As we all know, there are countless resources available on interview preparation, sample interview questions, different interview approaches and many different styles of interview to prepare for.
This is not another toolkit for a particular style of interview and isn’t going to run through all of the usual things you should do before an interview. We are instead going to focus on something that will help anyone, going through any interview process, for any role, at any level.
The even better news is that this doesn’t require additional study or preparation- sound good? It really is that simple.
Why you should read on!
Despite the simplicity of what we are about to talk about, many people won’t choose to read on once they realise the topic is that straightforward but here is why you should….
- This one thing is seen as both a disciplined skill and a strength.
- According to research, 4 in 10 employers would reject a candidate if they don’t bring this into their interviews.
- Even if you have close to identical experience to someone, if they have more of this than you, you can lose.
- Interview feedback is consistent and the absence of this one thing is the most common reason we hear as to why someone qualified for a role was unsuccessful.
- The presence of this can sometimes give you access to an opportunity you may not have all of the prerequisites for.
So, what is this one thing?
If you’ve guessed by now that this one thing is enthusiasm – congratulations!!! If not, don’t worry, this article will help you even more.
How exactly is enthusiasm defined?
Let’s take a closer look at the word enthusiasm, what it means and some examples of uses of the word…
Oxford English Dictionary: Describes enthusiasm as “a strong feeling of excitement and interest in something and a desire to become involved in it”.
An example from them is “He had a real enthusiasm for the work”.
Cambridge Dictionary: Similarly describes enthusiasm as “a feeling of energetic interest in a particular subject or activity and an eagerness to be involved in it”.
An example of its use from them is: His enthusiasm more than compensates for his lack of experience.
Collins Dictionary: “Enthusiasm is great eagerness to be involved in a particular activity which you like and enjoy or which you think is important”.
An example of its use from them is: If you show enough enthusiasm, maybe they will give you a job.
While the definitions are very similar, the most interesting thing is that the examples all relate to work, one can derive from this that enthusiasm as a word is intrinsically linked to work.
This is why it is absolutely essential to bring this into every interview you do.
How can I bring enthusiasm to an interview?
Some simple ways you can do this (while still being true to yourself and authentic) are:
- When talking through your experience…relate this to your ‘why’ you are interviewing for this particular role/ with this particular company. E.g.: As you can see from my CV, in my most recent role I have been part of a large implementation project and this was when I felt most excitement about the work I was doing – when I saw you were doing something similar, I felt compelled to learn more and see if this is something, I could get involved in…
- Choose examples you’re proud of and own these. Whether you solved a particularly challenging problem or built a macro to save you or your team 2 hours per week on a task or led the initiative for your office to go paper-free or to ‘go green’, your involvement in something you’re proud of will mean that your passion will come across more naturally and you will have more enthusiasm and energy when speaking about them.
- Ask questions throughout. Show you’re engaged. If you give an example of how you do something/how you solved a problem – ask them about their processes, ask them how they got around a problem – this shows interest and also shows that you’re keen to understand their business.
- Use positive language and feeling words. Using words like passionate, inspired, compelled, proud of, excited about, energised by, motivated by, curious about…etc. there are words that will suit your natural communication style so putting a little bit of thought into this is time well-spent.
- Ask the interviewer about the company and their own experience working there.
- Highlight during the meeting anything you saw/read/heard about the company that captured your interest.
- Reiterate your interest in the role at the end of the meeting. This is the perfect time to inject a final bit of energy and enthusiasm into your interview. Thank the interviewers for their time, mention one or two/or even more things that are key highlights for you and let them know that you’d be delighted to be considered for the opportunity.
So, there it is, one simple, quick fix for every interview that is guaranteed to get positive results.
Enthusiasm. It really is that simple!
Tara Higgins is Associate Director – Recruitment Partner with Barden. She is part of our team in Cork, and is an expert in Operational Finance, Business Support and Data Analytics recruitment and careers.
A core part of Tara’s role is working directly with professionals in the areas of operational finance, business support and data analytics, helping them to identify and map out their future career path, and secure their ideal roles. Tara will also partner with clients to build world class teams in these, and other, areas of business.