Why? Interview Question Facebook Amazon Google Microsoft Apple

1) Why companies ask this question

2) What to include in your answer

3) How to structure your answer

4) Example answers

1) Why companies ask this question

Almost all companies will ask the ‘Why?’ question in their interviews. It is asked in over 80% of 1-2-1 interviews across the globe and Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple (FAGMA) are no different.

This makes it one of the questions that you can prepare for in advance. If you have an interview coming up with any of the FAGMA companies then be prepared to answer the question “Why Amazon?” or “Why Google?” or “Why Facebook?”.

The reason that companies ask this question is to test your motivation and understanding of the company. Candidates that really want the job will have an understanding of the company, it’s values and it’s ambition; candidates that are looking for any job will have little understanding of the company.

Those that are motivated to work at the company will undoubtedly make better employees in the long run as they are more likely to enjoy their work. This does not mean that you cannot be motivated to work at Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft AND Apple however.

2) What to include in your answer

Candidates that answer this question well are able to communicate their motivation and understanding of the company in a compelling way.

The easiest way to provide a compelling answer is to demonstrate a deep understanding of the company. There are four ways to do this:

Company history – What are the origins of the company; Why was it founded? Who founded it? What were the key factors to its success? How has it grown to the size it is now?

For Apple this might be ability to create products that customers didn’t know they wanted such as the iPad or for Amazon it could be obsessive focus on the customer enabling them to grow from an online bookstore to the e-commerce and tech powerhouse they are today.

Culture – All the FAGMA companies have their own independent cultures that have developed over the many years of their existence. To understand the true culture you need to speak to a current employee about what it is like to work there.

However, every company will state its values on their careers site. These are the attributed that they strive to live by. For example Microsoft values are: Respect, Accountability and Integrity. Showing interviewers how you align to these values is a good way to demonstrate your motivation to work there.

Networking – An easy way to show your motivation to work there and your understanding of the company is to speak to someone that currently works there.

Doing this immediately shows that you have made an effort to find out more about the company and that you have an accurate understanding because it has come directly from a current employee.

Ambition – Every company is driven by a bigger ambition or mission statement. It will be what they are working towards as a company.

For example, Apple’s mission statement is “to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.”

Amazon’s mission statement is “to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success. We aim to be the Earth’s most customer centric company.”

Aligning yourself and career ambitions with the company ambition demonstrates your commitment to the company and the reason you will be motivated to work there.

3) How to structure your answer

The basic structure for a good answer to the Why Amazon? Why Facebook? Why Google? question can be applied to all the FAGMA companies and can be used multiple times in a single answer. The structure is:

  • Reason

  • Understanding

  • Evidence

The reason is always a one-sentence line directly answering the question but you can give more than one answer at once, for example:

“The reason I want to work at Amazon is because of the customer-centric approach to product development”

Or for multiple reasons: