Throughout my career I have interviewed thousands of candidates for all sorts of jobs.
Most of these people tried their best to communicate to me why they were the most skilled or qualified candidate for the role, however, the majority missed the most important quality I needed to know in my employment decision.

Are they genuinely enthusiastic about the job opportunity and working for my business or client?

People are not aware that most of the time, employers don't just want the most purely skilled or qualified candidate for the vacancy, they are also seeking the candidate that is best aligned with the internal culture of their business. Skills you can teach, however, someone who has a genuine passion for the job, organisation and / or industry, is worth their weight in gold to an employer.

Best Candidate?

Throughout my time as a business owner, I have never hired anyone that I didn't feel was enthusiastic about the role I was offering. I don't want to have to work on a daily basis with someone who is "just there for the money".


On many occasions I have employed a new staff member who may not have been the most skilled candidate of the bunch. However, they successfully communicated to me their desire to work for my company and demonstrated a genuine passion to learn and upskill as quickly as possible.

For example, if I had two candidates for a vacancy, one who was 90 per cent skilled and the other who was 70 per cent skilled for the role, conventional wisdom would state that I would employ the first candidate. However, what if the first candidate was only 20 per cent motivated and enthusiastic for my opportunity, while the second candidate was 100 per cent motivated and enthusiastic?

The overall scores would quickly reverse if the second candidate could assure me that they could improve their skill level over the short to medium term.

Why do you want to work here?

Don't be afraid to talk about the research you have undertaken in regard to the business and industry too. This demonstrates you are not just interested in the job but are also keen for further career development opportunities as they present themselves over the long term.

As a candidate, enthusiasm is a major part of your unique value proposition. While other applicants may be able to demonstrate more competency across a range of skills or tasks, or promote higher-level learning than you possess, demonstrating your enthusiasm for the job, organisation or industry (hopefully all three) will ensure you move to the top of the pile during the interview process.

Remember, however, if you can't drum up enthusiasm for the role, company or industry, you shouldn't really be applying.

Contact Tom to be your personal career coach. Visit to find out more.