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Why passion is overrated

David Goodrem
career advice - why is passion overrated

I recently read an article in The Weekly Review in which Mark Bouris, the highly successful business icon in the financial services sector, talks about how he hates the word passion.

Mark said the word passion is "overused" "doesn't mean anything" and that he knew "plenty of people who are passionate about all sorts of ridiculous things and ideas, it doesn't mean they end up getting there in terms of business. People tend to rely on their passion, but don't have anything to back it up. What's more substantive is actually having knowledge about your marketplace and knowing how to then work it."

The comments he made are relevant to job seekers. Although passion can be a valuable tool for displaying energy and enthusiasm for a role, common feedback from clients is that the candidate lacked substance, if they are unable to clearly articulate their experience.

Successful candidates are those who combine their passion with a detailed message outlining their experience, key achievements and suitability for the position. The following key steps will help you deliver a result and ensure you bring more than just passion to your next interview:

  • Prepare by researching the organisation, understanding the scope of the role and knowing where you are going and who you are meeting.
  • Be clear why you want the job, why you are looking to move on from your current employer, and why this particular opportunity attracts you.
  • Know key reasons why they should hire you. Be confident about the value you can add to the business. This is often best illustrated by articulating key achievements in past roles.
  • Anticipate potential Behavioral Based Interview questions which will require you to draw on past experience and describe specific examples of events that demonstrate your competence. The most effective way of answering these types of questions is to use the following technique:
  1. SITUATION - What was the specific situation? Give an example that happened in the past.
  2. PROCESS - What was the process you went through to resolve the situation?
  3. OUTCOME - What was the outcome or result you achieved and what were your learning's?
  • Have a list of questions to ask. Asking well thought questions is a way to let the interviewer know that you are interested in the role and the company.

Passion and energy will make that great first impression yet it will be thorough preparation and the communication of a clear message that will leave that strong lasting impression which will ultimately deliver success.