Not getting past the interview stage? Maybe no one likes you!

A story on enthusiasm and how it goes a long way.

interview process diagram

I’m writing this blog from my experiences as a recruiter. Over the years I have developed quite a good idea of how an applicant should behave to get to the next round in the application process.
You employ people that you like. For some job seekers, this is probably a harsh truth, and you are now probably scratching your head wondering not only why you are unemployed, but why no one likes you! Have no fear, I’m not here to be the provider of pessimism, I’m actually here to give you some insight to what recruiters and employers look for in candidates in the interview stage.

If you are getting ’employed’ into a business, fair chance that the company want to keep you for more than a short term project. They are looking for more than your skills, they are looking at the person you are. They like you from your application and have now called you in for an interview. Everyone says on their application that they are hardworking, enthusiastic, honest, etc (and if you don’t, you should start including them!) but the interview is the chance for the company to look you in the eyes and see that you are the real deal that you promoted yourself to be.
Enthusiasm starts from the moment you start reading a job post. Do you really feel passionate for this role, or are you just applying because you need an income? In Australia, it’s easier to secure a job if you already have a job. That is crazy right? What about all the unemployed who NEED the job! Enthusiasm is the key factor and it begins from the day you being applying. The person who is already employed and is just seeking a bigger and better opportunity and has nothing to lose takes time to research the company and discover within themselves the motivation behind why they WANT that role. They don’t want that role because they just want any job, and that does show in their application.
Are you the type of person who spends 2 hours job seeking, every night, sending your resume out to hundreds of companies and wondering why you never get a call back? It is quality over quantity when applying to positions. The already-employed job seekers that I mentioned earlier are clever, they will take 2 hours to apply to just one position, but it truly works in their favour.

If you are the person who sends your applications out to hundreds of companies and just hopes for positive responses, then consider the other side of the fence.
As a recruiter, I receive many applications from candidates who have an obvious copy/paste effort. Where my positions advertised clearly state “our client seeks candidates who……” and you think sending me an application that says “I want to work in YOUR company because it suits me….” is working in your favour? The harsh truth is that the rest of the application will already be perceived in a negative light by me. Why would you expect me to take the time to read your application when you clearly haven’t even read our job ad?

Now hey, don’t start hating me because of what I’m saying, I’m one of the good guys, I’m here to help if you wish to read on.
I mention recruiters specifically because if you can’t even get yourself in the door of a recruitment agency, you are going to struggle to convince a direct company that you are worth their time. As a recruiter, I can tell you that the memorable people are those with enthusiasm. Even candidates from years ago I remember; the characteristic that keeps the lasting impression is their enthusiasm.

Using the example of copy/paste applications that I mentioned before, let’s discuss the right way to do it. As a recruiter with my name as the contact person, I can expect the phone to ring, and I want it to! I love it when people call to discuss why they are suited for the role and how enthusiastic they are. It means when I get off the phone from them, I am expecting their application to come through shortly after and I will read it with much keener eyes twice over, simply because I know they are keen for the role and are a good match. Otherwise, a typical application is only looked at for about 10 seconds. Enthusiasm is so important in these early stages and it is something that you should carry through with you because you WANT the role you applied for, not because you feel the need to apply to 10 positions every evening. Motivation comes from within you, and it is up to you to let me be known in your application process.

If you don’t know the dictionary definitions for both Motivation and Enthusiasm, then I suggest you go have a look, because they might be the most important words you need to secure your dream job!

Everyone has a ‘personal brand,’ that unique flare that makes them different from the next candidate that walks in the door. Employers want you to blend into their culture and become a team player. If you are enthusiastic and passionate about your field of work, then show it from the moment you have your job interview and maintain it throughout your working life. Synergies can form when dynamic and enthusiastic professionals come together to work. Don’t hide your passion and enthusiasm for your work. Employers can teach certain skills, but they cannot teach these personal traits. Be the kind of person that you would want to meet. Be the person that companies want to employ!


If you still feel you could use some help on getting through a job interview or on how to brand yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us for job training or career coaching. We are more than happy to help you get through that job application process and into that dream job!