by Denise Felder  

At a recent job fair, I had a conversation with a few employers that sounded very similar to conversations that I’ve had with other employers over the years. All employers — whether hiring for part-time, entry-level, high level or specialized positions — say the same thing; The Number One thing employers look for in a job candidate, apart from their qualifications, is ENTHUSIASM.


If a job applicant does not seem interested or excited about applying for a job or interviewing, then an employer concludes that person will not be motivated to work for them. A motivated employee means a productive employee – and enthusiasm in a workplace can be contagious.


I know it can sometimes be difficult to continually get excited about meeting employers after being turned down for several jobs or denied interviews. But you can’t blame the next prospective employer for the way a past employer treated you. Plus, the ability to adapt to the unexpected is something employers value.


From the time that you send in your resume or application to the final interview, make sure the employer knows that you are excited about the idea of working for their company. You didn’t apply because you were looking for any job, you want that job.


Ways To Show Enthusiasm:

  • Dress appropriately when filling out applications, and for job interview. From head to toe, you should look appropriate for that workplace.
  • Body language. Stand and sit tall, smile, keep eye contact, and have a firm handshake.
  • Ask questions in the interview about the company and the position. Your questions should show your knowledge of the industry, and that you can picture yourself performing well in that job.
  • Talk about how your skills and experiences will fit the job. Use details.
  • Follow up after the interview. Send a thank you e-mail within 48 hours after the interview.
  • Be friendly and courteous to everyone at the company, including the people in the lobby and at the front desk.


Employers are looking for hidden clues to find out if a job seeker will be a good fit at their company – and they often ask the receptionist if he or she liked a candidate’s attitude. So be confident, be friendly – and good luck!

2 thoughts on “Employers Are Looking for Shiny, Happy People

  1. A number of years ago I needed to wait in the lobby for about 20 minutes before being interviewed. I had a lovely conversation with the receptionist and she remarked that I would fit in just fine at this organization. She was right and I did for a number of years. Receptionists have a keen sense of who fits and who doesn’t. They are often the first to speak to a potential employee, vendor or other visitor and quickly will sum up whether the person belongs. Be genuine when you walk in.


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