This question gives you the opportunity to express why you’ve targeted that particular company and what it is about it that appeals to you. The obvious first step is to do your research. Visit the company website and explore all the different sections so you get a good feel for what they do, the company structure and ethos, key figures in the organisation, and the general culture. Then do a Google search to find out what others are saying about the company, any articles that have been written about it, and any other information you can find. The more informed you are, the better.
In answering this question, be specific. You can say you like the kind of work and projects the company does, its culture, its position in the industry, its size (for example, why you like the fact that it is a big or small company), its ethical or environmental practices – and if you can name something specific that the company has done that you find particularly interesting or appealing (for example, a particular building that an architecture firm has designed or a particular campaign that a marketing firm developed), that’s sure to impress.
The employer wants to see that you have well thought-out reasons for choosing them – and not just because they happened to advertise! If it is a big and well-known company you can say that you would love to work for an organisation that is a respected leader in its field, but avoid saying that you want to work for a company for reasons of money or status.
Remember that when it comes to being hired for a job, it’s all about finding the right fit. Talk about what you can bring to the company and emphasise how your professional and personal goals and values are aligned with that of the company. This is a two-way street, so show that you’re the right person for the role, would fit in perfectly, and would be able to make a valuable contribution.