I have been trying to observe some of the common factors in candidates that we picked in recent interviews where I participated as an interviewer. I will base this analysis on the few interviews where I was recently involved outside of my day job – for organisations where I sit on their boards. As further clarification on possible conflicts, I will not mention the organisations and will not reveal any names of candidates that were or were not successful in the interviews.
One of the key common factors that I found in the winning candidates was passion. Passion for the current job they have and also passion and serious interest in the job they are bidding for. What I saw was that candidates that had a lot of passion for their current job seemed to have a great mastery of what they do and they are very comfortable talking about experiences from their job.
By talking a lot about experiences from their current job, they were able to deal with any kind of interview question, including the very tough ones. When a tough question came, they quickly looked at how it relates to their current job and they would pull out an example and quickly answer the question, again with very clear passion. By using examples and experiences from their job, they became very authoritative as none of the interview panellists would have done the interviewee’s job and so there is no premise to challenge the candidate provided the candidate was authentic and sincere.
I also realised that passion sells very well to the panellists. All of us on the panel were unknowingly very happy and excited as the passionate candidates spoke. As the passionate candidates enjoyed their interview, they also made us enjoy the exercise as panellists. In some cases some panellists were almost already decided on very passionate candidates even before interviewing the rest of candidates. This should never happen and it is not allowed but in rare cases, this does really happen!
To confirm my hypothesis that passion can make you win, I experimented this on a friend who was going for a big public speaking contest last week. He was asking for winning tips. Among the few tips I had, I told him to focus on passion and sincerity. When he came back from the contest, he told me that he exceled and he testified that using passion worked for him and helped him to take his performance to another level.
Now, the question is: what do you need to do to be capable of winning job interviews through passion? First, remember that these passionate candidates do not start developing their passion in the interview room. They are possibly passionate about their job in the work place already. That is why they seem to be the most knowledgeable about their job. Love your job with all your heart. It is the only job you have at the moment and so you have every reason to love the job wholeheartedly. Have extreme passion for your job and work extremely hard while you enjoy it. Look for the things you like about your job as motivators for you to like the job.
As you work, try to keep linking the practice with any theories about your job. Be a little bit analytical about your job. This will help you to take your understanding of your job to the next level. Keep learning new techniques and new developments in your field and use them in the delivery of your job. Be dynamic and keep learning. With passion, you will be very happy to keep progressing with knowledge and learning on the job. If you keep doing this, your passion for the job will keep growing as well and when the day for an interview comes, that passion will show for itself. Still more, in the interview keep remembering to show your passion for the current job and passion for the job you are bidding for. This way, you too will rise and shine like the candidates I have seen crack job interviews through passion.