Over the holidays I was on a run with a friend of mine who is currently in the midst of a career search. While discussing a potential role and company, he shared with me that he had come across no other job that seemed like such a strong fit technically, culturally and personally. In short he wanted this job like nothing else. As we discussed his interview process I asked him if he had expressed his strong feelings in the interview. He answered somewhat sheepishly, “Well no, not like I’m telling you”; yet he insisted he had made his interest clear. It seems he felt he needed to keep things very professional and revealing his passion for what they were doing and his genuine excitement and interest in joining them was somehow less than professional and not a very savvy interviewing technique.
OK, we all know interviewing can be a bit of a poker game and the employer typically tries to keep their cards close to their chest and maintain a professional, “we’ll be in touch” kind of attitude and the candidate tries not to appear overly eager. However, my thought here is, if you are lucky enough to have a genuine passion for the job/company for which you are interviewing, SHOW IT! And if, on the other hand, you don’t immediately feel a great deal of passion for the job, do some research and find a connection. To be frank, there is nothing more enjoyable as meeting a candidate that is genuinely excited and passionate about the product, service, or mission of a company. Employers want to see passion, excitement and genuine connection for what they are doing. Often times this is the deciding factor between several highly qualified candidates.
The job market is getting stronger and there is more opportunity out there. However, competition is still as strong as ever and employers want stellar candidates to fill their open roles. Being well prepared with research is an absolute, but don’t forget to unlock your passion in your preparation and within the interview process. That passion might just be the thing that gets you the offer.