How would you explain our organization’s mission?

 

Translation: Can you be an ambassador for our organization?

Any candidate can read and regurgitate the company’s “About” page. So, when an interviewer asks you this, she isn’t necessarily trying to gauge whether you understand the mission—she wants to know whether you care about it, and she’s looking for who in the applicant pool can most effectively discuss the organization’s work and its impact.

So, in addition to doing your research on the company’s work, think about concrete ways it relates to your passions and experiences, and weave them into your answer.

Start with one line that shows you understand the mission, using a couple key words and phrases from the website, but then go on to make it personal. Say, “I’m personally drawn to this mission because…” or “I really believe in this approach because…” and share a personal example or two. For example, if you’re interviewing at a school that stresses character, share some specific character-building education activities you’ve led for students in your last job, or reference the recently released Bully. If you’re interviewing for a position at a hospital, talk about the 5K you recently ran to raise money for leukemia or your passion for volunteering your time to help children with cancer.

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