"Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
kjvmartin
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

"Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by kjvmartin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:31 pm

I've got a final round dream job interview soon. It's a federal position, part of the federal law enforcement retirement system, and would give me a 30%+ pay increase over the next several years. If offered, I will gladly accept. The position is going to entail my family of 4 relocating from a major metropolis to a Great Plains city with a comparatively minuscule population. I've no reservations about it.

I've been given a heads up that the interviewer might ask me "Why do you want to come here?" He may also ask how long I'm willing to commit to stay and may discuss a commitment contract. I think there have been a few people who got in through this location and transferred to other states. I have no reservations about working there, and I could be content to remain and retire, but I don't know first hand what it's like to relocate in this manner. So, how do I portray my intent in the most positive light? Anyone who does hiring, what kind of candidate do you look for when it comes to transplants from other areas?

kjvm

RudyS
Posts: 752
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by RudyS » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Sounds familiar! I'm a big city boy, interviewed at a corporation in a fairly small town. While I was never asked that question, I have heard that it was an issue that was discussed when the hiring committee had to decide whether to make me an offer. Seems they were thinking I'd be unhappy and leave soon. Luckily, someone said "well, let's let HIM decide." I took the offer, and retired after a full career with that company.

staythecourse
Posts: 4880
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by staythecourse » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:00 pm

Well the reason he/ she is asking the question is the because everyone before you joined for the same material reasons (compensation+ retirement benefits) and then left due largely because no one wanted to live there. I am sure they are sick of being used as a stepping stone for the employee to get what they want and then discard them when the opportunity arises.

I am sure they have heard EVERY excuse/ lie there is from the other folks that it really doesn't matter what you say as they won't believe it. Unless, you have some personal reason that brings you back to the area, i.e. family, you grew up there, have some ties to the area, etc..., I can't see it making a difference. Just say what you feel comfortable with as why you want the job and hope for the best.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

Bfwolf
Posts: 1618
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:02 pm

kjvmartin wrote:I've got a final round dream job interview soon. It's a federal position, part of the federal law enforcement retirement system, and would give me a 30%+ pay increase over the next several years. If offered, I will gladly accept. The position is going to entail my family of 4 relocating from a major metropolis to a Great Plains city with a comparatively minuscule population. I've no reservations about it.

I've been given a heads up that the interviewer might ask me "Why do you want to come here?" He may also ask how long I'm willing to commit to stay and may discuss a commitment contract. I think there have been a few people who got in through this location and transferred to other states. I have no reservations about working there, and I could be content to remain and retire, but I don't know first hand what it's like to relocate in this manner. So, how do I portray my intent in the most positive light? Anyone who does hiring, what kind of candidate do you look for when it comes to transplants from other areas?

kjvm
I think this is one of those situations where a white lie is fine. Say what it takes to get the job.

"I don't really like city life and want to live in a smaller town. People are so much friendlier out here! I want my kids to have Midwest values."

"Winter is actually my favorite season, and I'm looking forward to it. There's nothing I like better than looking out my window at a fresh snowfall"

"I love the outdoors, and there's some fantastic hiking/fishing/whatever around here."

Maybe some of this stuff is actually true. Obviously you can add on how much you like the people there you've talked to, the job itself, etc. But if the concern is you're just going to use this as a stepping stone to go to another office, you've got to provide reasons why you like that specific office and want to live in that specific location.

Katie
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:09 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Katie » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:09 pm

I think the more honest you can be about your reasons for thinking you'd enjoy the area the better. Perhaps you grew up in a smaller city but moved to a large city for work, but you always wanted to go back to a smaller city if you could find the right job.

If you have no legitimate reason that people would think you'd want to be there, at least try to show that you've done your research and have some specific info that shows you were serious "I think this environment is a good place to raise the kids. We've researhed the schools in locations we considered, and were very impressed that the graduation rates were so high/the test scores were the best in the region etc. "We've researched the areas and really liked the downtown area because you can walk to the stores, restaurants etc and that really creates a great community vibe." "i've enjoyed the city, but I want a place where I can really be a part of the community. We've been investigating some of the community organizations around here, and I've been impressed by the great work local organizations have been doing on maintaining hiking trails/homeless outreach or any local projects that align with your interests and prior experience".

Demonstrating that you've given serious consideration to the reality of living in the city and that this isn't just some lark can help them see a long term fit for you in the city.

Good luck!

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 11317
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Watty » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:25 pm

I'm not a hiring manager but I once did a cross country relocation during a merger from one larger city to another where this came up.

In addition to all the career related stuff some of my personal reasons that were discussed were;

1) Cost of housing was about 25% lower at that time.

2) The city I was coming from was having problems with the public schools and I had a kid in middle school.

3) Better weather. Better is subjective and some people consider four seasons to be better.

4) It was within driving distance to where my 70+ year old mother lived.

In addition to myself we also discussed how my family would adapt and there was probably more concern about them than me since they did not know my wife and kid. You could love it there but if your spouse hates it then it will not work out. Be sure to work your spouse and kids into conversation with a positive spin. People worry about kids being able to adapt to a move but sometimes letting a kid get a fresh start can be a plus too. If your spouse is working then be sure to be able to address what impact him or her quitting their job will have.

Also look into the state universities that your kids are likely to go to and if they they are better or more affordable then also point that. In some states the flagship universities can be hard to get into so be sure to consider that the best university in the midwestern state might be easier for them to get into too.

You need to be genuine since they will be real alert for any sign of BS but a couple of suggestions;

It sounds like the place your are considering is large enough to be called a city and not a town or a rural area and that is a big distinction. Even if there are only 50,000 people in that city that means that it is large enough to have a lot of activities and pretty much everything you need. In some ways going to a high school football game where you know some of the people there can be a lot more enjoyable than going to a professional football game where a ticket costs $50. Living in a large city with 150 McDonalds does not make it any better than a place with one McDonalds. :D

If the city happens to have a college in it then look into that since there might be a lot of activities at the college that are open to the public. I live in a large city now with several universities with lots of activities but I rarely go to them, the problem is that if there is any traffic they are about an hour away.

If there is a larger city within an hour or so drive then point out that it will not take any longer to drive there than it would take to drive across town in the big city when there is traffic.

On housing if you live in a real expensive area now then one of the things you might consider is how difficult it will be for your kids to be able to afford to live near you when they are adults. If the housing in the small city is dramatically more affordable then trying to establish roots in an area so your kids can afford to live near you is a real valid concern. At one point I lived in the Bay Area years ago and even then I saw older coworkers that had grown kids that could not even afford an apartment there much less a house.

Shorter commute, if you feel like you are spending way too much time in the large city commuting. I retired just before I turned 59 and had a bad commute that was getting worse each year and that is one of the reasons I decided to retire. If I had a ten minute commute then I might have worked another couple of years.

You mentioned the job is in law enforcement. If it is not a full time desk job then I would think that the big city job would have a different risks and issues than in the smaller city. If the move would make your spouse feel better about you working in law enforcement then be sure to point that out.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 6942
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by celia » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:50 pm

I think you should first talk to your spouse and ask why he/she would want to go there. You can work their answer into yours. If your spouse really does not want to go there, it is better for you to know it now than later.

Why don't the two of you go visit the area a few days early to get a feel for it. Make your answer "real" or it won't work out in the long run.

TMCD75
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:36 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by TMCD75 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:06 pm

You want to go there because of the pay raise...nothing more, nothing less. Tell the truth, it's all about $$$.

MoonOrb
Posts: 848
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:58 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by MoonOrb » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:21 pm

Two things:

1. First, come up with 1-2 tangible reasons why this is plausible. This is the least important part of answering this question, but it's necessary.

2. Second, then use the question as an way to talk about one of your key selling points as to why you're a great employee and would be a good fit for them (you should basically be finding a way to do this in most questions, but in a way that is sincere and not just a slimy sales pitch).

This is a kind of script for this type of question and answer:

Q: Tell us why you'd like to come to *this* location?

A: Two reasons, mainly. First, it's a lifestyle choice and it makes so much sense for my family. We are happy enough in Baltimore, but the longer we're in the city, the more we realize we'd rather be somewhere else. This is a great place to raise a family. Second, it's a good fit for my career goals. I've had great success working with smaller teams. For instance, when I was in the Yuma Field Office, we increased our overall effectiveness by 15% even when our budget had been reduced by 20%. This is the type of Field Office where I think I can do the same thing. So this kind of move would be win-win for me.

The more you can answer questions that way, the more you can both address the root of their question and remind them of why you're a compelling candidate.

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 972
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by jabberwockOG » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:32 am

A mix of good and some not so good advice so far.

The goal of a candidate for having a great job interview is to facilitate an open, helpful, and sincere dialogue and exchange of ideas, values, and goals in order to aid both parties to 1) make a smart choice and offer to the right person and 2) accept an offer for the right position.

Most folks performing interviews and making hiring decisions consciously or subconsciously pick up insincerity in a candidate. In a job interview speak sincerely and from the heart because any attempt to dance around, provide glib rehearsed/canned answers, or to deceive will ring false to interviewers/decision makers. Reply only with answers that you truly believe reflect your professional and personal goals and values.

Believe it or not in an interview once the primary qualification/skill set issues are put to bed, the words and stories you use matter way less than your sincerity, tone, and attitude. Sincerity is extremely powerful and is likely to make or break the impression you leave on the team - some bs artists never learn this lesson. If you are a good fit and 1) the job is right for you and 2) you are right for the company/team - then being sincere, helpful and open in your interview is your absolute best bet to stand out and get an offer. And if the hire team does not like your best sincere, open and helpful answers than you are better off not taking that job.

JBTX
Posts: 1283
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by JBTX » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:39 am

You can over think these things. Decades ago I had an interview with a big rig truck dealership that paid pretty lucrative salaries for management staff. I had done well in the interviews and the final step was a phone conversation with a third party psychologist they hire to evaluate fit. In some of the questions I geared my answers to make it appear I was more assertive than I probably really am. I ended up not getting the job because the psychologist said I was too aggressive and may not fit in well with some of the laid back old timers around there.

Oddly enough I told my wife about another similar job there. She actually got the job but hated it and quit in two weeks - walked out with zero notice.

kjvmartin
Posts: 927
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:58 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:32 am
A mix of good and some not so good advice so far.

The goal of a candidate for having a great job interview is to facilitate an open, helpful, and sincere dialogue and exchange of ideas, values, and goals in order to aid both parties to 1) make a smart choice and offer to the right person and 2) accept an offer for the right position.

Most folks performing interviews and making hiring decisions consciously or subconsciously pick up insincerity in a candidate. In a job interview speak sincerely and from the heart because any attempt to dance around, provide glib rehearsed/canned answers, or to deceive will ring false to interviewers/decision makers. Reply only with answers that you truly believe reflect your professional and personal goals and values.

Believe it or not in an interview once the primary qualification/skill set issues are put to bed, the words and stories you use matter way less than your sincerity, tone, and attitude. Sincerity is extremely powerful and is likely to make or break the impression you leave on the team - some bs artists never learn this lesson. If you are a good fit and 1) the job is right for you and 2) you are right for the company/team - then being sincere, helpful and open in your interview is your absolute best bet to stand out and get an offer. And if the hire team does not like your best sincere, open and helpful answers than you are better off not taking that job.
Followup

The interview was less formal than I thought it'd be and ended up going very well. This question was not asked at all. Another employee working in a different state had told me to expect it, but I guess these things tend to vary based on the interviewer.

Swansea
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Swansea » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:52 am

While I left the feds some years ago, I had hired lots of folks from outside the area, but have never done, nor heard of a commitment contract. Now if the feds spring for your relocation, and you leave in less than a year, there could be some claw back. We hired a guy (married) from a small Montana town to come to Philly. When his wife got there, she was overwhelmed by the density. He returned back home in short time. There are also retention issues is places like Indian reservations in remote locations, so that is why the hiring official is concerned.
6C (law enforcement) retirement is a nice perk.

cherijoh
Posts: 3947
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by cherijoh » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:29 am

Katie wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:09 pm
I think the more honest you can be about your reasons for thinking you'd enjoy the area the better. Perhaps you grew up in a smaller city but moved to a large city for work, but you always wanted to go back to a smaller city if you could find the right job.

If you have no legitimate reason that people would think you'd want to be there, at least try to show that you've done your research and have some specific info that shows you were serious "I think this environment is a good place to raise the kids. We've researhed the schools in locations we considered, and were very impressed that the graduation rates were so high/the test scores were the best in the region etc. "We've researched the areas and really liked the downtown area because you can walk to the stores, restaurants etc and that really creates a great community vibe." "i've enjoyed the city, but I want a place where I can really be a part of the community. We've been investigating some of the community organizations around here, and I've been impressed by the great work local organizations have been doing on maintaining hiking trails/homeless outreach or any local projects that align with your interests and prior experience".

Demonstrating that you've given serious consideration to the reality of living in the city and that this isn't just some lark can help them see a long term fit for you in the city.

Good luck!
+1
Doing the proper research is good for both the OP and his/her family AND addresses the employer's potential concerns about short-timers.

BlackStrat
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:20 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by BlackStrat » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:31 am

Based on your 1st paragraph, it sounds like it won't be a stretch to just be honest and have your enthusiasm for the job speak volumes for itself.

Helo80
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Helo80 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:32 pm

Swansea wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:52 am
While I left the feds some years ago, I had hired lots of folks from outside the area, but have never done, nor heard of a commitment contract.

It depends on the agency and role. There is a commitment period (3 years I believe) for FBI Special Agent graduates of the academy. CIA has (I believe) a 3 year commitment period when you sign.

Considering that OP is going for a federal LEO position, I would not be surprised if he has to undergo further training on federal law enforcement that may entail a time commitment.

Helo80
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Helo80 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:35 pm

BlackStrat wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:31 am
Based on your 1st paragraph, it sounds like it won't be a stretch to just be honest and have your enthusiasm for the job speak volumes for itself.

I agree. As long as you're honest and straightforward, I think that will come off. Trying to deliver a manufactured message that some great plains (or whatever) small town is your "dream" workplace when you're coming from a major metropolitan city may seem contrived. Then again, with people and attitudes towards law enforcement nowadays, small, backwoods police departments may be the dream gigs.

Swansea
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 am

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by Swansea » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:13 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:32 pm
Swansea wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:52 am
While I left the feds some years ago, I had hired lots of folks from outside the area, but have never done, nor heard of a commitment contract.

It depends on the agency and role. There is a commitment period (3 years I believe) for FBI Special Agent graduates of the academy. CIA has (I believe) a 3 year commitment period when you sign.

Considering that OP is going for a federal LEO position, I would not be surprised if he has to undergo further training on federal law enforcement that may entail a time commitment.
I probably should have specified career conditional appointments in my response. FBI agents and CIA folks are excepted appointments.
I do not recall any commitments for Custom Patrol Officers, nor Customs Agents, but that was a number of decades ago.

User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 4912
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by bottlecap » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:34 pm

How about:

I am very interested in the position.

I understand there have been a few people who got in through this location and transferred to other states.

Admittedly, I don't know first hand what it's like to relocate in this manner.

But I have no reservations about working here, and I expect to be content to remain and retire.



That is, use your own words and, as others have said, be upfront and honest about it.

You might even ask them if they think there is a reason for you to be concerned about the location. It might give you an opportunity to (honestly) dispel their concerns. At the very least, it shows them that you are being conscientious about it.

Good luck,

JT

asset_chaos
Posts: 1195
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:13 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: "Why do you want to come here?" Hiring Manager Question

Post by asset_chaos » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:42 pm

Similar thing happened to me. In hiring interviews they were worried I'd come and leave soon so they asked to have a contract clause whereby I'd repay a pro rata share of moving expenses if I left before three years. I said, sure I have no problem with that. One strategy (and you'd have to judge whether it's a good strategy for this hiring manager and organization) is to turn the question around and ask how many years for a pro rata payback period would make them comfortable with your level of commitment. It's one of many possible ways to ask them what would they consider a sufficient show of commitment from you to satisfy whatever concerns they have.
Regards, | | Guy

Post Reply