How To Answer ‘Why Are You Applying For This Role?

Motivation is an interesting topic. You really want that job but can you explain why you want the job? Can you make your passion truly heard? Or do you worry that you sound fake? Companies ask these questions to get an understanding of you and how you are going to fit their teams and meet their company goals. You need to be concise and demonstrate that your reasons are clear and focused. You need to set out clearly to recruiter why you have chosen this company and role setting out why the company is right for you and you are the right person for the job. Your motivation is what will make you stand out from other applicants.

Do you understand your motivation?

What are your motivating or driving factors? If you just want any job, you may struggle to convince the recruiter that you want the job you are being interviewed for. You need to think what you know about this job. How does it link to previous work experience or your degree? What makes you suitable for the role? If this a grad application to a training scheme you may think “Well, I haven’t done this before” so think about your key skills and how they link to the skills the job needs,. Be realistic and understand that you are going to receive training but a desire to learn is needed, as is open mind and the ability to reflect on yourself and your development. It is important to show your potential and the motivation to move forward.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with unrealistic goals

If you are setting yourself unrealistic goals then you are setting yourself up to letting yourself down (and feeling low about not meeting these goals). Break them down into more manageable chunks. Move from getting a job, to looking at what you want from a job. Then link it to where you can find those jobs, to making an application, going for interview and to then getting the job!! Getting a job is a process and it takes time so you need to be realistic about what you can do, when and what you can do.

Know yourself

You need to reflect on what skills you have and know your own personal value. Who are you and what do you want from a career? Who do you know in your chosen field? Think about what you can offer in regard to your qualification (this may be your transferable skills, your links to industry from work experience and more). Don’t worry that you aren’t good enough or that you are in someway ‘bragging’ when you offer evidence for your suitability. Companies need to know what you can do and how you meet their needs with clear and effective examples. If you are struggling book an guidance appointment and speak to a Careers Consultant who can help you understand this process and support you.

Know the role

What are the key responsibilities in this role and why do you want to do it? Your motivation for the role is key. Sometimes your degree might not seem to be directly linked but do you think about all the aspects of your degree? Employers are interested in broad range of skills and experiences so it is worth exploring ‘What can I do with my degree?’ and exploring the broad skills you have developed in your studies. Look at the case studies of people in the role you want to get into and read the company pages that interview recent grads in these roles.

Know the company

Ask yourself, what do you know about this company? What made you apply to them? Look at their website by all means but research them more deeply. You can use resources like Google, MarketLine Advantage and researching employers resources of Warwick’s Careers website. You can always find out a lot from the employers attending our fairs and don’t be scared to chat to them and ask questions. Utilise the Networking Moodle and past networking career blogs to help get you prepared. Ask the person how and when they came to company, ask them what they like most about the organisation? Research the company’s core values in their ‘about us’ section. Do their values link to yours? Consider how they connect to your own.

Know the sector

Right now the graduate market is very buoyant. Knowing the sector and what its needs are is key. You can look at professional bodies, you can explore Prospects and you can research the sectors Google Alerts for example. Being able to talk about the sector will demonstrate your motivation at interview and you’ll face questions on an application form too. A great resource is Luminate which has the latest info and expert analysis and is produced by Warwick Alum Charlie Ball.

Express yourself

Reflect on the job description and start to write out the examples of how you meet the employers requirements. Consider how you felt when you were using this skill. What did you enjoy about it? What did you actually learn from using the skill and even how did it inspire you further? You can use a framework like CARR to articulate this.

Keep going. Success may not come at the first application or interview so don’t give up – instead reflect on what you need to work on. Get feedback, be positive and continue to work on your applications. Check out the ECareersGrad resources (for free) and book yourself an appointment with a Job Search Adviser, Career Project Officer or one of the Careers Consultants. Remember: “In order to succeed we must first believe that we can”.

Good luck!