The #1 reason employers reject candidates post job interview. How to avoid the same fate and boost your odds of interview success.
In today’s professional world…enthusiasm…is one of the most highly regarded and sought after qualities out there in an individual. In today’s market, it is the most common reason provided by employers for rejecting job applicants. So its importance has skyrocketed. Whether an employee, manager, colleague or candidate, your career success is connected to your ability to project excitement, curiosity, engagement and a positive attitude to those around you…and the work you perform.
And in no setting is it more critical than the job interview. Employers closely assess and judge candidates on their level of “enthusiasm” for an opportunity – and are unforgiving when a deficiency exists. So regardless of how qualified a candidate may be, a move forward can be won…or lost on this single expression. Given this reality, it is critical to tend to this aspect of your interview prep and overall career development. But some professionals are uncomfortable in this pursuit because they’re not quite sure how to do so without being unnatural.
So how does one successfully project enthusiasm without being phony or awkward?
Understanding your general demeanor is a good starting point. Are you laid back? Intense? Jolly? Ask a friend or colleague for feedback on your manner and see where you fall on the enthusiasm meter. Next, it’s helpful to appreciate what “enthusiasm” really means so you know what to aim for. To an employer, it means that you are happy to be there – alert, actively engaged, curious, knowledgeable, energetic, knowledgeable about their organization, upbeat…and you can carry a conversation. It also manifests itself in a firm handshake, excellent eye contact and a smile.
The great news is that most every aspect of enthusiasm is within your control. The key is preparation and practice. So before your next interview, consider this (brief) prep list to help enhance your zest and zeal:
- Schedule Your Interview When You’re at Your Best. If you’re not a morning person, a 9am meeting isn’t the wisest choice and vice versa. If you have any say, schedule your interview when you’re at your best.
Enthusiasm has never been as important in the legal profession as it is today. And it isn’t always easy to muster. Some professionals project it more naturally than others – and demeanor plays a role. But it’s a feeling that can be enhanced naturally if one has the desire and develops the tools to do so. So dedicate the time to this worthy goal and you will see how a little more enthusiasm will bring a lot more excitement to your career.