales industry phrase that is equally applicable to an interview situation, where you are, for all intents and purposes, selling yourself as a person to a prospective employer.
You don’t solely have to talk about professional qualifications and experience when explaining why the job appeals to you. Interviewers want to feel assured that you’ll fit their culture too. Do you have a good sense of humour? Are you understanding of others and willing to step in to help when needed? Do you have a hobby or interest that will add an interesting dynamic to their existing team?
Softer skills and showing you’re a human being, not just a well oiled machine with all the experience in the world, will endear you to the interviewers and help to make the interview process a little less stiff.
So there we have it, some great advice on strategies and talking points to answer the interview question: ‘What attracted you to apply for this position?’ (and all of its subtle variants!).