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One of the rarest of confessions in the in-depth executive job interview is, “I want this job.”

hire meCandidates think they are saying it but what we usually hear is a response with varying degrees of getting close but never uttering the words to close the deal.

It is as if stating, simply and for the record, “I want this job and here is why I think you should hire me,” and provide two or three solid examples that relate to the client’s needs, is just way too uncool for those under 35 and too undignified for everyone else.

Sales trainers call this type of affirmation of interest closing the deal.  However you want to characterize this statement, it would be refreshing to hear this in a job interview.

This leads me to another important point: be prepared for each interview in the recruitment process.  As I have written before, it is amazing how many people convince themselves they are ready but their interview performance seems more like winging it.  Most external recruiters offer eight to 12 pages of summary information on the position.  A few firms, like our company, provide candidates with an in-depth comprehensive overview addressing the organization, its unique cultural profile, performance expectations, hurdles to achieve success, and how the successful candidate will be evaluated at the end of the first year.

Even with that much information many candidates are only marginally prepared to tell their story in a way that touches on the needs of the prospective employer.  They seem to ignore a lesson from college, that preparation leads to a better, more inspired performance, preferably with the confidence to make that aforementioned statement.

Don’t be that candidate.