“I just wasn’t convinced that she wanted to work with our company.”
We had got to know the candidate, Jenny, over the course of the past three weeks. She was desperate to leave her current job because her favorite long-term client had relocated to Singapore and her agency was pressuring her to relocate. She didn’t want to leave Hong Kong but staying would mean working with clients in a different sector, which did not appeal.
This new position ticked all the boxes – multinational agency, step up from her current role, a 10% increase in pay, and it was based in Hong Kong. She was perfectly placed to get the job and keen to make the change. So, what happened at the interview? She forgot to show enthusiasm.
Showing enthusiasm during an interview is a balancing act. If the scale is cold fish at one end, and cheerleader at the other end, the ideal place to fall is right in the middle. You can demonstrate your enthusiasm, professionally, in the following ways:
Do your research
The more you know about the company, the culture, and the clients the more the interviewer will see that your interest in the company (and the job) is real. So do your homework – read the website, scan the news for any recent announcements, and check out your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. Prepare a list of smart questions about the business to ask to show that you care about their business and have something of substance to contribute.
Look the part
It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make a first impression – so make sure you put your best foot forward. In Hong Kong, this doesn’t necessarily mean donning a suit and heels/tie (depending on your style preference), although in other markets a suit is a must. In Hong Kong you can afford to be a bit more casual so long as you look neat and smart and feel comfortable. Beyond clothing, eye contact, and interested body language throughout the interview will show that you are listening, engaged and keen to hear about them, the company and the role.
Don’t leave them wondering
Quite often a company needs to hear those three little words; “I want it!”. Statements like “what I’ve heard today about the role and company is really exciting. I’d love to be part of the team and think I can add real value in the role,” will remove any doubt of your intention. After the interview, you could also write the interviewer an email to thank them for their time and the discussion. This is the perfect place to reiterate your interest in the role and reemphasize any points that came up during the conversation. The key to a successful follow up email is brevity – keep it short and simple.
With these tips and techniques, there will be no doubt as to whether you’d like to work for this company. And that’s one important hurdle cleared on the way to securing your next great role.