Show A Little Enthusiasm!

I was talking with a recruiter friend of mine a couple of weeks ago and he mentioned that one of the things he hears from employers all the time is that a lot of the people they interview really don’t show much enthusiasm. And I have to admit that despite putting candidates through a pretty extensive preparation process on this subject, I can usually tell that while they are smiling and nodding their heads during that conversation that they are going to forget all about it when they actually interview. With this in mind let’s talk a little bit about enthusiasm in hopes that you can avoid this miscue during your next interview.

For starters let me point out that enthusiasm occurs on several levels and does not mean that you have to be a cheerleader or Little Mary Sunshine. It has to do with your attitude towards the interview and the company you are interviewing with. More importantly your outward projection of that attitude.

Level one. On a personal or professional level no one wants a sour puss or a deadhead working for them. So, shake off the cobwebs and try to be upbeat when talking with people. If you just sit there with a blank look on your face I can pretty much guaranty that unless you’re interviewing to work at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles you’re not getting the job. Show some energy! Smile a little! Act like you want to be there and that you actualy like what you do. Or at least what they want you to do. Like it or not, interviewing is somewhat of a dog and pony show and the way you look and come across is at least as important as what you can do in an initial visit or phone call. Don’t expect people to look at your resume and magically determine that you are going to fit in with everyone there. You will have to tell them anything you want them to know. And in the parlance of sales “Sell sizzle, not steak”. That means you better understand that they will be interviewing other folks and that you are going to have to give them the reasons to think that you standout from that crowd (the sizzle). So as long as you don’t lie or embellish the truth, remember this is your story and you can tell it any way you want to. Make it sound good. Ask about the type of work environment they have. Is it close knit? Are they jokers. Or are they head down and get the work done? To the extent you can with in the truth tell them how you match those environmental factors and get across to the potential employer that you will be able to get along with everyone and that you like that sort of setting. Remember “people like people who like them” and you are competing for this job so you had better be playing to win.

Level two. Shows some enthusiasm for the job and the company. That means you will have to do some research. Find out what the company does, their philosophies, maybe a little history and such as well. And then bring those things up in your conversations. And then explain to them how you match up with those things and make really, really sure that you are telling these folks why you like and want their position. Don’t assume that just because you’re there they should understand that you want the job. People are not mind readers. And even if they were, they would still like to hear the words come out of your mouth as confirmation of what you’re thinking. If you look on the interview prep page of my blog I even have a methodology you can use as a road map for doing this.

Level three. Ask for the freakin’ offer!!! Nothing says “hire me” like saying “I would like to get an offer”. It’s not too forward. It works. And if you don’t do it someone else will. And guess what? If they have the same skills as you, they might just get it, leaving you out in the cold. This is also covered on the interview prep page of this blog and on a separate page devoted purely to getting an offer.

Ultimately it is soley up to you to make a good enough impression to get hired. Interviewing is in and of itself a job and you have to put in the time and effort to do it well. And if you can’t get that attitude fired up and get them excited you may get just what you asked for. A lack of enthusiasm about you.


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