Nothing Sells Better than Enthusiasm in the Job Interview

Job seekers are often surprised when they don’t receive a job offer after an interview. They wonder, “Why wasn’t I selected? What went wrong?” But imagine this scenario: I want to work in your company, but in my interview with you, I sit in a cowering posture and with downcast eyes. When you ask me why I want this job, I answer in a voice lacking any inflection, “I need this job, because I need to support my children. I’d like to do something that doesn’t require much physical effort because I have back pain. Please give me the job, because I need it.” Would you want to hire me? Would you want to hire someone who shows so little enthusiasm in the job interview?

 Unfortunately, many people believe they’ll be offered a job simply because they badly need one. But the truth is that employers only hire people who bring the needed skills and experience to job.  And who show enthusiasm. The employer is looking for the person who will add value and vitality to the organization. 

 Unquestionably, one of the traits that most differentiates one candidate from another is the passion candidates show for wanting to work in that position and in that company. Passion and enthusiasm are crucial factors in the employment equation.

 In any job interview, employers will evaluate applicants according to three important criteria.

Does the applicant have the experience to perform the job?

For the most part, the applicant’s experience and skills are what led to landing the interview. Now, the interviewer will want to hear more anecdotal information about what the candidate can bring to the position in terms of competency, skills, abilities and achievements beyond what appears on the resume. Candidates should be prepared to describe specifically and quantitatively their achievements and how they contributed to their previous employers’ results. 

Does the applicant exhibit enthusiasm for the position?

The interviewer will assess whether applicants demonstrate a desire and enthusiasm for the position. Here is where many people lose points. What I’ve seen in my work with job seekers is a reticence to show much interest or passion in the positions for which they interview. They think that by showing a lot of interest, it will be interpreted as desperation for the position, and it may cause them to lose ground in a future negotiation. But projecting a cool and aloof demeanor, without giving any indication of their excitement and enthusiasm for the position, does applicants a disservice when they seek employment. Remember: Nothing sells more than enthusiasm, desire and passion.

Is the applicant a good fit within the company’s culture?

Employers want to determine whether candidates will be a good match culturally within the team and the organization. Qualities such as personality, values, charisma, work style, creativity, adaptability and more will factor into the decision to extend a candidate a job offer. Applicants will want to articulate why the organization’s culture would be a good fit for them. 

 Always keep in mind that showing your enthusiasm is very engaging and appealing to prospective employers. Employers consider an enthusiastic team member as someone who will be committed, involved and most willing to carry out the company’s objectives. Enthusiastic employees are thought to be predisposed to learning, to developing new skills and to be a person with whom the rest of the team wants to work.

 I encourage you to demonstrate your energy, enthusiasm and vitality to employers. These qualities will differentiate you among the competition and provide you with better chances of attaining any position you want.

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This guest post was authored by Ines Temple

Ines Temple is president of LHH DBM Peru and Chile.  LHH DBM is the leading career transition and talent-development organizations in both countries. She has provided outplacement services and HR consulting to executives and other workers throughout the world. She has published hundreds articles and videos on topics such as the new world of work, personal branding and employability. Her book, You, Incorporated: Your Career Is Your Business (Usted S.A.), has been a top bestseller among business books in Peru since 2012 and is now available in English. Learn more at

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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