You Need to be Enthusiastic — to Get a Job and to Flourish In It.

Enthusiasm — that strong feeling of excitement about something — is really important when it comes to landing your dream job and then doing well once you’re in it.  This article suggests that enthusiasm is the most important key to a successful job interview.

I like the way the article is written — from a hiring manager to an unsuccessful candidate.  This piece of advice is very helpful…

The interview is where you show me your enthusiasm for the opportunity–THIS opportunity, not just any opportunity. I already know that you have the qualifications, that you have some transferable skills: your resume, letter and our phone conversation already confirmed this. In the interview I don’t need you to refer me to your resume and to reinforce what I already know about you. What I do need you to do is convince me that you are the best person because of the way this job sparks you up.

I once lost a job because I came across as less than enthusiastic in the interview.  I remember the situation well.  The interview was with the two partners who founded a consulting firm.  I was living in New York City at the time and the interview was in Stamford CT, a short train ride away.  During that train ride I planned out my approach to the interview.  It was simple.  I decided that I would take a “We’re all accomplished professionals here, let’s talk about my experience and qualifications.  Let’s be cool.”

I didn’t get the job.  The recruiter called me later and said that the partners were very interested in me — that I had been their leading candidate going into the round of interviews.  But they felt that I didn’t have the drive and passion they were looking for.  So they hired another less qualified candidate.

This was an eye opener for me.  I learned that playing it cool is not the way to go in interviews.  The irony here is that I was very enthusiastic about the job and company.  The opportunity was exactly what I wanted.  I blew it because I decided to be cool.  I’ve never made that mistake again.

Let’s go one step further in our discussion of enthusiasm.  Once you land a job you need to demonstrate your enthusiasm all over.  You need to dig in and hit the ground running (how’s that for a couple of clichés?)  But clichés become clichés for a reason — there is a fundamental underlying truth to them.  Show up early, stay late, volunteer for projects, learn all about your new company and the industry.  Show the people around you that you really care.

A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to cut back on the travel that came with my consulting business.  I created a career coaching practice and began teaching at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver who has one of the top executive MBA programs.  The first quarter I began teaching, I had the opportunity to teach two sections of the same class.  One met from 10:00 to 12:00, the other met from 8:00 — 10:00 in the evening on the same days.  I said that I would be happy to teach both sections.  This made for a long day.  But, I impressed the head of the Management Department with my willingness to take on such a schedule.

I spent a lot of time on campus that quarter.  I used it to meet other faculty in the Management Department and to network with the head of the Professional and Executive MBA program.  I also got involved with a couple of student organizations and the College’s mentoring program.

The result?  I’m now teaching in both the full time and professional MBA programs.  I was even invited to be the faculty speaker at a recent commencement.  All of this came because of my enthusiasm for becoming a member of the Daniels community.

The common sense point here is simple.  If you want to succeed — in a job interview, and once you’ve landed a job you need to be enthusiastic.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to  to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals.  I hope to see you there.


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