How Passion and Enthusiasm Give You an Edge During the Job Interview

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

If you’re like most people in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession, then you’re looking to gain an edge in your job and in your career. It could be that you’re looking to gain control of your career. You want to feel as though you’re in control of it and you are in charge.

But the big question is this one: how do you do that?

Well, let’s start with the fact that there are certain things you can influence and certain things that you can not influence. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on those things that you can influence. In fact, we’re going to focus on one specific thing—showing passion and enthusiasm.

As is often the case, I’m going to use a couple of real-life examples to make my point. I recently received feedback from a candidate following a face-to-face interview they had with one of my clients. That feedback was as follows:

“Thank you for putting me in touch with [the hiring manager]. My fingers are crossed! I would really like this job!”

Now, doesn’t that come across as passionate and enthusiastic? This person seems motivated and happy that they’re being considered for the position.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had another candidate who seemed much less enthusiastic about the same positon. She didn’t exhibit any passion or enthusiasm during the interview process. She kept saying that she was interested in the position, but the enthusiasm didn’t come through. She just didn’t seem excited about it.

And it might not surprise you to know that our client was more interested in the candidate who exhibited passion and who indicated that they really wanted the job.

What matters and what doesn’t

I’ve discussed before in previous newsletter articles and blog posts that your number-one goal during the interview process is to receive an offer of employment. It doesn’t matter if you 100% want the job or if 50% want the job. If you want the job at all, then your number-one goal should be to receive an offer of employment.

The reason is simple. You can always turn the offer down once you receive it. Just because an Animal Health or Veterinary employer makes an offer of employment to you does not mean you are obligated to accept it. All it means is that you have an option to consider. You can take the option or you can not take the option. However, what you absolutely can not do is take an option that doesn’t exist.

Your task as an Animal Health or Veterinary candidate in this job market is to receive as many offers as you can and then choose the one that’s best for you. Please notice that I did NOT say to accept an offer, only to renege on your decision later because another employer made a better offer at a later date. It’s good to create options and choose the best one. It’s not good to give your word and then go back on your word. It is simply not professional and not operating with integrity.

What matters is that you show enthusiasm and passion so that you receive an offer of employment. What doesn’t matter is that you’re crazy-in-love with the job and the prospect of working for the organization. Remember, if you feel that you’re not crazy-in-love, then you can always reject the offer if the offer is made to you.

A matter of personal branding

The topic of showing passion and enthusiasm is also a matter of personal branding, another topic I’ve addressed before. Personal branding is very important in today’s marketplace. Even though it’s currently a candidates’ driven job market and candidates have more options, you should still strive to brand yourself as positively as you can.

There are a couple of reasons for this, besides the one already mentioned regarding receiving an offer of employment. Those reasons are as follows:

#1—You might interview with the organization again for another position.

This is just one job. Employers typically fill multiple positions each and every year. There might be an opening in the future that you really want. However, the hiring manager or human resources representative could remember you from your previous interview and recall how you lacked passion and enthusiasm. Will they call you for an interview this time around? More than likely, they will not.

#2—You might interview with that same hiring manager at another employer.

People no longer stay at the same employer all of their life. This includes hiring managers. In a situation similar to the one above (with a small tweak), you might be very interested in a position that another employer is trying to fill. However, the hiring manager with whom you interviewed before is now working for this new employer. Once again, they could remember you from your previous interview and recall how you lacked passion and enthusiasm. Will they call you for an interview at this employer? Once again, more than likely, they will not.

The Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession are relatively small, and the future is a tricky thing. It’s tricky namely because you can’t predict it. You never know what will happen, and that’s why you must be prepared.

With that in mind, let’s pretend that you do show passion and enthusiasm during the interview. As a result, the hiring manager makes an offer of employment. Sadly, you must decline it. However, a few years from now, another opportunity arises, one that you really want. As luck would have it, the same hiring manager is deciding who to interview and who not to interview.

However, this time they recall you as being someone who was very passionate and enthusiastic. Will they call you for an interview? You bet they will. In their mind, they let you get away the first time, so now they’re determined to not let it happen again. (And just in case you’re wondering, even if you didn’t receive an offer the first time around, the hiring manager is still likely to call you for an interview based upon your previous personal branding efforts.)

Gain an edge in this current market. Show passion and show enthusiasm during the hiring process and especially during the interview stage of the process. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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