Tough Interview Questions - Why do you want to work for our company?

Following is a tough interview question:

Why do you want to work for our company?

Similar interview questions:
What do you want to work for us? What it is about our company that attracted you? What is it about this role that attracted you?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is seeking to understand your background in relation to the company in general and the position specificially. Many people answer this question with the same response as they would use for: "What do you know about our company?" Yet the question is fundamentally different. What you know about the company is detached and separate, this question attaches you to the equation. It's not enough to talk about the reputation of the company. You need to make it personal by tying in why you are a fit.

The best approach to answering this question:
Answering well requires both in-depth knowledge of the employer as well as how the company and its roles (and specifically the role for which you are interviewing) are connected with your background and experience. So start your response showing an aspect of the company and/or the specific role that is attractive to you, then build the bridge to that aspect of your background. This is an excellent opportunity to help the interviewer visualize your fit with the company and the role. If you have personal contacts at the company, this is a good time to make the connection.

An example of how to best answer this question:
"I've known your company as a market leader throughout my career, but it was only recently that I became more aware of your company as a top employer through a former business associate, Jane Smith. Jane and I had previously worked together and she called to give me information about this new role opening up for which she felt my background and experience were a great fit. We discussed more about your company and where it is going strategically. Her insider perspective is what initially attracted me to the company. As I researched more into the role and where it fits strategically, I came to realize that my background is a strong fit. In fact, I worked on a very similar project to the one that this role will be launching. I was responsible for the global rollout of our integrated accounting system which has reduced our monthly global reconciliation time from five days down to less than one. Would you like to hear more about it?"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, who hasn't heard of your company, right? Everyone tells me that once you get your company's name on your resume, you can pretty much go anywhere, do anything. So I see it as the next logical stepping stone in my career. Eventually I would like to do either a startup or maybe even start my own company, but for now, your company is a great training ground. I know a lot of other people who worked for you and then went on to do great things. That's what I would like to do as well."

Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!