How to Get 5 Interviews Per Week (Or More)
You're Not Applying for a Job
Let's talk about applying for a job. We always say this, "I'm applying for a job."
But one thing to keep in mind when we're talking about creating the right mindset is you are not applying for a job. In fact, when you apply, you're actually applying for an interview, and then you interview for a job.
This is an important distinction to make because we often think that the only way that we're going to get to the job is if we get to the interview through the application process.
You don't necessarily have to go through the application process to get the interview. There are a lot of different ways to get an interview and through the traditional application process is just one of them.
But one of the things that we really want to do is get to the interview before applying and then have the hiring manager say, "You should apply for this job."
If that happens, you are automatically at the front of the line and one of the top candidates for consideration.
So now let's talk about how do we get more interviews and how do we do that without necessarily applying for them?
Any Interview Can Become a Job Interview
But what is an interview anyway?
Webster's defines an interview as a meeting of two or more people. typically with one of them asking questions, or exchanging information, with the other in order to achieve a certain goal, consultation, or of course, a job interview or information gathering or collaboration.
So an interview can actually be a lot of different things. Now, one of the things that a lot of job seekers don't realize is that you don't necessarily have to interview for a job for it to become a job interview.
A lot of times the process that we go through is the job seeker is asking the hiring manager to interview them, in order to be considered for the job.
Pretty much any interview can become a job interview.
Anytime a job seeker is meeting with a hiring manager or a colleague or someone in the network of the hiring manager.
They can typically include the context of a job interview by just creating awareness that that job seeker is looking.
Where am I going with this?
The Power of the Informational Interview
The traditional job application process that most people go through is the job seeker is saying, "Hey, hiring manager, will you please interview me?"
What I want you to start thinking about is the power of the Informational Interview.
The informational interview is when the job seeker goes out to people with whom they want to network, whether that's a hiring manager or people in an industry. And what you do is you say, "Hey, I would like to interview you."
An informational interview is a informational gathering meeting where a job seeker can go learn about a company, or a person, or a field, an industry. An informational interview is different than a job interview. But what people don't realize is that almost any informational interview can very easily be turned into a job interview. Especially if the two parties identify an opportunity that or some sort of connection comes up during the informational interview process.
Be Honest About Your Motivations
We talked about earlier about being authentic and being honest and being genuine. And it's important to know that when you're doing an informational interview, you always do it with integrity and never try and be deceptive or misleading about why you're there.
But the one thing that you typically will not do is you will not be asking for informational interviews from directly from the hiring manager. Because if you know somebody is hiring, you're already in the process of trying to get them to interview you anyway.
And so it could come across as a little shady or sneaky if you're trying to do an informational interview with somebody who you know is a direct hiring manager.
But let's say that you are looking for a job in banking and maybe you know some people in banking and maybe even know that this one large bank is hiring.
One thing that you can do is you can gather information about that company to better position yourself if you do get called in for a job interview. And potentially expand your network within that company so that other people might vouch for you.
So an informational interview is probably the most powerful thing that you can do to build your network and to uncover opportunities in the job market.
If you do it right, there's absolutely no reason that you can't get five or more interviews per week. I think it's really common for people to underestimate how powerful an informational interview can be.
I used to do informational interviews all the time and was amazed at how many great contacts I would make through the informational interview process.
Flip the Script
And typically here's what happens: In the informational interview, you are flipping the script.
In a traditional job search, people are trying to get others to interview them. But in informational interview, you flip the script and you are the interviewer, and they are the subject that you are interviewing.
Well, what does this do? What does an informational interview do?
It allows the job seeker to gain information about an industry, a company, or a particular job. It allows the job seeker to expand their network. And potentially create rapport or even a relationship with somebody who is in a particular position that might know the hiring manager, or might be able to recommend them, or might steer somebody in a particular direction towards a company.
When I knew that I wanted to make a change . One of the first things that I did was I went out and started doing a bunch of informational interviews and started asking people,
"Who's hiring out there?"
"Which companies are the best ones to work for?"
"Who dominates the market?"
"Who's the most successful?"
The process of doing these informational interviews gave me more insight into other companies. It gave me information on who was going to be the most likely to be hiring, who was going to be the best fit.
And so suddenly, not only had I expanded my network or at least reinforced my network by connecting with different people that were influences in the industry through the informational interview process, I would be talking to people and they would say, "Oh, so and so is hiring and, you should give them a call."
After the financial crisis of 2009 and 2010 I was working in a salary job overseeing a large real estate portfolio for a government agency. And I had decided that I had done my tour of duty in public service and I was ready to get back out into the private market.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
And so I was going to go find out who was hiring. I ended up making three phone calls to people in my network my questions were
"What companies are hiring?"
"Who's growing right now?"
"Who out there do you think would be looking for somebody like me?"
All three of those people, they all recommended the same person. One person was included in the list of names that I got from all of the people that I did informational interviews with.
And it was somebody I didn't know, but all of a sudden now I had the ability to call this person that I didn't know.
And when I left my voicemail, I said "Hi, my name's Trevor. This person, this person, and this person all suggested that I give you a call. I'd like to talk to you. I'm making some moves. Will you please give me a call back?"
Within an hour, that person called me back. The next day we met, and we were off and running.
I was able to expand my network and find out which companies were hiring through the process of doing informational interviews.
Informational Interviews Are Incredibly Valuable
It's important to understand that you're not applying for a job. You're applying for an interview and then you interview for the job. So whenever possible, think about creative ways that you can skip directly to an interview and recognize that interviewing other people is just as valuable, if not more valuable than trying to get them to interview you.
Once you have done that, then we can talk about how to go about conducting those interviews in a way that's going to help you expand your network, present yourself as a more attractive candidate, and arm you with better information to make your job search more robust.
Career Building from the Inside Out
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