How to Show You're Passionate in a Job Interview

By Harvard Business Review
August 29, 2019

To succeed, you need to figure out how to convey what matters most to you. Here are some techniques to not get overlooked.

Passion isn’t the only predictor of a great job candidate, but hiring managers seek it out. To succeed in your next job interview, convey what matters most to you.

Here’s how to demonstrate passion when you’re up for a job:

START WITH YOUR WHY: Instead of saying what you’ve done, begin by explaining your motivations — why you chose that activity — and the impact of your work. Alex, a young coder, liked to build software applications because he believed that technology equalizes access for everyone. His motivation to pursue coding was personal, which fueled his passion.

DISCUSS WHERE YOU INVEST EXTRA TIME: An exceptional candidate tells interviewers about when and where he went above and beyond. During his senior year of college, Alex would hide under a table in the computer lab when it closed at night so he could stay and continue coding.

SHARE YOUR HOBBIES: When you’re passionate about something, it often seeps into other aspects of your life. During a job interview, Alex showed videos of the robots he’d built in his spare time — projects that demonstrated his commitment to his field.

TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU’VE WORKED FOR FREE: Passion can inspire work on something even when it’s not part of your job. At his interview, Alex told a story about helping to feed homeless people at a shelter. The shelter would scramble to feed everyone during the allotted time, so Alex coded a program that increased serving efficiency — a volunteer effort that made a difference.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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