If You’re Not Enthusiastic, Why Are You Applying?
From your skills, to your education, to your work history, there are a lot of things you want to highlight in an interview. But as you try to cram as much as possible into a one-hour interview, there’s a good chance you’re missing the most important element.
When asked about the most important thing for a candidate to demonstrate in an interview, one answer came up more than any other: enthusiasm. As one recruiter put it “If you’re not enthusiastic, why are you applying”?
Why Enthusiasm Matters
Research from our Q3 2015 Employment Monitor found that 96% of employers would choose a candidate who had a good attitude over one with more pertinent skills. This is a pretty clear endorsement of enthusiasm, but why does attitude trump ability by such a high margin?
According to research by Gallup, 87% of the global workforce is disengaged. This poses a huge problem for employers, who are looking for people to take initiative, get involved, and focus on the quality of their work. Gallup also found that companies with high levels of employee engagement enjoy 22% more productivity, 25% more turnover, and 41% fewer quality issues, proving that the benefits are more than just theoretical.
How to Highlight Your Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is not something you can show at any one point in an interview. Rather, it is something that must shine throughout. There are several different ways you can do this, such as giving full answers. While an interview is a test of sorts, it’s not a quiz, so interviewers are not looking for simple Yes/No answers. Each question is an invitation for you to talk and show the interviewer that you are the best person for the job. If they feel as though they have to drag everything out of you in the interview, they have no reason to believe you’d be more proactive at work.
You should be especially enthusiastic when talking about your previous roles. One of the most common pieces of advice we give to candidates is not to badmouth their previous employers. Complaining about previous roles can make the interviewer wonder if you would say the same things about them in the future. Similarly, showing enthusiasm for your past roles will signal to the interviewer that you will approach this job with that same fervour, respect, and hands-on approach, which is what they’re really looking for.
Finally, you should make it clear that you’re enthusiastic about this opportunity because it can help you get what you want i.e. your dream job. It may seem self-serving, but if the interviewer knows that you have a lot to gain, they know you will be more personally invested in the job, so don’t shy away from showing your motivation.
As important as it is to highlight your skills, education, and work history, all that means nothing if you’re not going to put it to use. Given the choice between the most talented person in the world who does nothing, and the most enthusiastic person in the world who has no skills, no employer would choose talent without enthusiasm. We already know that you do have skills, so all you have to do now is show them that you’re the most enthusiastic person in the world.
Get Ready to Show Off
If you’re ready to show your enthusiasm, let’s find someone for you to show off to.