Just how much do you REALLY want that dream job?

Just how much do you REALLY want that dream job?

I have to confess that there is one reality TV program that I watch –  American Idol. In fact I am sure I have already identified the winner for Season 11 – but I will keep that prediction to myself for now!

When the show first began many years ago, deep down I used to wish I was a contestant. But today I actually think I would rather be a judge. I would still get to be on television, and there would be no better opportunity to demonstrate all my recruitment and selection skills in front of a world audience!

But seriously…

As a recruiter (and as a manager hiring people for my own teams over the years), I could very quickly determine just how much someone really wanted a job. Competency-based or behavioural-based interview questions aside, whenever I asked a candidate how much they wanted the job in question, that was when I would either see the real passion in their eyes, or when I would understand that they were just going through the motions and that my role was probably just one on a long list of potential opportunities in the mix.

Then I would decide which of my candidates was really worth representing.

Last week when the Idol judges told a group of contestants that they had made it into the “Top 24”, I couldn’t believe just how emotional some of them got. In fact many of them shed more tears than those contestants who were told that their “Idol dream” was over.

I remember what it was like having to tell candidates that they weren’t successful. Some would react with a simple “OK thanks for letting me know, Paul”, while others would get very emotional upon hearing the news. But what was even more important to me was when I would initially describe a potential new job to a candidate, and I could see the excitement building up in their eyes, and often they had to try really hard not to come across as too enthusiastic about going for their dream job.

Recruiters don’t really want to deal with candidates who are “neither here nor there” when it comes to hearing that they’ve been unsuccessful.

For some candidates, being told by a recruiter that they have made it on to the shortlist for an amazing role, is equivalent to an Idol hopeful being told they’ve got a spot in “Hollywood week”. It’s one step closer to their dream …

If you’re a candidate being represented for a new role, you need to ask yourself how badly you want it. If you’re told you’ve been unsuccessful, will you just get on with your day, or will the words eat away inside you?

If you’re not all that fussed either way, then you’re probably taking another contestant’s place in the “Top 12” and preventing someone else who really does want it, from the chance at interviewing for their dream job.

And as a recruiter or hiring manager, you probably want to meet with candidates who get more emotional when you tell them they’ve got a second interview, than candidates who simply walk away non-phased by the news that they haven’t made the shortlist.

So don’t audition unless you really want the record deal!


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