Written by Dave Cullen
So you’ve interviewed for a job that you are ideally suited for, you supplied a perfect CV, it seemed to go really well and you were able to sufficiently sell yourself, but after a few days you received a response from the employer stating that they will not be considering your application further. They’ve decided to go with another candidate. Sound familiar?
At this point you are probably questioning what went wrong? ‘Was it something I said or didn’t say?’ What could you have done differently? You may even ask what the other candidate had that you didn’t.
The interview process can be complex and difficult affair but the most important thing to understand is that it is not always enough to have the required experience and qualifications. Candidates who simply appear to tick all the boxes for a role are less likely to be hired over those who are memorable and above all, demonstrate the two key ingredients to interview success – passion and enthusiasm.
These two vital elements separate successful candidates from the rest and can be expressed in several ways. Firstly, when preparing for an interview, it is not sufficient to simply conduct some basic research into the company you are applying to. For example, many candidates make the mistake of having a quick glance over the company website the night before the interview. This lazy approach could prove costly. You should always try to broaden your research method by looking for information about the company from various sources such as social media, business news pages and Google searches from within the last few months. This is because much of the information you may find on the company’s own website could be out of date. As you might imagine, it is always better to apply to a specific company that you are passionate about working for because your enthusiasm for being part of that organisation is genuine. Interviewers can immediately detect this sincerity.
Secondly, passion and enthusiasm can be communicated through your responses to certain difficult questions. For example, ‘Why should we hire you over a more qualified candidate?’ – This is a common enough question and the interviewer is asking it to allow you to sell yourself and demonstrate your individuality. This is where you can talk about your strengths, showcase your passion for attaining excellence and discuss your enthusiasm for growing within the organisation. If you have a good knowledge of the company, you will be able to explain why you are a good fit because perhaps their values are in keeping with your own work ethos. Employers want passionate and focused employees who love coming into work each day and striving to do the very best job they can. Qualified and experienced candidates who successfully communicate this intention in an interview will almost certainly improve their chances of landing the job.