Do You Really Really Want The Role?


Having spent the last five years supporting students to gain Work Integrated Learning placements I have seen thousands of students gain successful placements.

I have also seen many students gain constructive interview feedback and this has enabled me to draw a pretty solid conclusion about what makes a successful candidate.

Add to this plenty of conversations with HR and Graduate Managers and it seems there is a common denominator amongst those candidates who are not successful – they just do not want it enough. 

Now having spoken to many students I know this is not true for all. 

Many are very excited and eager to start their careers and gain their first placement or job. However for many it seems this is not translating into their interview and they are giving the impression that they just don’t want the role enough.

So how can you show that you really REALLY want the role you are interviewing for? Here are five easy tips to follow to give you an edge in a competitive market!

Check your facial expressions

This sounds like a simple one but have a think about the facial expressions you are showing in the interview. Many people when nervous revert to a frown or an anxious expression. This can come across in an interview as negative body language and show the interviewer that you are not excited about the role.

Try filming yourself in a mock interview and see how your facial expressions are portraying you.

Follow up with a thank you letter

So you have had a great interview, you are excited about the role and you leave the interview and just wait for the interviewer to ring you? Wrong.

If you have loved the interview and you are excited to join the company then you need to share this with the company by following up with a thank you letter. Not only is it good manners to thank them for their time but it also differentiates you from every other person they have interviewed and reiterates to them that you are super interested and excited about the role. It is such a simple action that in my experience will correlate with an offer.

Prepare, and then prepare some more

Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” and I wholeheartedly agree with this. There really is no excuse for candidates not to be prepared for their interview and if you are turning up to an interview without ample preparation then in my opinion the role is not deserved.

Researching the company, the interviewer and their competitors should be the minimum for each interview and I would recommend spending at least two hours preparing for each interview. A candidate who has done this is easily recognisable and shows the interviewer that you are eager and excited about the role.

Be positive throughout the process

Whether you are dealing with a recruiter, internal HR or a Placement Consultant you should be positive throughout the entire recruitment process.

This key contact will be your advocate throughout the process and it might be down to them to recommend you for the role over another candidate. Make sure that every interaction you have is both positive and professional. If they leave you a message make sure you call back straight away. Always be friendly and energetic and do not be negative in any way.  

Be humble and realistic

Whatever your future career expectations are, everyone needs to start somewhere. This "somewhere" may not necessarily be where you envisioned yourself to start, yet if you view it as an opportunity and a chance to grow then you will grow as a professional who is starting your career.

I once worked with a lovely accounting graduate who had spent two years after graduating chasing an Assistant Accountant role. She told me she was adamant that she wanted to go straight into this role and she wouldn’t settle for any less. She was going for interviews for accounts payable and receivable roles but kept on being turned down as in the interviews she told the interviewer really she was interested in Assistant Accountant roles.

For two years this pattern continued until she decided to change her attitude, became excited for an accounts payable role and used this as a starting point in her career. Eighteen months later she had been promoted to an assistant accountant role.

If you really want a particular role, whether a Work Integrated Learning placement or job, then you really need to show it. Following the above steps will help you display your genuine interest in the role and company, and set you up for success.

Have you got a role in mine that you REALLY REALLY want, speak to one of our consultants about the internships and industry placements available. 

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