Reflecting Passion in an Interview

Hiring managers and recruiters are increasingly looking for candidates to demonstrate passion and excitement, but sometimes that can feel unnatural: your personality or the culture you grew up in can make it hard to speak loudly and at length about your achievements and interests.

To learn to convey passion in an interview, try starting with your “why.” Instead of telling hiring managers what you’ve done, begin by explaining your motivations — why you chose that activity — and the impact of your work. Also talk about instances where you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty, investing extra time in a project you cared about. Share your hobbies and volunteer work, too, especially if they connect to your field. Passion tends to spill over in all aspects of your life, not just what you do from 9-5. Remember, you don’t need to demonstrate your passion with full-throated, table-thumping behaviors. You just need to show the hiring manager that passion comes in different forms and yields impressive results, the kind of results you’ve already nailed.

Adapted from “How to Show You’re Passionate in a Job Interview,” by Sabrina Nawaz. Artist credit: HBR STAFF/DELMAINE DONSON/GETTY IMAGES⠀