My first real interview in the workplace taught me something I still remember today.

After I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology, I had to find a job. One of my college roommates was in San Francisco attending the University of California Hastings Law School. He had a three bedroom apartment and needed one more roommate to fill it out. Another one of my college buddies was working in San Francisco at the Emporium/Capwell Department store and he said he could get me an interview for their executive trainee program. Being young, that’s all I needed to load up my MGB with my worldly possessions and drive south to my new home.

A few days before my interview my friend who worked at the Emporium asked me what I would say if the interviewer asked why I wanted to work in retail. I densely said “I need a job?” My buddy said “oh no, what you need to say is, I want to be in retail because it is a fast paced, ever changing, people business and I’m a people person”. I wrote that answer down on a piece of paper and practiced saying it over and over until my interview. Well, I had gone through almost the entire interview when at last the interviewer asked me “Why do you want to be in retail?” I was so excited the interviewer finally asked the question that my response was authentically exuberant and passionate.  The interviewer thought I was genuinely passionate about retail. In reality, it was because I was so happy he asked the one question I had so diligently practiced over and over again.

Regardless, the outcome was the same. The interviewer asked if I could begin work the following Monday. I believe enthusiasm and passion go much farther to getting a job than people may think.