Why can’t I get an interview?

How to Get an Interview (hint: don't apply online)
getting an interview

Why can’t I get an interview?


“If I knew how to get an interview, I know I could land the job.”


I hear this statement or a variation of it in 90% of job search-related conversations. If you’re personable, outgoing, or have strong interpersonal skills you know the struggle: you know you’re a fit for the job, you know you’d nail the interview(s) and get an offer, but you don’t know how to get an interview!


This is why so many people pay for resume writing services and LinkedIn profile editing. They think the problem is that their resume isn’t getting through the company’s applicant tracking system that screens and filters resumes. Research from CareerBuilder suggests that 75% of people end up in the “black hole,” resumes never to be seen by the human eye, never hearing back from a potential employer. It makes sense when people think the solution is to “optimize your resume” with important key words, using a specific file format, or making sure your contact information isn’t in the header.


You’re welcome to play that game and apply like everyone else. Or maybe you identify with Matt before he started working with The Job Sauce, before he landed a six-figure dream job:


As I reflected on my past months of misery, spending over 100 hours researching the numerous articles “how to land your next dream job”, writing cover letters and resumes, and submitting applications into the “black hole,” I thought, there has to be a better way.


There is a better way. Even better, it leverages your strengths of connecting with people and doesn’t involve hours of adjusting the formatting of your resume.


What if you could find a way to almost guarantee yourself an interview without even submitting a resume? What if you could speak with the hiring manager, or their peer, before even starting a formal interview process? What if you could start interviewing for your dream role with a Company VIP backing you the whole way?


You can finally answer the question of how to get an interview for roles that fit you.


How to Get an Interview: Get Referred


If you get referred for a job by a company employee, you’re almost guaranteed to get an interview. And once you DO land an interview, you’re 20x more likely to get an offer if you were referred compared to if you got an interview after applying online.


Why does it work to get referred? Because humans still make hiring decisions, and it’s human nature to trust your tribe (fellow employees, in this case). Hiring has always worked this way and humans will always make the final decision on hiring, no matter how advanced technology gets, so their personal opinions and the influence of their peers dictate who gets hire.


You can tap into this with your secret weapon: the informational interview.


An informational interview is an informal discussion with a company VIP, often the hiring manager or the hiring manager’s peer, about something that person is uniquely suited to teach you. This isn’t some generic conversation about “what’s it like to work at Netflix?” like they’ve had a dozen times. This is a conversation about the future of your shared industry, about their passions, about the details they love to talk about.


And it’s a crucial piece of how to land an interview.


The informational interview is your opportunity to prove you’re the pro they’re looking for because you can hang at their level, and you’re someone they ENJOY speaking with. Wouldn’t it be nice if you two got to talk about this kind of thing every day? Wouldn’t they feel good about being responsible for bringing in that next “rising star” at the company? Wouldn’t they love to be your boss because you’re going to make them look amazing?


I’ve never worked with a client who did not get a formal interview after being referred by a company VIP. It’s never happened. This is the #1 tactic for high performing professionals.


If you’re a proficient interpersonal communicator and you aren’t leveraging informational interviews to land your dream job, you’re missing out on your greatest opportunity. It would be like Larry Bird never shooting three pointers or Jimmy Page never playing the guitar.


Conducting brilliant informational interviews is second nature to you (you’d have stopped reading if it weren’t) and you’re hurting your chances if you aren’t doing them. This is how to get an interview for your dream job.

Scott Swedberg

Scott Swedberg

Scott is Founder & CEO. A former LinkedIn employee, recruiter, and hiring manager, he's known for going out of his way to offer strategic support to anyone he meets.

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