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How to Answer “How Did You Hear About This Job”

“How did you hear about this job?” is a common question during the interview process. It sounds like a straightforward inquiry, but your answer can have an impact on the interviewer’s decision to hire you or not.

Fortunately, you can use the question to your advantage to show an employer you have researched the company and are invested in the role.

Why Do Interviewers Ask “How Did You Hear About This Job?”

There are several reasons a potential employer may want to know where you saw the job listed or who told you about the position. The most basic reason is that they want to see which advertising sources (Indeed, LinkedIn, etc.) are reaching the most applicants. This information can inform their future hiring process.

However, an interviewer may ask you where you saw the job to glean details about your personality. They’ll see whether you’ve done your research and infer whether you’re interested in their position or want just any role you’re offered.

You should respond to this question in a way that shows you’re invested in both the exact position and the company.

Where Can You Hear About a Job?

Jobs are listed in multiple places. Ways you found the job can include:

  • A friend or acquaintance told you about it.
  • You saw the job posted on a career site or job board.
  • The opening was listed on social media.
  • You checked the company’s website for career opportunities.

Let’s walk through these possibilities and learn how you can use each referral source to your advantage during your interview.

How Did You Hear About This Job #1: Friend or Acquaintance

If a friend or acquaintance told you about the job, let the interviewer know who it was. Referral by a current employee signals you are a trusted candidate – one person in the company has already vetted you.

Moreover, that person hat friend or acquaintance can advocate why the employer should consider you for the position.

How You Heard About The Job #2: Career Site or Job Board

Did you see the job listed on a career site like LinkedIn or USAJobs? Perhaps you stumbled across the listing on a job board such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Sharing this information can show an interviewer that you’ve been actively searching for a job in this field.

This dedication shows you are invested in the opportunity and have thought through your application. Let the interviewer know you’ve been seeking an opportunity just like the one they are offering. You’ll stand out from other applicants who apply to virtually any job available.

How You Heard #3: Social Media

Many companies post jobs on social media platforms to make posts easy to share. Viewing a position on a company’s social media page can be advantageous for your application.

Why? It shows you’re already interested the company and are part of their social tribe. Whether you saw the job listing on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or another platform, let the interviewer know!

How You Heard #4: Company Website

Nothing shows dedication like continually checking a company’s website for career opportunities. When a potential employer hears you’ve been regularly checking their site for a specific opening, it tells them you’re interested not only in the role but the company itself.

Don’t hesitate to share this information when you’re asked where you saw the job listed.

Conclusion

Don’t be surprised if an employer asks, “How did you hear about this job?” during your interview. Prepare a response ahead of time that reflects your interest in working for the company. You’ll maximize your chance of getting the job.

Other Interview Resources

By Taylor Thompson

Taylor is a co-founder at Purpose Built Ventures, where he helps launch mission-driven companies. Before Purpose Built, Taylor led growth at Almanac, strategy for Curious Learning, and product at PharmaSecure. His work helps 100,000s of people collaborate at work, 4 million children learn to read, and protects billions of medicines from counterfeiting. He has hired dozens of people, helped raise more than $50 million, and contributed to HBR.org as a researcher with Clay Christensen. Taylor is an Echoing Green Fellow, and he has degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School.

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