Introduction:

It is almost certain in a job interview that you'll be asked the question 'Why do you want to work for this company?'. And it's possible that you'll be asked the question 'What makes you suitable for this position/job?'. When planning your answer for both, always focus on the positive. Before you do the job interview you should think about what you'd want to hear from a candidate if you were the interviewer.

For 'Why do you want to work for this company?, do your homework about the company and make a list of good things about it. For 'What makes you suitable for this position/job?', focus your answer on your experience that makes you suitable for the job and how easily it will be for you to adapt to the position. Also, state how your skills make you the perfect candidate.

In this online exercise on 'job interview questions', we will look at professional English vocabulary for answering both questions in a job interview.

Click here to see more of our free online exercises on vocabulary to use in CVs/resumes and job interviews.


Exercise: In a job interview

Read the following answers by a candidate in a job interview to two different questions from an interviewer on 'Why do you want to work for us?' and 'What makes you suitable for this position?'.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Interviewer:'Why do you want to work for us?'

Candidate:'Well, first of all, I have been impressed with everything I have read and heard, from both the interview and what colleagues and friends have told me. Your company has a very good reputation in the industry. Not only for its products, but also its working culture.

From what I have heard here, it is a company that recognises and rewards talent. And I believe that in such an environment I will thrive. Your company is also a market leader in the industry. And with what you have told me about the planned expansion and diversification of the company, I feel that it provides people who have the right motivation and ambition, the opportunity to excel and progress.'

Interviewer:'So, what makes you suitable for this position?'

Candidate:'I feel I possess all the requirements and experience for the position. First of all, I have worked for over 5 years in a similar position, where I have exceeded all my targets year after year. Also, I am fully up to speed with all the industry standards and work practices that you use here. So, if I was selected for the vacancy, I could hit the ground running. I am also very adaptive and can pick up things very quickly. As I showed when the company I am currently working for, was bought out 3 years ago.

On a personal level, I feel I have the determination or drive which is fundamental for a position like this. This has been demonstrated with the promotions I have achieved throughout my career.

In addition, having worked in the same company for over 5 years, it shows that I am committed. And I also have the soft skills which a manager needs to have with both the people who report to him and clients. For example, I am an excellent communicator, but I can also listen.'


Recommended Books For CVs/Resumes & Job Interviews

To improve your CVs/Resumes & Job Interview skills, we recommend the following books:

  1. 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions.
  2. The Complete Interactive Job Interview Preparation Course [DVD].
  3. Winning Resumes/CVs.
  4. Resumes/CVs For Dummies.

 Link to Dictionary


Quiz: Why do you want to work for us?

Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. A phrase that directly compliments the company, is
         

Your company has a very good reputation in the industry:
(phrase) Basically, it means 'your company is excellent', but sounds more professional. In Spanish: "su empresa tenga una muy buena reputación en la industria".

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Your company has a very good reputation in the industry:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. A different way to say the essential requirements in the sector/business, is
         

Industry standards:
(noun) This refers to the standards/requirements that the whole industry has agreed are fundamental. By saying you use these, is like saying my work is good. It is often used with the verb 'to meet', e.g. 'the procedure meets industry standards'. In Spanish: "normas industriales".

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Industry standards:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. When you have all the latest information about a process and can perform it well, you are
         

Up to speed:
(adjective) In this context it means you are very knowledgeable about a process, procedure, type of technology etc... and can use it successfully. It is used with the verb 'to be' and is normally followed by 'with', e.g. 'He's up to speed with the procedures now'. It can also mean 'to update', where we use the verb 'to bring', e.g. 'I brought him up to speed'. In Spanish: "ponerse al corriente".

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Up to speed:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. A different way to say that you will excel in a situation/environment, is
         

Thrive:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to thrive'. It sounds very professional and means that you will perform/do very well in a situation or environment. In Spanish: "prosperar".

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Thrive:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A different way to say that 'I'm good at working with people', is I have
         

Soft skills:
(noun) It is used with the verb 'to have'. It is a modern business term used to describe the personal skills which are necessary for working with people, e.g. team working, communicating, self-awareness, leadership etc... In Spanish: "competencias sociales".

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Soft skills:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A compliment about the company from your research and what they have told you in the interview, is
         

I have been impressed with everything I have read and heard:
(phrase) A standard compliment that should be used if you have the question, 'why do you want to work for us?'. In Spanish: "estoy muy impresionado por todo que he leído y escuchado".

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I have been impressed with everything I have read and heard:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

7. A different way to say that 'I can do the job effectively from the first day', is
         

Hit the ground running:
(phrase) This tells the person that you have both the experience of working in that type of position and the character to perform the role perfectly from the very first day. In Spanish: "asumir sus funciones desde el primer día".

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Hit the ground running:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. A politer way to say if I do well, your company 'will pay me more', is
         

Recognises and rewards talent:
(phrase) It sounds very professional. This is almost like a compliment about the company and its working culture. In Spanish: "reconozca y recompense el talento".

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Recognises and rewards talent:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. Another way to say 'ambition', is
         

Drive:
(noun) This is a synonym of 'determination' or 'ambition'. In Spanish: "dinamismo".

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Drive:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. A politer way to say 'I have' when talking about suitability, is
         

I feel I possess:
(phrase) It sounds very professional. It is often used when people are explaining their suitability for a position, e.g. 'I feel I possess the necessary experience for this position'. In Spanish: "creo que poseo".

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I feel I possess:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11. A different way to say 'growth', is
         

Expansion:
(noun) This word is commonly used in the world of business. It can mean both 'growth' of the company or a company entering into new markets or countries with their products/services. In Spanish: "ampliación".

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Expansion:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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12. A different way to say 'learn', is
         

Pick up:
(Phrasal Verb) The infinitive is 'to pick up'. In this context it means 'to learn'. It is more common to use 'to pick up' than 'learn' in a work environment. It is a transitive phrasal verb that is separable, e.g. 'she picked it up very quickly'. In Spanish: "aprender".

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Pick up:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the 'why do you want to work for us' vocabulary, practice them by creating your own answers in English to these interview questions with the new words/phrases.