Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a job? I did it after months of going from interview to interview with no success. It was not easy. I had a college diploma, some hands-on experience, as well as a certification. Yet, I got the same result every time I spoke with an IT hiring manager. My mistake? My mistake?
Related: How to get 6 figure job offers at top tech companies in 2-4 years, even if you don’t have any experience.
It didn’t matter if I got one or twenty interviews; I wouldn’t be offered any jobs if my current job was not changed. As time passed, I began to doubt whether I would be able to get a job. I was frustrated that some companies chose to hire people with less credentials than me. It helped me realize that you only get an offer if you perform well in a job interview. I realized that I needed to find a way for me to stand out from the rest and to sell myself better than I was doing.
I made the mistake of believing that my entry-level credentials would speak for me, as many others have done. Companies want people who can do the job. They want you to say (and be able back it up, ofcourse) “I can do that, that, and whatever else I don’t know, but I can learn it and then make it for you.” This is how you can succeed in interviews. Try to imagine yourself in their shoes.
Imagine that you have just been hired as an IT hiring manager at a Silicon Valley tech company looking to transform an industry using its new technology. The company has ambitious goals and plans to significantly increase its user base and personnel over the next few months. The CTO (chief technological officer) has assigned you the task of onboarding one entry-level network technician as your first task. The company believes in filling their junior, senior and executive positions with their existing staff. This person will be expected move up to a leadership role as a network engineer shortly after joining the company. The company has asked you to fill this position with someone who will fit in the company’s culture and can get the job done quickly. This will allow the company to continue moving forward and growing quickly, just as it has been doing recently.
You begin to plan for hiring a rockstar. You are looking for someone with passion, motivation, and a drive to succeed. You are looking for someone who can be a teammate, get along well with others, and has a strong work ethic. They should also be able to learn and apply new skills quickly. This person should have the most up-to-date knowledge. Maybe someone who has managed, configured, and troubleshot real equipment.
Start by asking current employees for referrals. After interviewing a few people, you are unable to find the best candidates. The next step is to ask your professional network for recommendations. But, no one has the experience and skills you are looking for. After spending a few days trying to find qualified people in your network, you decide that it is time to post the job opening on an internet jobs platform.
After a few days, you receive a few applications. After looking through them, you discover that the people who have the experience and knowledge you are looking for are not interested in entry-level positions. None of the applicants seems to have the skills you are looking for. It’s been over a week since your task was assigned to you to onboard a network technician. You haven’t made much progress. You are in a difficult situation.
After careful consideration, you decide that a significant part of your hiring criteria will be based on whether the person has a college diploma and/or technical certifications. There’s a problem. Neither of these require that the person do any type of work. How can you be sure that someone is job-ready if their credentials were earned through written exams? You think, “It’s impossible.” You are aware that test dumps are used by far too many people to obtain these certifications. You want to make a good first impression at work. However, this seems to be becoming increasingly difficult to do.
You update your requirements and post the job posting online again. You receive over 100 applicants in a matter of hours. After reviewing the resumes of 50 people and speaking with 20 on the phone, you decide to invite one prospect for an interview.
You go home that night feeling a little discouraged and worried about the fact that you only have one candidate. You were given this task by the CTO and you want to deliver a candidate who can be a valuable asset to the company. You are unable to find anyone who you believe can be ready to go. You wonder if you are setting too high expectations or if the company’s expectations might be unrealistic as you drive home. You pull up to your driveway and glance at your phone before you get out of your car. A LinkedIn notification is pending. A message was sent to you 12 minutes ago by someone indicating that he is interested in moving up in the IT industry. He also asked if you would like to meet up for coffee to discuss it.
He claims he has been working at the helpdesk for approximately 10 months. He did however, recently complete a training program that gave him key netwo skills.