Getting interviews at your dream company
Getting interviews can be difficult, and it could also be relatively easy.
Recruiting was one of the most challenging and most stressful moments of my collegiate career. Whew! The anxiety, the fear, pressure, I can keep going.
When I recruited in 2018, I got rejected from over 90% of the internships I applied for — it was rough (to put it lightly). In 2019, I had improved from mistakes in 2018, but that year also came with its challenges. 2020 was drastically different from 2018 and even in 2019 because I had learned a lot and corrected a lot. I got interviews with every company I wanted, but how?
Applying online is good, but you could be one of the best candidates with a stellar resume and never get seen. By never get seen, I mean your resume might not beat the Applicant tracking system (ATS) or never get reviewed by a recruiter. The first step to getting interviews is to get noticed. You are not giving yourself the best chance if you don’t do more than “just apply.”
Recruiting can be daunting but being strategic is life-saving. How I have gotten the interviews I wanted:
1. Know yourself: What industries spark your interest? What role(s) do you see yourself? Which company’s mission aligns with yours? These are questions you want to answer or have an idea about before you begin your recruitment. Applying to 4, 5, 6, different roles at a company is not a good look but instead gives off the idea that you don’t know what you want or what areas you can create impact.
2. Create a list: My approach is usually to have a list of all the companies you see yourself. When I recruited in the fall of 2019, I had a list of about 70 companies. It could be less or more for you. I realized that as much as you could be very qualified for different roles, the job search is also a numbers game (luck plays a huge role) the more options you have, the better. Create your list!
3. Deadlines: You want to be aware of when companies open up specific roles/programs; adding these deadline dates to your list is a nice touch. For example, the FACEBOOK Rotational Product manager role starting in January 2021 & July 2021 was only open for about a week in August 2020 before the applications closed for the year. If you planed to interview for this role but was unaware of the deadline, you could have missed this opportunity. There are many other positions like this, so be aware of deadlines.
4. Start early: I have recruited for roles at certain companies as early as August for opportunities that start July/August the next year. Please don’t wait, and the more time you give yourself, the better your chances of landing that internship.
5. Apply for conferences: Personally, nothing beats going to conferences. The possibility of getting a first-round, sometimes final rounds, and even getting an offer on the spot after a brief conversation at a conference or by just putting your resume in the conference resume database is completely unmatched. For my past internship, I completed the first round at the Tapia 2019 conference, where I also had multiple interviews with other companies. Interviewing with about 4 comapnies you are passionate about is possible at conferences (even virtually). And lastly, in my opinion, interviewing at conferences is easier than the phone interviews or onsite final rounds.
6. Apply to company summits: Many companies like Goldman Sachs, American Express, Twitter, WeWork, etc. Have two-day programs where you get sold on the company, its values, and perks on the first day. On the second day, you get an interview opportunity(many times, it’s the only interview you need to do)! If you get selected for these opportunities, you are taking that extra step and positioning yourself for success!
7. LinkedIn: If you know me, you know this section was coming. LinkedIn is gold; it’s that simple. While absorbing great content on LinkedIn is great, you want to create content, interact with content, and build solid connections. The hacks for LinkedIn are simple: be a giver, build authentic relationships, and this unlocks many opportunities for you! I have gotten interviews without applying, and using LinkedIn properly has made that happen.
8. Referrals: Last point, secure referrals! This method surely helps you get seen. Applications with referrals get reviewed by recruiters. Note that referrals do not guarantee interviews; what they do is ensure that your application gets reviewed. Jonathan Javier made a post about it; check it out (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jonathanmjavier_jwow-wonsulting-studentvoices-activity-6657367882286137344-zMwd)
Feel free to reach out to me about any tips for applying to conferences, company summits, maximizing LinkedIn, or any point :)
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