How many times have you been to an interview for a job you were perfect for, you had exceeded all the qualifications, the person seemed to like you, and things seemed to go perfectly…but then you called or emailed to follow up and got the dreaded “We went with another candidate” response?
Your resume was perfect, you looked like a million bucks, you smiled, you researched and demonstrated you knew the company inside and you, and you “sold yourself” like the complete, perfect package.
So what was missing?
What sealed the deal for another candidate?
What could they possibly have that you didn’t?
Well, because we can’t see every other candidate being interviewed, it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to tell what other candidates said, did, or had that you didn’t.
However, I recently talked to an HR professional who really understood what was important in a good worker, and what an interviewer is looking for in any candidate they hire.
I’ve also found that nearly all interviewers see this trait (mostly unconsciously) as the most important quality in a candidate. It also happens to be the easiest thing to demonstrate, instantly make you stand out in almost any interview line-up, and makes any employer look upon you as a highly
desirable candidate, but almost no one who goes into an interview focuses on it.
How to stand out in any interview
The key ingredients to a successful interview are:
PASSION & LOYALTY.
When most of us read interview books that tell us to “sell ourselves” to an employer, it’s usually all about trying to sell yourself to the employer’s
logical brain… but what’s the one thing employers want from workers more than anything?
For example, what if you were in an interview, and the interviewer said:
I just interviewed a candidate with a perfect grade point average, who has more experience than you, and has worked for X, Y, Z companies… why should I choose you?
Almost anyone would be stumped for an answer!
This is where you override the interviewer’s answer by teaching them a different way of looking at things by using passion.
Imagine you said:
You know, one thing I’ve found all my life is: there’s nothing you can’t teach a person. You can teach a person to do any job on the planet, but the one thing you can’t teach is passion!
I like to challenge myself every single day: I like to learn from others, and I work hard to give the best I possibly can to people.
I believe you’re looking for someone who’s honest, who can give you loyalty, and who is looking for a company they can grow with.
I’m looking for a company who is passionate about what they do, who is constantly pursuing excellence, and wants employees who are going to love what they do, love coming to work every day, and who can grow with you, learn, work, and be a team player.
No matter how good someone’s qualifications may be, there are many other factors that are even more important than someone’s education or experience, and he could come here to get career advancement, then just up and leave.
I value honesty – when I give my word to someone I keep it, and I can tell you that if you’re loyal to me, and willing to help me grow, I’ll be loyal to you, and look forward to growing with you as a company.
A good interview is all about what you communicate
This is very powerful, because it sends all the messages about you that go much deeper than just communicating that you look good on paper (because a lot of candidates do).
You’ve communicated something that will truly stand out to an employer: you’re honest, a team player and someone looking to grow and learn (meaning you’re open to working with others).
This is significant, especially today, when you consider that you’re up against 30 people in an interview. You need a way to stand out that goes beyond just
smiling, showing a good resume, or experience. What employers are really interviewing is you; their main goal is to make sure you’re the best fit for their company and are going to be a good long-term investment. If you can communicate that you’ll be the biggest asset to the company because of your passion and dedication, many times that’s more important to employers then what’s on your resume alone (and I’ve had many HR professionals I’ve spoken with confirm this).
Remember to show yourself
Remember on your next interview that passion is the biggest asset you can take with you to stand out. If an employer knows you want to be the best at whatever you do; that you have a desire to work hard, and do whatever it takes to make the company a success – that will stand out a lot more than simply your resume or experience alone.
Chris Nosal is a communication skills, marketing expert, and blogger, who consults with businesses and marketers through private consultations. You can learn more about Chris at his blog.