Imagine that you are in a job interview, but that you are doing the interviewing.
Sitting across the table from you is a candidate up for a position in your organization. When you ask this person why she wants to come work with you, she says the following:
“I want a job. This isn’t the perfect job for me, but I have no other choice, because I need to take care of my children. I might not be able to do everything that is required for this job because my back hurts if I work too hard. But given the chance, I think I could do an okay job.”
Would you hire this person?
Talk to hiring managers, and they will tell you that one of the big things missing from the demeanor of many candidates is passion for work in general, and for the job they are seeking to obtain in particular. In fact, it seems that many of us are actually cautious about demonstrating our energy, enthusiasm, and passion.
Perhaps we believe that by being too enthusiastic, we will appear insincere or that we’re “faking it.” Instead of enthusiasm, far too often we choose to project ambivalence or aloofness. However, the people who do the hiring can tell you that nothing sells better in an interview than enthusiasm.
Our drive and passion must be clearly evident. We need to say, “I want to work here because I like what you do. I have researched and I really like this company and its values, products, and way of doing business.” We must speak energetically to ensure that a prospective employer understands that we don't want just any job, we want this job. The fact is that job applicants that lack drive, energy and passion often turn into employees lacking those same qualities.
Energy and passion make us professionally attractive. It communicates that we are interested in where we work, who we work with, and that we can make a meaningful contribution.
It’s a subtle thing—that sparkle you can see in the eyes of truly enthusiastic and passionate employees. At the interview level, that sparkle is the difference between landing a job and being passed over.