During the month of August, I’m answering your questions on making career transitions and discovering what your dream career is. Every Tuesday, I’m going to be on Facebook live to answer one of your questions.
Today we’re talking about how to land an interview with a hiring manager. Our question is from Mary Corcoran:
What are the best techniques to land an interview with a hiring manager. It seems with electronic applications and recruiters it’s difficult to actually talk with a hiring manager these days!!
I completely agree! There’s actually nothing different about now than when I was job searching 5 years ago. It was still really hard to get through all the online application systems and actually talk to a real person.
I want to tell you a story about what I did and what worked for me.
When I was job searching, I was kind of stuck in a rut trying to make my career transition. I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted, but I knew I needed to get out of my current role because it didn’t fit me at all.
I did the networking challenge where I challenged myself to meet with 4 people I did know and 4 people I did not know every single month throughout all of 2011.
Within that first month, I had two interviews with different hiring managers just from doing this networking challenge and informational interviews.
It showed I was prepared, proactive, passionate, and that I would be a good employee. They were really impressed by how I conducted informational interviews (and that I even asked for one.) At the end of the interview, I asked if there was anyone else they know that they could introduce me to. Two times I got referrals to the hiring managers of that company just by talking to someone who works there.
At the very end of an informational interview, they would say, “You know, I think you’d be a great fit at my company. I’d be happy to refer you in.” They both gave me information to be referred into the company they worked at and I had hiring interviews just from doing informational interviews.
So you can guess what one of my three techniques is going to be!
Let me give you 3 tried and true techniques to land an interview with a hiring manager.
1. Referrals, Referrals, Referrals
Ernst and Young, Deloitte, and other companies hired 50% of their employees through employee referrals. That number may actually be as high as 80%. Online job searching is the first thing people jump to when they want a new job, but not all jobs are advertised online, so it’s not the best place to start. Find people that work in the companies you want to work in and start meeting/getting to know them.
When an employee refers someone into their company and the company hires the person they referred, the employee who referred them in gets a bonus.
Since employee referrals usually find better candidates than just online calls for applications, employers give them a bonus for each new employee they refer that stays in the company. It’s really a win-win situation: you want a job, they want bonuses.
Change your mindset from completing online application upon application into employee referrals.
2. You Guessed It…Informational Interview
I’ve mentioned this in every August blog post so far. Informational interviews are when you interview someone in a position you really want and learn more about their career, what they do, and why they’re passionate about it. You may not know if their job is perfect for you (and that’s why you’re interviewing them!), you just want to learn more.
Remember that it’s not your interview. You’re not the one on the spot. You’re interviewing them about what their career is like. But this is all about you discovering more about them and what they do.
So you could ask them stuff like…
What a typical day is like
What the best part of their day is
What the worst part of their day is
How you could get in their role
If they have any tips
What educational requirements or skills you need
If there’s anyone else they could introduce you to (ESSENTIAL)