You just interviewed an enthusiastic and intelligent candidate who would be the perfect fit for your organization. You wanted to jump up and down in excitement, but instead you looked across the table feigning disinterest, saying “we’re considering other candidates, we’ll get back to you.” By not showing your excitement during the interview process, you believe you will be in a better “power position” later in the offer negotiation.

Actually, you’re at risk of losing out on a stellar candidate.

Disinterest just doesn’t fly: Employers believe that money is number one priority for candidates, for most job seekers, it’s actually third on the list behind corporate culture and growth potential.

The offer process swings significantly in the employer’s favor when the candidate walks away from the interview excited about the possibility of joining that team. They feel encouraged to join because the interview was so much fun and they enjoyed the people they met with.

Letting Down Your Guard – It’s Better For Negotiation

Showing true excitement for an employee goes a long way toward helping the counter-offer process too; their current employer, or other possible employers, will promise them the world to get them to stay. But when the candidate feels the enthusiasm from the new employer to bring them on, it’s what can truly get them to bat for your team.

I’ve had several instances of candidates expressing uncertainty about whether the hiring manager liked them, after an interview. When I follow up with the employer, I’m surprised to hear that they really liked the candidate and are excited to move them forward in the process. I have to immediately relay that energy to the candidate to help them know where they stand. They are shocked to hear that kind of feedback. Sometimes they buy it, but often they show little interest in moving forward in the process because something just “seemed off.”

When a candidate walks away from an interview feeling that the opportunity has been personalized to them, they are more likely to start picturing themselves in the role. We spend more of our waking hours at work than with family. When candidates believe they’re moving to a new opportunity where there was genuine excitement at the prospect of them coming on board, there’s a higher chance of them accepting your offer.

Have you experienced this as a recruiter or candidate? How did enthusiasm change the situation?