Job Search Tips: Avoid Job Interview Desperation

Brett Hall, ECPI UniversityThis article was contributed by Brett Hall, Columbia Campus Director of Career Services

“I need a job. I’m desperate. I’ll do anything, I just need work. I apply and apply and have interviews but just can’t get a break. I’ll honestly do anything, I just need a job.”

Does this sound familiar? Have you said it yourself? There is a very good chance that this statement alone is what’s preventing you from “catching a break.” As much as the employment statisticians want to make us think unemployment is going down, that isn’t completely true. Are there more jobs available? Absolutely, the economy is improving and there are plenty of available jobs. However, there are a tremendous number of people that have simply stopped looking for work and just as many still searching. This skews the real number of job seekers out there. This is where the “I’ll do anything” job search method is hurting people.

With the number of available candidates to choose from, employers are simply not interested in someone that will “do anything” or “work anywhere.” This type of employee is also the first to quit the moment a better offer comes along. Employers don’t want someone that will take any job that is offered to them. Employers are interested in candidates that are specifically looking to work for them, not just anyone with a job to offer.

After more than 15 years as a recruiter and career counselor, I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve sent someone out to an employer for an interview only to get this feedback: “Well, they were very personable and seemed like they could do the job but they came across as desperate to work anywhere. I’m only interested in someone that really wants to work HERE, not just anywhere.”

The best advice I can give is that before you go in for that interview, research the employer, get to know who they are, their mission statement and what they do, that way when you go in, you will better communicate that you really want to work for THEM, not just anyone.

If they see you as desperate, they don’t see you as a solid hire; all they see is someone that will jump ship at the first offer of a dollar more an hour or a more flexible schedule. If you aren’t genuinely interested in them, why should they be in you? There are tons of other candidates out there. To a manager, a loyal, informed, and motivated candidate is a long-term employee. Be that candidate.

STOP ACTING DESPERATE! Even if you are, it’s not a trait of a good potential employee and will only hurt your chances of being hired. Be informed, prepared, and ready to show them you are the best candidate for the job.