"Why do you want this job?"
It's a question you know you'll get in your next job interview, but a standard, scripted response could ruin your chances of making a good impression, according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch.
"Your answer to this common interview question will either cement your place on a hiring manager's list or erase you from it," Welch tells CNBC Make It. "Standard responses will get a B-grade, or a B-plus at best."
To ensure that your response stands out, answer in a way that includes details about "the company, its people, its products and its processes," she says.
An answer that accomplishes all of that, Welch says, sounds something like this:
"I want to work at [the company] because it values continuous learning. Its customer-first focus sets it apart in the industry. And I believe its culture of innovation, in products and processes, makes it unique."
Be sure to mention how your skills could advance the company's goals.
For instance, you could say, "I think I will be a big help in achieving [the company]'s mission to advance robotics in the service of health care for all," Welch says.
Be prepared to go into detail explaining how you would help the company achieve its vision. For example, you may say something such as, "The manager job, as I see it, calls for someone who can bring marketing and operations to the table, and have the product delivered faster."
"Those specific details show you've been paying attention and you're not on autopilot," Welch says. "You're for real."
A thoughtful, specific response will leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager, and boost their confidence in you as a candidate.
"Like a lot of success in life," Welch says, "getting this question right is all in the details."
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker.
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