Why my interviewer wept with joy
When looking back at my career, the good and the bad, I can say without question the most memorable moment in my journey was when I made my interviewer cry. Yes, she actually wept and said I was hired.
The process, actually, was quite typical at first. We went through a series of garden-variety questions and I could feel that things were going well. I was on my A-game because I had done quite a bit of homework and rehearsal (as always) before the big day.
About 15 minutes into the interview she asked me: “What are some of your greatest accomplishments?” Then I answered (the short version):
1) Getting promoted to General Manager in record time
2) Winning every award possible at work
3) Breaking production records and making history at my company
Then she asked me: “What is your favorite award?” And I answered: “The Difference Maker Award”.
She paused for a moment and got a very curious look on her face. Honestly, I got nervous because it was hard for me to discern what she was thinking. Maybe, I thought, she felt it was silly. She almost looked suspicious, and then she said inquisitively: “Really, what’s that?”
I proceeded to tell her my company, an internationally-known fitness empire, actually created an award for me for changing so many people’s lives (more information on that in one of my other posts titled “How I Became My Company’s Most Valued Employee”).
Being a “difference maker” at work
I continued to explain that the rewards of working for a famous fitness company went far beyond a hefty paycheck and exotic paid vacations because it’s one of the few jobs in the world where you are literally changing – and sometimes saving – people’s lives.
In the interview, I cited many of my clients’ experiences and success stories about losing weight, but this is the one that put the interview over the top:
One of my male clients, about 45-years-old, lost approximately 100 pounds. He told me that he had been morbidly obese most of his life and had tried “every method and scheme on the planet” to lose weight. Absolutely nothing worked for him until he met me (he had been a member of many gyms before and quit because he wasn’t motivated). I never gave up on him and always encouraged him on every visit. I even called him at home sometimes.
After being a member for six-months, one day he came up to me in tears, hugged me, told me he loved me like a brother, and then showed me a before-and-after picture of himself and explained how I saved his life (his doctor told him he was literally going to die if he didn’t lose the weight).
Overwhelmed with joy
Basically, my interviewer was in tears by the time I finished the story and said that I was indeed a “difference maker” – and that their company needed someone like me on the team and offered me the job on the spot (this was for a Fortune 500 company).
Incredibly, I didn’t take the position because about a week later I decided to become a celebrity personal assistant/chief of staff (which I did for almost 10 years before starting my own recruiting firm for celebrities and billionaires).
After officially turning down the job, the HR manager wrote me a note and said she had never been in an interview (throughout her 20-year career) where she cried; and that I was the “most memorable” candidate she’s ever had because of my “passion”.
I would like to add, humbly and respectfully, that I have never been in a job interview where I wasn’t offered a position. And it’s definitely not because I’m the smartest, best, or most educated (anything but); it’s because I always do the most homework, am the most prepared/rehearsed, and definitely the most passionate about what I do.
It is possible to trump all of the other candidates that are “better” than you because most job seekers aren’t going to go the extra mile when it comes to impressing the interviewer.
Brian Daniel is an entrepreneur and the author of the book “Dream Careers”. To date, he’s the world’s only headhunter that has worked for celebrities, billionaires and royal families. His recruiting firm, The Celebrity Personal Assistant Network, has appeared in dozens of media outlets and publications throughout the world.