Imagine this scenario; you’re out at a bar, and someone catches your eye. They come over, you have a brief discussion and agree to have dinner together the following evening. You feel pretty good about yourself and look forward to the occasion and the potential it holds.
After some friendly banter at dinner, you ask them to describe what they are looking for in a partner, to which they reply “I’ll date anyone right now, I’m not that fussy. I’d be happy with anyone I can find”. Leaving you feeling particularly un-special, it would have to rate up there with one of the worst things to say on a date. So why, given the similarities between a date and a job interview, do so many candidates voice the same attitude?
Whenever I interview an applicant, I always ask them what kind of role they are looking for, before divulging the full details of the position we are recruiting. The reason for this is very simple; I want someone who WANTS the kind of position we have vacant, not someone who will take any job going (until something better comes along). In my experience this is one of the greatest contributing factors to longevity in a role.
So what should you say?
In two words, the truth. When you attend a job interview, you should already have some information on the position. Make sure it is the kind of position you are genuinely looking for, so that you can honestly say it is exactly what you are after, and why. You will always get more traction in the application process if the interviewer can sense a genuine passion for what it is you do, and how you see that passion applying to the specific position in question.
I have, on a great number of occasions, had applications from the same candidate within minutes of each other, for completely different roles. If you are applying for a customer service role paying $45,000 and a greenfield BDM role with a $90,000 base, chances are you may not be successful in getting an interview for either.
Pick the role you really want (that is best suited to you) then make the strongest case you can for why you want that specific role and why you are the best person for it.