With the advent of behavior based interviewing and other like methods, interviewers have tried to expose the hiring process to more objective criteria and decision-making. The reality, however, is that most of why someone gets hired after an interview is still rooted in the subjective reasoning of the hiring manager.
Over the course of my 30+ years in Human Resources, I have spoken to numerous hiring managers who have been on the fence regarding a candidate. The concern is usually not about their experience or skill set, but rather the subjective notion of their motivation. The feeling can go both ways for an interviewer from “I am not sure they really want the position” to “That person really wants the job!”
From the perspective of a job seeker…of course you want the position. Why would you go through all the effort of applying and being interviewed if you did not want the job? Especially if you are not currently employed. So, therefore, some people are able to show more motivation and enthusiasm than others. This applies not only to the job, but also to the company that you would be working for. By presenting yourself as being highly motivated, you may even find the hiring manager overlooking other flaws in your candidacy because of how you stood out in this area.
The question then is how can you show the proper amount of motivation to catch the attention of the hiring manager? Let’s look now at some ways that you can make sure the interviewer knows you want the position, and you are motivated to get started.
• Do Your Research – It is amazing how often a candidate will have done minimal research on the company or industry prior to the interview. This is especially troublesome in today’s world where information is so accessible on the internet. Hiring Managers like when you have spent some of your own time to find out more about the company. It shows initiative on your part and that you are interested in more than just the position and subsequent paycheck. You can easily work your found knowledge into the conversation and also use it to form question(s) for the interviewer.
• Listen Intently – There is not much that shows more motivation and interest than active listening. A person who is disinterested will often find their mind wandering and not listening to what is being said. You can show that you are really listening by responding clearly to questions being asked, checking for understanding regarding what you have heard, and using information discovered later in the conversation.
• Body Language Speaks Loudly – So much can be told by not even saying a word, but rather by the body language that you use. By leaning into the speaker, making eye contact, uttering the occasional “uh huh” or “yes” (I will count that loosely as “body language”), and nodding your head, will confirm that you are really listening.
• Sell Your Accomplishments – By expressing your accomplishments, you are showing that you have the motivation necessary for the next position. Speak about how you increased revenue, or saved money and came under budget in your last role. Outline a key project you were on and the critical role you played on the team. Share any implemented idea that you had that assisted a previous company. The idea being that you are displaying how you are a go-getter and not complacent to just do what will be necessary.
• Show You’re Future-Oriented – A hiring manager does not want to go through the rigors of having to replace you in a few years if you are hired. You can help assure decision-makers that you are seeking to plant some roots by asking future-oriented questions, such as development opportunities and company growth.
• Reference Company and Industry – You want to convey to the hiring manager that your interest goes beyond just the immediate position and the pay associated with it. Speak to all the positives you have heard about the company and how excited you are about the possibility of joining it. If you have not been in this particular industry before, then reference how excited you are to take your transferable skills and join a different one.
• Be Yourself – A person can tell when someone is not being genuine. If your enthusiasm seems “over the top”, then you will end up hurting your candidacy. For example, don’t “over compliment” the hiring manager, such as telling them that every question was an excellent one. All the tips above allow you to show how motivated you are, but still let’s you be yourself. You want the person that the hiring manager interviews to be the person that is hired.
Regardless of the type of role that you are interviewing for, a hiring manager wants to believe that you really want the position for more than the paycheck that it offers. It is important to stand out positively in this area compared to the others being interviewed. Often, the difference between being hired and rejected is the amount of motivation that you show during the interview.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: