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Job Search Q&A: What Employers Want to Hear

Coach Lauren Zander answers job search and career questions

My colleagues and I at the Handel Group will be answering your questions about job-search and career-related issues at the Coaches Corner at BusinessWeek. Please e-mail so we can help you find solutions. To kick off our series, I'm answering one of the questions we get asked most by people looking for a job.

What does my potential employer want to hear most in an interview?

Being able to explain your passion for what you want to do for your potential future employer is most important. You have to connect with the person interviewing you and have them get your vision for your role in their company.

The interviewer is trying to find out if you honestly want the job vs. whether you just want any job. There is a difference between wanting a job and choosing one that is about your career. Let them know this is your No. 1 career choice (and it should be). If it doesn't truly matter to you, that will eventually come out anyway. So pick the companies and positions you really want to work for—and demonstrate that. The interviewer wants to see passion, which will translate into the commitment to stick with the company and build something.

Lauren Zander is the co-founder and chairman of the Handel Group, an executive coaching and personal life coaching company based in New York City. Lauren has developed and is currently in her third year teaching a popular and groundbreaking course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called Designing Your Life. The Education Division of Handel Group will soon be implementing similar courses at New York University and Rutgers University.

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