How To Answer “Why Do You Want To Work In The Private Sector?”

When applying for a job in the private sector, there is a chance that you will receive this interview question: “Why do you want to work in the private sector?”Β It’s not a common interview question, but nevertheless important to understand your motives for working in the private sector instead of the public sector.

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The reason why interviewers ask this question is to gauge if your values and personality is in alignment with their company, especially when you’ve worked the majority of your time for a government agency. Down below you can find a perfect example that’ll help you structure your own response:

Example Answer (No Experience)

“In the private sector it’s possible to find companies of all shapes and sizes, with different company cultures. The idea of tangible objectives and recognition for achieving results appeals to me greatly. At least, that’s what I’ve read on the internet and heard from people working in both sectors. I’m also looking to establish a career in a more agile and dynamic working environment where I can build on my existing programming skills and develop at a quicker rate.”

Example Answer (Experienced)

β€œI want to work in the private sector, specifically this job role at [Company XYZ], to work alongside like minded professionals in a more result oriented culture. Although I’ve learned a lot these past 5 years in government services, I’ve noticed my career moving in auto-mode. I simply became a cog in the wheel. I’d like to take on more responsibilities and help your company achieve its long-term objective as stated in the mission statement.”

Interview Question Tips

  • Don’t speak negatively about the public sector or your previous boss. For example, don’t say: “Civil servants are lazy and lack accountability” OR “Government jobs are poorly paid”
  • Do speak positively. For example, “It appeals to me that career growth is related to performance” OR “The private sector offers greater access to training programs and learning opportunities.”