How to stand out in an interview

How to get that first job in the industry with no experience

My interview

I recently got invited to an interview at this company (I currently work at). My brother works at the company and he knows the person who would interview my very well, and my brother told my this:

“He don’t care about your skills, he cares about your attitude. He wants to see passion and drive. That’s it”

What does that even mean?

Well, that’s not really something new I thought. Most of the job descriptions out there says the same thing. “As long as you are willing to learn” it says everywhere. But what does that mean?

Well, here what I think. I think it several different situations:

  • When you get stuck on a problem, what will you do? Do you keep going, or do you give up?
  • When you get tasked with something you learning something new, how will you handle that? Can you easily adapt?
  • What will you do when nobody is looking? Will you go straight to Facebook, or will you keep doing what you need to do?

How to show that you have passion?

You can’t fake passion (or, it’s really hard). You need to find it in yourself, and express it. But how? Should I just come in the room with a lot of energy? Nope, that would be fake.

Well, here is what worked for me. Basically all I did was ask myself this question:

What would getting this job mean for me?

Once I asked myself this, and I actually started to answer it calm and honestly, I just kept talking. The words came out automatically. And because it is all true, it can be really powerful.

What I said during the interview

Here’s how it went for me and what I said in the interview:

“Before I came here, I really only had one thing that I wanted to say. And that is what it would mean for me to get this job. First of all, I would be so proud of my self. That after all this hard work, I finally achieved my first goal. It would totally change my life. It’s would be like a dream to be able to write code and build stuff for a career. That’s what I want to do. Because this stuff it’s actually what I like to do. I really do enjoy coding and building applications. And I would do whatever I could to prove that hiring me was a good decision. I would try my best and give it my all, and be open to learning as much as possible. I want to learn as much as possible. Front end, back end, database, everything. I want to be able to build apps through the whole journey.”

After I give him my “speech”, he said:

“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear”.

A few days later, I got the job offer.

Find what question you need to ask yourself

For me, when I asked myself this question, everything started to come out. I did not try to force it, or fake it, or express a type of persona. I just was honest and said what I actually meant.

I think that question worked for me because I have been sitting at home for over 2 years coding on my own to reach this goal. But for you it might be another question.


Here is what I recommend:

  • Find out what question resonates with you.
  • The only goal you should have for the interview should be to express your answer to the question. The rest of the interview is not that important. This makes you more relaxed.
  • Express your answer during the interview. Do not force it, don’t fake “high energy”, no script, nothing like that. Just calmly express yourself, and say whatever comes to your mind.

Good luck!

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