How Did You Hear About This Position?

When you’re interviewing for a job, one of the first questions you’ll likely be asked is how did you hear about the position? But don’t be fooled by the straightforward nature of the question; interviewers ideally want to know a lot more than just where you learned about the job. 

We’ll explain how to use this question to your advantage to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and strengths as a candidate. 

Why do interviewers ask about how you heard about the job?

Recruiters are always working to improve their techniques and maximize the ROI of their recruiting budget, so it’s helpful to know what channels candidates use to find their jobs. Hearing where you heard about the position can help them understand where to focus their efforts in the future. 

If you have a specific connection to the company, like being referred by a current employee, this can give you a competitive edge.

Additionally, they want to know more about you as a candidate. This question can help them learn about your motivations for applying and what you value as a job seeker. 

What interviewers are looking for when they ask how you learned about the role

Interviewers aren’t just asking where you heard about the job; they’re also asking why you chose to apply. What caught your eye about the position?

Your answer will give them an idea of how much you know about the company. Are you coming in cold, or have you been eyeing a job with the organization for a while? These tidbits can impact your strength as a candidate, so how you phrase your answer matters.

How to answer, “How did you hear about this position?”

State your source

Begin by stating the honest answer to where you heard about the job. This part is easy. 

If you know someone in the company who referred you or even just talked about what a great place it is to work, you definitely want to mention it. Hiring managers tend to give greater preference to candidates who came from their internal network. 

Spice up your answer

Next, add some pizazz by talking about why you were excited to apply. Give context on what you know about the company or what aspects of the position aligned with what you were looking for in a job. 

Connect your skills

Bring it all together by working on your skills. One way to do this is to talk the interviewer through your thought process when applying. What parts of the listing made you think you’d be a strong contender? This information can help spotlight why you’re the perfect fit for the job. 

How not to answer

Be too concise

Merely saying that you heard about the position on a job board and ending your answer there is a missed opportunity. Make the most of your response by providing additional context that helps sell your strengths as a candidate. 

Sample answers to “How did you hear about this position?”

Example #1

“I saw the position advertised on LinkedIn. I wasn’t actively searching for a job, but the fact that you were looking for someone with big data experience caught my eye. Then I started researching the company and learned about your initiatives in AI, which is an area I’m super interested in. I think I’d be a strong fit for the job, and it aligns perfectly with the direction I’m looking to take my career.”

Example #2

“I was referred by Alex Martinex in marketing. He and I worked together for three years at Sanborn Corporation, and he thought my personality would be a great fit for your account management team. As I looked at the job description, I was impressed with your client list and excited by the idea of stepping into a leadership role. I think I could accomplish a lot on the team and add value for your clients.”

This question may be nuanced, but it’s easy to nail by mentioning where you heard about the job, why you’re enthusiastic about it, and what makes you a strong fit.