Do you have an interview coming up for a job that you really want? Are you eager to make it clear to the interviewer that you’re not keen just to get any job, but that you want this job? Are you wondering how best to get this across in the interview, without coming across as desperate?
You’re absolutely right to plan this in advance because it really is critical to your success.
I have often heard interviewers discussing their feedback and saying “I’m just not sure how much they really want it” and I can understand that absolutely, I myself am a great example. I have worked for Hays for 20 years, I am passionate about the company and I believe that our service and our values are special.
On an emotional level it is natural to want other people to recognise what is unique about an environment that I love. However, there is also a more logical rationale for recruiting an enthusiastic candidate – because we all want to work with enthusiastic colleagues. If someone is not excited about the company before they start it’s very difficult to imagine them being energetic and proactive once they begin work.
So, you know you really want the job, the question is, how do you show the interviewer this? Here are five foolproof practices to follow before and during the interview which I have found to be very effective.
1. Do your research
Before you enter the interview room, do your homework. With so much information available online, this is easier than it has ever been, so there’s really no excuse. Take some time to review the company website, search for existing employees’ LinkedIn profiles, and take the time to follow and study their social media channels.
Through proper research you will be able to get real idea of the DNA and culture of this organisation, so you can then reflect that knowledge during the interview. In doing this, you are demonstrating to the interviewer that you have made a real effort to do thorough research, and therefore must be interested in the role.
2. Practice makes perfect
It’s also worth considering some of the key interview questions you may be asked and prepare some answers that you may like to give. What are the most common interview questions for this particular role and sector? Do you have an idea of how you would answer these?
Study the job-specification and cross reference it with your CV. Are there projects, specific training courses or examples from your previous jobs that are particularly relevant? Have clear details of these that you are prepared to talk about.
Practice your answers out loud at home beforehand and, if you can, have someone listen and give you feedback.
This kind of preparation will ensure that your suitability and keenness for the role comes across in the form of concise and composed answers that resonate strongly with the interviewer. This will also demonstrate that you have taken the time to practice your interview technique, so must care about this opportunity.
3. Ask questions
The interview itself is a great opportunity to learn more about the role and get a feel for the company. Consider asking if the position is new. If not, how has it evolved? This will provide you with some insight into the direction of travel for the business.
Ask about the stakeholders for the position, the measurements of success and the tools you will have at your disposal to ensure you will exceed expectations. You may also learn something interesting about the organisational culture from these questions.
Remember to ask the interviewer for details of their background as this will help build your rapport with them and show your people skills.
Asking the above questions will show that you want the job on a number of levels.
Firstly, having good questions ready says that you want the job enough to think ahead and prepare. Secondly it will demonstrate your curiosity to learn more about the role, the interviewer and the business as a whole. Lastly, you will be able to strengthen your answers based on any insights that you get from asking these questions, therefore demonstrating your attentiveness throughout this interview.
4. Don’t overlook the importance of non-verbal communication
A smile, eye contact, a good handshake and control of your hands while speaking all contribute to transmitting your enthusiasm to add value in the company. Demonstrating your passion will certainly give you a competitive edge over the other candidates and provide you with the best possible chance of starting work in your dream job.
5. Your final pitch
Once the question and answer segment is over, but before you leave the room, think about giving a one or two minute “pitch” which wraps up why you’re so interested in this role specifically. This is your last chance to make an impression, so be clear and precise – this may well be how the interview panel remembers you. Make it good. Again, it may be sensible to practice this at home.
6. Follow up with a thank you
The last thing to think about is some basic manners; follow the interview up with a thank you email that emphasises your keenness for the role and company. Send this to your recruiter to pass on to the hiring manager at the company but keep it short, sweet and to the point. This is the polite and professional cherry on the top of a great application and interview.
In summary, the bulk of showing your enthusiasm boils down to good preparation; from researching the company and role, to punctuality, presentation and preparation.