Another secret to landing your dream job in the US (or at a US firm) is showing your passion.
Now this may come as a surprise to a lot of international people. They often wonder when I tell them this why it matters. Why do I have to show my passion? And also…what is my passion?
In many cases, this is a cultural difference that can get lost in translation.
In the US, especially in recent years, showing one’s passion has become almost a requirement for the job search. Whereas in the past, just giving your experience and your qualifications was enough, nowadays you have to be “passionate.”
Passionate and enthusiastic!
Let me explain the why and then I’ll tell you how.
Here’s why: Companies nowadays consider a passionate employee to be an incredibly valuable asset for a simple reason. Passion means self-motivation, dedication, and endless energy for the task. If you’re passionate, you will always go the extra mile. A passionate employee will do everything for the mission of the company. They’re driven harder to succeed and in many cases, they will work harder than a standard employee.
Passion is something that can’t be taught or trained, but it drives performance and gets better results. It gives the team, the manager, the whole organization the edge they think they need.
Here’s an article that goes into more detail:
So that’s the why. What about the how? How do you show that you’re passionate and enthusiastic to an interviewer?
The truth is that you might have to fake it a little. What I mean by that is that the way we show emotion in American culture might be different from in your country. You might have to state it more directly and openly than you’re used to. Say something like: “I really love what you guys are doing in the area of social media marketing. Since I was in college, I’ve been a huge fan of your product and how you engage your audience. It’s really inspiring to me and I’ve been spending a lot of time researching and studying how you do it!”
Notice all the “emotional words.” I “love.” It’s inspiring. I’m a huge fan. Etc.
You don’t have to say these things with all the affect and exaggeration of an American, but it’s a good idea to state it out loud and directly.
Another important tip is to research the mission, the background, the challenges, and any details you can find that you could express excitement about. In a previous blog, I explained why research is so important (). In this case, you need to use it to find topics and aspects of the company that you can align with in a passionate way. “I watched a video interview with your CEO / head of the department, and I really resonated with what she was saying about UI/UX design. It’s exactly how I feel about it, and I’d love to contribute to that mission here.”
If you come from a culture that favors indirect communication and subtle expressions of emotion, think about ways you can show your positive feeling, passion, and inspiration. This will give you some powerful leverage in interviews as well as in meetings, presentations, and more!