Dear Liz,

I like asking candidates, “Why do you want to work here?” I want to know what attracts them to the company.

Shouldn’t they already know they want to work here before they agree to the interview?

Thanks,

Richard

Dear Richard,

Just because someone applies for a job at your company does NOT mean they want to work for you. How could they know whether or not they want to work for you? They haven’t even met you yet!

They came to the interview to learn more. You invited them to the interview to learn more about them.

It is the height of arrogance to assume that a candidate who comes to an interview already knows they want to work for you.

It is just as ridiculous to ask a candidate, “Why do you want to work here?” as for them to ask you, “Why do you want to hire me?”

Just because you invited them to an interview does NOT mean you already know you want to hire them.

And by the same token, the fact that they come to an interview to learn more does NOT mean they already want to work for you.

How little judgment and discernment would someone have to have to already know they want the job, without having interviewed for it? What is so great about this job or your company that someone could simply read a job ad and fall in love with the job? No one with normal self-esteem is going to do that.

You have to sell candidates on taking the job just like you want and expect them to sell you on hiring them.

If you’re not willing to sell a candidate on your job opportunity at least as hard as you expect them to sell you on hiring them, YOU DO NOT DESERVE THEM.

All the best,

Liz