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How to Seem Excited About a Position During an Interview

by Catherine Lovering

In a competitive job market, employers are looking for the full package. You can get ahead in the interview process by showing you are not only qualified, but that you want the position. Demonstrating excitement is a challenge for many. This can be overcome with some prep work and a focus on personal engagement with the interviewer.

Know Your Stuff

A good interview should be an engaging conversation. Do your part by having something to talk about. Research the company's work and their recent challenges in the marketplace. Even if you do not use this information directly, you will be informed enough to know where the interviewer's questions are coming from. This will prevent you from having a "deer caught in the headlights" look when the recruiter asks you for insights related to your job.

Back It Up

Most interviewees can make empty assertions, such as "I am a team player," but such comments should have substance for you to stand out. To show enthusiasm, connect your experience to the job. State instead that you participated in team-building exercises that are similar to those promoted by the company you are applying to work for, and found them effective. Continue by expressing enthusiasm for developing the next generation of those exercises when you get the job.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Part of showing excitement is making it about the company and not about you. Ask intelligent, open-ended questions that let the recruiter talk about the organization and its challenges. For example, ask, "I note the share price has increased in recent weeks, which indicates success. Has the implementation of the new product line gone as you expected?" This shows interest in the company and knowledge of its recent movements.

Use Body Language

How you move in an interview can be as important as what you say. Use positive nonverbal cues to show interest in the job. Smile, make eye contact and use a firm handshake. During the conversation, lean in slightly to demonstrate you are listening and engaged. Encourage the interviewer by nodding slightly as she speaks. If you are speaking to several interviewers, be sure to look at everyone as you are answering a question.

Say Thanks

A thank you note is more than a courtesy. It shows genuine interest in the position. Format options include a quick email, voicemail or thank-you card. To show sincere enthusiasm and excitement, consider a handwritten thank-you card delivered in person to the office. If you are leaving the note at reception, remember to be kind to everyone you encounter. They may pass on their impressions of you.

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