How to Answer the What Are You Looking For Question

Title: How to Answer the “What Are You Looking For?” Question: A Comprehensive Guide


During job interviews, one common question that often catches candidates off guard is, “What are you looking for?” This seemingly simple query can leave applicants feeling unsure about how to effectively respond. However, with the right preparation and understanding, you can confidently address this question and showcase your suitability for the position. In this article, we will delve into various strategies and provide valuable insights to help you craft a compelling answer. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions related to this topic.

Understanding the Question:

Before diving into how to answer the question, it is essential to understand its purpose. Hiring managers ask this question to gauge your alignment with the company’s goals, the position’s requirements, and your long-term career aspirations. They want to ensure that you are not just seeking any job but are genuinely interested in the specific role and can contribute effectively to the organization.

Crafting Your Answer:

1. Research the Company:
Before the interview, thoroughly research the company and the job description. Familiarize yourself with the organization’s mission, values, and recent achievements. Identify key aspects of the job that resonate with your skills, experience, and career goals.

2. Be Specific:
When answering this question, avoid generic responses. Instead, tailor your answer to the company and position you are interviewing for. Highlight your expertise, passion, and how they align with the organization’s goals. For example, you could mention your desire to work in a collaborative environment, contribute to innovative projects, or make a positive impact on customers’ lives.

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3. Showcase Your Motivation:
Emphasize your enthusiasm and genuine interest in the role. Explain how the position aligns with your long-term career aspirations and how it fits into your overall professional trajectory. Mention any relevant experiences, skills, or achievements that demonstrate your commitment to the field.

4. Focus on Growth:
Demonstrate your eagerness to learn and grow within the organization. Discuss your willingness to take on new challenges, acquire new skills, and contribute to the company’s success. This showcases your dedication to personal and professional development, which is highly valued by employers.

5. Connect with the Company Culture:
Highlight your compatibility with the company’s culture and values. Discuss shared values and beliefs, and how they align with your own. Emphasize your ability to work well in a team, adapt to diverse environments, and contribute positively to the organization’s culture.


Q1. Can I provide a general response to this question?
A1. While it’s important to be specific and tailored to the company, you can include broader aspects such as seeking growth opportunities, challenging work, and a positive work environment. However, always relate these aspects back to the specific company and position.

Q2. What if I am not entirely sure what I am looking for?
A2. It’s normal to have some uncertainties, especially if you’re exploring new career paths. In such cases, focus on your skills, interests, and willingness to learn. Express your openness to new experiences and your desire to find a position where you can make a meaningful contribution.

Q3. Should I mention salary or benefits?
A3. It’s generally best to avoid mentioning salary or benefits during the initial interview stages. Focus on demonstrating your interest in the role, the company’s mission, and your alignment with their goals. Salary negotiations typically occur at a later stage.

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Q4. Can I mention personal goals?
A4. While it’s important to highlight your personal goals, ensure they are aligned with the company’s objectives. Emphasize how achieving your personal goals can contribute to the company’s success.


Navigating the “What are you looking for?” question during a job interview can be challenging, but with the right approach, it becomes an opportunity to showcase your suitability for the role. By conducting thorough research, tailoring your answer, and emphasizing your motivation, growth mindset, and alignment with the company’s culture, you can impress hiring managers and increase your chances of securing the job. Remember to be authentic, confident, and well-prepared, as these qualities will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

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