Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Land a Job

I get to know a little about the factors that become important in some hiring decisions that are made in my company. At this time of year, I imagine those of you who graduated high school or college with the intent of starting your careers are out, applying and interviewing for jobs. No matter what position you're going for, I've found that one thing can really help you catch the attention of hiring managers: Enthusiasm!

I've seen it more than once: the competition may be more experienced, but the job goes to the interviewee who exhibits excitement about the possibility of getting the position. I think this is because the right kind of excitement suggests to managers that you'll be honored to have the position, and you'll do everything you can to prove you deserve it, even after you're hired. You'll be an eager learner, you'll bring contagious energy, and you'll care. As someone who's tried to motivate employees that just don't care, I can tell you it's a nightmare. I tell my team at work that, as long as they're trying and they care, we can overcome other performance issues.

How do you show enthusiasm in an interview without breaking out the pompoms?
Sit up straight.
Do your homework. Know about the position and the company so you can mention what you know in the interview and talk about how your skills fit this job.
Get dressed up for that interview. If you see other people with the position, dress a little nicer then how they dress on a day-to-day basis.
Avoid speaking in monotone. You don't want to chirp and coo like you're trying to win over a puppy, but you shouldn't sound like a professor bent on putting the pit to sleep, either.
Ask questions about what is expected of the person they hire. If you can't think of any, there are plenty of resources that can give you some universal questions you can apply to most interviews. Just make sure the ones you pick are ones you actually want to know the response to.

The good news is, if you're applying for the right position, this enthusiasm should come pretty naturally. If you're not excited at the possibility of working in a job, here's my advice: Don't apply for it.

1 comment:

  1. Several people I've talked to say nobody knows how to dress for a job interview anymore. They say even if you're just dropping off an application, dress decently and neatly. Even if it's just for a daycare or grocery store, I've learned dressing for the occasion definitely earns points.