It’s entirely possible that you found your most recent job by throwing “I want a job” into Google search. Maybe this is your dream job you sought out, or maybe it’s just one of several jobs that you spammed out applications to. Regardless of how you got to this interview, there is a right way and a wrong way to answer the interview question “how did you hear about this job opening?”
The best way to answer this interview question is by letting the interviewer know that you deliberately and specifically targeted this job position due to your interest in the company or industry. You’ll want to avoid anything that implies you simply applied for any job that
Why Do They Ask This Interview Question?
So why are they even really asking this question? Why would they care where you found the job posting? Do they want to know if it was LinkedIn or Indeed? Don’t worry, this question isn’t as devious as some of the other questions interviewers ask. Often times this is simply an icebreaker question meant to get things rolling before getting into the more interesting interview questions.
Although the stakes for this question are pretty low there are still best practices to follow, and importantly, still ways you can sabotage yourself by giving a poor answer to this question.
How To Form Your Answer
There are actually a few different ways that you can use this question to your advantage. For starters, this question is a great opportunity to show that you’ve done some research on the company. Take this chance to discuss how much you like this company. What you’ve read and heard about the company culture. Maybe you know people who work at this company and encouraged you to join. The whole point here is that YOU sought out THIS COMPANY and THIS JOB in particular.
This doesn’t need to be a long response, nor should it be based on the limited scope of the question, but every question is an opportunity to sell yourself in some way, and if they ask this question, use it. A quick example of this type of response might be:
“I had always heard that this company was one of the best companies to work for, and actually know a few people who have worked here and they were always talking about how great the company culture was. During my research, I discovered that it is also actually the leading brand in the area that I was looking to pursue. When I saw that I knew I had to check out the available positions, and when I did I found this job role that is a perfect fit for what I’m looking for, and where I think my next step lies in my career path.”
This simple answer that shows we’ve researched this company, that we’re interested in this job role, and that we consciously went out of our way to apply to this job position, rather than it just popping up on our “recommended jobs” feed on LinkedIn.
How You Can Mess Up This Question
It’s true, the stakes of this question are pretty low. This is just a quick and easy question the interviewer is asking you on the way to the more important interview questions. That being said, there are still some little things people often do that can throw a red flag for the interviewer.
The first big no-no for this response is letting it slip that you applied for dozens of other jobs at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad to cast a wide net, but the optics of this is that you’re simply looking for a job. Ideally, you’d like to get across that you’re particularly interested and passionate about this job, and that’s a tough sell when you’ve applied for 33 jobs across 9 industries.
“How did I find this job? Honestly, I’m not even sure which job this is, I just sent out a bunch of resumes. I’ve got a few interviews scheduled for later this week.”
You can also lose yourself some points by giving too much information in this response. At best this simply looks like you are rambling. Do they really care about the breakfast you were eating while you were applying? At worst you might say something that makes the interviewer’s ears perk up a little, and start you off on the wrong foot in the interview.
“I heard about this job from somebody who works here now. She said the benefits are great and that she leaves early every day. I was actually hoping we could negotiate some remote work, but we can discuss that a bit more in the job offer phase.”
The interview question “how did you hear about this job” is a great opportunity to show the interviewer:
- Your passion for the industry
- How you prepared for the interview
- Your interest in the position
- Your ties to the company
Each of these are small pieces of the larger puzzle of things you’ll need to impress upon the interviewer if you want the job, but it’s just one of the many questions you’ll get throughout your interview process. To learn about ALL of the questions you’ll get at your next interview, be sure to check out my other articles, or better yet, subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch my ‘Interview Preparation Playlist’ that includes all of my interview question breakdown videos that I’ve released so far.