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Got rejected for a job

After four rounds of interviews--I was the last one standing aside from one other candidate. I actually got feedback from the interviewee, who said that I was a strong candidate but it boiled down to my not having enough "passion" for the importance of the role.

I am a naturally low-key, soft spoken person. I thought I was being passionate and showing how much I cared about the role. Guess not. So, how do I fake it? I'm a naturally shy person and being loud and "on" doesn't come easily to me. Help?

(And no, they didn't mean "passion" as in make love to the interviewer during the roundtable.)


by I hate my personality sometimesreply 4304/24/2013

I'm like you, I refuse to drink the cool-aid.

It's their loss.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 104/24/2013

Getting to know the difference between interviewee and interviewer is a start.

You don't want a company to think you'll end up sending someone through the wrong door.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 204/24/2013

The job process is such bs now, who knows what they mean. PS: They expect you to have "passion" if you stock grocery store shelves these days as well.

Don't take it personally, OP. If there is a decent person out there hiring, they will recognize you are decent, too.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 304/24/2013

OP at that point of the interview, when it is between two people, it boils down to relate-ability.

Who the person will relate to the most, who they have a connection to. Who they think is the best fit for them as a co-worker.

Skills, ability, experience. It doesn't matter at that point. Who they liked the most personally will get the job.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 404/24/2013

OP, They were bullshitting you. "Passion" is subjective. It is an easy out for them as it cannot be measured and it would be impossible to contest. No company is going to give you honest feedback. That would give you something concrete that you could, in turn, sue them. Just ignore the comment and move on.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 504/24/2013

Passion is a current workplace buzzword. A former supervisor's self-proclaimed "passion" was records management. When she moved to a position in a different area, what do you know if her "passion" suddenly changed to that. Your problem was forgetting to check your integrity at the door.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 604/24/2013

Get over yourself, OP. Try harder next time. You can't expect people to respond to a lack of enthusiasm.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 704/24/2013

I meant interviewer. Sorry, typo tiaras...I was typing fast.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 804/24/2013

Here's your passion...

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 904/24/2013

[quote]I actually got feedback from the interviewee

Do you talk to yourself often? This might be why they didn't hire you.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1004/24/2013

The word "passion" is bullshit, anyway, for workplace shenanigans. Who is going to have true "passion" for bean counting or 99% of the crap people have to do to make a living? The interview process is bullshit because faking it is part of the name of the game. Who has genuine enthusiasm about working for some rumdum company just so you can pay your bills?

TRUE passion is either there or it is not. And will come out in an interview in one form or another. You really don't want to work anywhere where you have to be phony or fake your enthusiasm, do you? Every cup finds its saucer. That place was not the right fit for you. But there is one out there.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1104/24/2013

Yeah I'm a little unclear on this too. I get that employers want someone enthusiastic about a particular job or company but that's not the same as passion for the actual day to day work. If you go into an interview and talk about your passion for, say, accounting aren't they gonna know you're full of shit? It just seems so disingenuous and phony to me that I have a hard time believing interviewers don't roll their eyes at that kind of thing.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1204/24/2013

Yeah, all kidding aside (I was the one who gave you grief for "interviewee"), you can pretty much add "having passion for ______" to the growing list of banal corporate phrases repeated verbatim by HR and clones alike who have no ability to think or draw conclusions for themselves.

Think outside the box

Roll up your sleeves

Work hard, play hard

Twenty four/seven

A hundred and ten percent


Against the grain

Reach out to

Jazzed up about ______ (synonym for passion!)

Interfacing (when not talking about systems)

Or using the following as verbs:





These sound bites come in a jar into which power-player wannabes reach when stuck for an answer. They should be ignored as serious feedback. Move on.

(Or join them in using them in a loud, secure tone of voice that makes the phrases sound more important than they are).

Bottom line, if you truly have a skill or talent to offer that they can't easily fing, you can skip all the format and babble. If you don't - then play the stupid game.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1304/24/2013

They are full of shit and they are just jerking people around because they are assholes.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1404/24/2013

When they were talking about Passion they were talking about your personality and relate-ability

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1504/24/2013

OP, change nothing about yourself. Be who you are. There are so many intangibles operating in the interview process, that you have to know this had nothing to do with you. And the asshole who complained about your "passion" was simply looking for an excuse to justify their decision. Move on. And as I said, Be Who You Are.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1604/24/2013

They couldn't choose both of you so they made up a reason to not choose you. Who knows why.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1704/24/2013

OP, make your motto "Fake It Til You Make It." I'm naturally shy and low key too, but when I interview, I sell the hell out of myself. It's just what you have to do these days. I was laid off last month from my job as a copywriter for an ad agency. I now have two job offers on my plate. You've got to make them think you have a burning passion and not give off the vibe that you rather spend your day working out at the gym or curled up on the couch with your doberman watching TV, which are two things I rather do than work. Good luck.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1804/24/2013


On film and TV they are gorgeous, well-groomed (and if not, only because tossed hair makes them sexier), and usually have a plethora of hidden talents that turn them into heroes or antiheroes, with just enough charming quirks to make them adorably irresistible.

I wonder why that is.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 1904/24/2013

If someone told me I didn't have enough passion for accounting / inventory management / call center management, I think I'd say "thank you".

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2004/24/2013

We like to hire people with “passion” and “enthusiasm” so we can drain them and crush them to the ground.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2104/24/2013

r18, that is such bullshit. The whole "faking it" thing is WRONG. Yes, people do it every day, people who are clueless about who they are are what they want in life. People who are cubicle druids who are not empowered and who have not had an original thought in their lives. If you DO that whole "suck up and fake the passion" thing, you will deserve the job you get. You don't HAVE to play that game for a paycheck. For a career. People who are totally "fake," are drones stuck on the treadmill.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2204/24/2013

When you're being interviewed for a job, OP, sometimes you have to leave your laid back self at the door and push "enthusiastic" in their faces, even though it can be uncomfortable for you at the time.

I went to a call for contestants for a TV quiz show. Leaving my laid back self at the door, I exploded with enthusiasm. Going through the audition, I had moments of feeling silly, stupid, dorky, etc., but it worked. That's how I got picked over hundreds of others who showed up that day.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2304/24/2013

Same boat.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2404/24/2013

I agree with Former Headhunter. If you have a desirable skill or talent that is hard to find, you can bypass HR's bullshit games. Remember in the movie Good Will Hunting when Ben Affleck's character went to Will's interview for him? The big dope had the interviewers eating out of his paws...Anyway, it really boils down to who you know or who your daddy is...

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2504/24/2013

Op, it's ok sweetie, don't let it get you down forever.

*kisses you and rubs your belly

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2604/24/2013

I'm with you, OP. I'm not a stellar ninja, a passionate rock star, or any other ridiculous descriptor. But I am a consistent, conscientious, worker who will be there every day, on time, display no drama, get along with my fellow employees, be respectful to my superiors, and do my job to the best of my abilities.

And that's just not what they're looking for any more - because it's not who [bold]they[/bold] are.

They're incredibly egotistical, selfish, high drama, idiots, unrealistically driven (who will then blame everyone else for their failure) who think they're god's gift not only to their subordinates and the company but to everyone - simply everyone.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2704/24/2013

Sorry, OP. Know how you feel as I've been rejected a number of times, although I have no idea if it was a lack of passion because I have yet to encounter a recruiter/hiring manager who will inform me as to why I didn't get the job or advance to the next stage.

This job market is a nightmare and I think people in charge of hiring are insensitive to just how bad it is.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2804/24/2013

I love you, R27

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 2904/24/2013

A gram of coke before the interview couldn't hurt...

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3004/24/2013

Passion = be a smiling robot, don't question anything or anyone, smile and be a ray of sunshine even when the manager/coworker/client/customer is shitting all over you.

And do it for bargain basement wages.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3104/24/2013

OP I agree with the others. You're just getting one of their stock answers that they pick at random. I would not go overboard and try to change personalities because the next interviewer might tell you you didn't get the job because you displayed too much enthusiasm and you seemed like a phony.

Try being moderately enthusiastic. Do a little research on the company you're interviewing with and show that you care enough to know a little bit about it. If you have enough skills then that should be enough. If you don't have the skills then you'll have to learn to play the game better. Work on looking confident & speaking in a slightly louder voice than you normally use. Pretend to be really impressed by their questions. Kissing up works very well.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3204/24/2013

I once ended fourth in an interview process. couple of months later they called me to take the job, the first, then second and subsequently third choices all having failed miserably. I was a superstar. I ended up quitting because they were assholes.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3304/24/2013

Sorry, OP. That sucks.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3404/24/2013

Be advised that job interviews are irony and humor-free zones as well. Describing yourself as an accounts payable gladiator will not work.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3504/24/2013

It's just an excuse, OP. Who knows the real reason? I seriously doubt it is because you lack passion. Employers know they have the upper-hand in this economy.

Be yourself. Be sincere. If you force yourself to be what you're not, the next time you go for another interview, you'll come off as fake.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3604/24/2013

Job interviews and panels and tests are all subjective, and the people providing feedback usually are both inadequate for the task or walking in with hidden biases.

Just remember that the next time you're hired, OP. It plays both ways.

I've worked with companies with extensive, careful, absurdly involved hiring screenings, and less than 50% of the placements actually work out over a six-month period.

And "passion" is a quibbling term that can be used if someone prefers someone else's ass. BUT perhaps you need to consider if you are conveying what you think you are, if you're to continue these processes, OP.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3704/24/2013

and OP, I'm very sorry for you. It must be disappointing to come so close and then have an interviewer give you a half-ass reason for not hiring you.

Good luck to you. I hope you land another interview soon.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3804/24/2013

Passion? Hahaha! At my company, whenever we conduct climate/employee surveys, they ask if you believe your job is a "calling." I always say no. To me that term refers to members of religious organizations. I have a job that pays the bills, provides great benefits and lets me work from home when I need to. I have this job to keep creditors from CALLING me!

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 3904/24/2013

I can't believe they gave OP any reason at all, even if it was transparently bullshit. They're supposed to just say "We have selected another candidate."

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 4004/24/2013

Just sounds like the wrong job for you. Don't turn this into a reason not to like yourself.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 4104/24/2013

Sounds like it was them, not you, OP.

Also, what R41 said.

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 4204/24/2013

Companies hire the loudmouth attention whores, then wonder why work isn't getting done...

by I hate my personality sometimesreply 4304/24/2013
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