Questions about your interest in a position are common at the early stages of the marketing recruitment and interview process. The way you respond could mean the difference between landing the job of your dreams, or missing out on the perfect career move without even realizing it.

Any time you get a call from recruiting firms for marketing, it could be about the perfect job of your dreams. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to make it far enough into the interview process to truly understand the nature of the business and the position. But you’ll never make it to that point if you can’t convince your interviewers you’re serious about the role.

Keeping the Best Doors Open

If you’re genuinely very excited about the prospect of a new job, then the answer is simple and should come naturally. Perhaps you’re between jobs for whatever reason and eager to get back into the workforce, or have hit a ceiling for your personal and professional growth at your current employer. Regardless, you should find it easy to earnestly and convincingly explain your interest in the position.

However, it’s considerably more difficult to show meaningful curiosity when you’re in a more comfortable life stage. Imagine you’re in a great job at a company you love, but you’re smart enough to know that it’s always wise to keep your mind open to new career opportunities. The situation gets even more complicated early on in the interview process, when you don’t know enough details about the gig’s responsibilities, compensation, the business’s needs, etc.

The Optimal Strategy for Passive Talent

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How can you show a potential employer that you’re worth their time even when you don’t really need the job, while acknowledging there’s more you need to learn before making a decision?

The solution is really as simple as honestly expressing your stance. But it’s important to clearly and adamantly position yourself in a way that leaves no doubt that you’re interested enough that you would seriously consider making a career move for the right opportunity.

It’s far too easy to come off as apathetic or indifferent to the interviewer and position. Responding to questions about your interest with responses like “I’m not sure” or “I’m pretty comfortable in my current job” is a quick way to get removed from consideration. Instead, simply rephrase your position like this:

  • “I don’t know enough about the role to be sure it’s right for me, but I’m excited to learn more about the job and your business needs.”
  • “I’m in a good spot at my current role, but I’m definitely intrigued enough to hear more.”
  • “As someone who’s always open to career growth opportunities, I’m definitely interested in positions like this.”
  • “I’ve heard great things about this company and am certainly open to considering a spot like this here.”
  • “I’d need clarification on some key details, but this definitely sounds like a job I could see myself in.”

Remember, interviews that are done right don’t come cheap for businesses. Devoting an appropriate amount of time from key stakeholders to be hiring managers and interview panelists is expensive. They can’t afford to commit resources to disinterested candidates. If you can’t muster up at least a cursory amount of interest in the job, then why should they show any more interest in you?

Don’t put all the responsibility to sell the job on your interviewer. They have a duty to pose the opportunity in a way that’s appealing to strong candidates. But likewise, you’re expected to meet them halfway and generate some enthusiasm yourself.

Staying True to Yourself

It’s entirely acceptable not to be head-over-heels in love with every job opening that comes across your radar. We only have so much attention to go around, and if you’re already in a good position it can be hard to muster constant enthusiasm. After all, many of those jobs will actually end up not being a smart choice for you.

Likewise, it’s unnecessary to lie and fake interest in a job that you don’t know much about. It’s OK to acknowledge reservations to interviewers and recruitment firms for marketing. The trick is to emphasize that you’re interested enough to learn more about the position.

If you’ve made it as far as the interview, this is the most logical strategy. After all, if you genuinely don’t have any interest in the gig at this point; why are you even here? You’re just wasting your own time! In that case, you should just politely decline the interview offer.

However, if you have any interest at all, then it’s important to make that clear. Remember, you don’t have to make any commitments until you sign the contract. There’s plenty of time to back out for any reason at all. You have nothing to lose, and potentially everything to gain.