Unlike interview questions that focus on identifying your skills, this query tries to "suss out what you love doing."
And, Welch explains, even if what you're good at and what you love doing are different, you should always deliver an honest answer to this question. She provides this example from her own career: "I'm a good editor, and I enjoy working with journalists as they craft their stories — but I love helping people navigate their careers. We have skills and we have passions. It's okay if they're different."
Welch says that when asking this question, "every hiring manager knows there can be a gap between a person's passion and their skill set."
You should never simply say what you think a hiring manager might want to hear. Instead, she suggests being transparent with your interviewer about the things that excite you, whether it's "crunching numbers until a solution pops out, winning over a difficult client or coaching a junior colleague through a tough assignment."
"Mention the stuff that makes your heart sing," she says. "Don't be afraid to go there."
"Being honest about what you love doing," Welch emphasizes, "won't diminish the skills you have. In fact, being enthusiastic about what you love doing can make you a better, more rounded, more real candidate. And what's not to like about that?"
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo
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