Ways Get Job Interview

Top 10 Ways To Get A Job Interview


What are the best ways to get a job interview these days? In this economy, I am often asked to how long clients should expect to be in transition. They are often surprised by my answer. It seems to me that because we keep hearing that the economy is slowly getting better, we are lulled into a false sense of security that the job search process isn’t as difficult as it has been for the past few years.

According to the Economic Policy Institute Article from November 2012, while the job seekers ratio has held steady at 3.4 job seekers to one job opening, any number over three means that that there are “no jobs available for two out of three workers.” I also found it very interesting that the same report states that job seekers far outnumber job openings across every sector. Couple this with persistently low hiring and we are finding that unemployment lengths remain unusually high.

Given this less than wonderful news, what can you do to ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to avoid becoming one of the long-term unemployed? Step one is the resume, however, that is merely a step. It’s not the whole job search.

Best Ways To Get An Interview

Knowing that you are likely one of many applicants, how do you get “noticed”? There are a few steps that you can follow to greatly increase your odds of landing that interview.

Breaking down my favorites, David Letterman style, here are my top 10 ways to get an interview:

10. Be Specific

Develop a list of specific target companies that you can identify to those with whom you are networking. For example, if you say, “I want to work in engineering,” that doesn’t really get my brain working. However, if you say, ” I want to work for XYZ company in an engineering capacity, namely leading a team of hardware engineers,” that helps me to a) understand what you are looking for and b) start thinking about who I may know at XYZ company.

9.  Know Your Strengths

Knowing what you bring to the table and clearly articulating it sets you apart from the masses right away. Often, people are not clear on what they can do to specifically help a company. Hiring companies want to know what you can do for them… it helps to answer that question well.

8.  Research Your Target Companies

Know those companies that appeal to you and appear to be a great fit. If you don’t know about the company or if you don’t really want to work there, it typically shows in a conversation. If you are excited about the potential of working for the company and you have clearly done your research that will make you extremely appealing and different from the rest.

7.  Develop A Resume That Stands Out From The Rest

I have seen great resumes and terrible resumes.What makes a great resume? Clearly defining what problems you will solve for the company and adjusting the resume based on the job available are two important factors.

6.  Develop Marketing Material

What can you leave with a new contact that sets you apart from the other people they have talked with? Professional business cards are a must but what about a biographic?  This doesn’t replace a resume but is rather a marketing piece that visually tells the story of your job history.

5.  Don’t Be Afraid To Call The Hiring Manager

Be assertive. If you know who the hiring manager is, call him/her and briefly state that you have applied for the position. Take the opportunity to alert them to this and let them know that if they took ten minutes to meet with you, they would find you a viable candidate. The worst thing that can happen is that you get turned down.

4.  Don’t Rely On Job Boards

Not that you cannot find a job utilizing a job board but statistics show that 90% of jobs are never posted (which is why #2 is what it is) and those that are posted are swamped with job seekers taking the traditional, ineffective route.

3.  Create Your Brand Utilizing Social Media

Develop your brand as an industry expert using LinkedIn and, if you’re brave, Twitter. Post professional, relevant articles that are pertinent to the type of jobs in which you are interested.

2.  Network

I can’t say this strongly enough. The best way to make it to the top of the resume pile is to network. Your goal is to have someone hand the resume to the appropriate person and say, “I think we need to look at this person.”

1.  Follow Up

Networking and all the other steps are worthless without following up. Be persistent without being obnoxious. Ask your contact how best he/she likes to be communicated with and how often. Respect that they have their own priorities but don’t give up if they don’t respond immediately.

While nothing can guarantee an interview, taking a proactive, professional approach will certainly increase your odds. What are some tips I may have missed? I would love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Susan Ruhl

Susan Ruhl, founder of OI Partners-Denver, has developed a sharp eye for how job seekers can adjust their approach for a strategically focused career.


  1. I have an issue with step#1 and 5.
    I’m a little confused because my application status will be pending for weeks until I pick up the phone and call the hiring manager to express my interest in a particular position then low and behold in less than10 minutes later, I’ll get an email stating they have picked someone who was better suited for the position and this has happened to me on several occasions. My gosh, will you give me a break! I’m from the old school, and where I come from “The Wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the oil”. Apparently phoning these hiring manager and Talent Acquisitions does not do the trick and it must make them upset that you are taking the initiative to check the status of your application. And by the way this happened to me today to the exact!!! As far as LinkedIn is concern, I’ve sent Human Resources and Talent Acquisition personal emails to look over my resume and GIVE me a few pointers on how to improve my resume so when a particular position opens up with their company I’ll be better prepared, but to no avail those individual never responded back with any feedback. In my opinion, I think companies should get rid of that robotic Taleo word selector system and have humans to look over resume. Anyway I would greatly appreciate a job coach feedback so please help!!

    • Esha,

      There are a few different ways our career experts can lend you a hand if you don’t get a response here.

      1.) You could ask your question in our new CAREEREALISM Advice Forum, where we have 9 experts (including J.T.) doling out advice for anyone seeking it.

      2.) Our FREE live Q&A web show on Tuesdays at 1PM Eastern Standard Time would be a great place to get your question answered. The show will be held on the CAREEREALISM homepage. You will be able to post your questions in the chat section for a chance to get them answered live by J.T.

      You can submit your questions early here.

      3.) For career assistance, please check out our sister site, CareerHMO, and learn more about our Job Search Accelerator Program (JSAP). You have the chance to get one-on-one coaching, group career coaching, and access to hundreds of hours of video and articles aimed at getting you the job you deserve.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know. I am here to help!

  2. A lot of people tell me to call the job after I apply, but no one ever explains what you should say in that phone call. Do I tell them I’m interested and hat I’ve applied, and if so, then what? I want to look professional by making a phone call, but I dont want to risk looking like a bad candidate when I dont know what to say. Any help?

    • Dear Susan,

      You’ve opened great area of discussion. Actually it is of high interest to 100s of job seekers.

      Here is exactly what I do and you might be interested in:

      1. show great interest and passion not only about the job but also about the company.

      2. I mention the following: since long time; I am following the company XYZ and I am impressed with: products, services, culture, customer engagement, etc.

      3. Show also interest in the person you talk with: this is easy through checking his Linkedin profile and say the following: it gives pleasure to talk to one of the bold entrepreneurs in the field of XYZ. Definitely his will enrich my experience.

      4. Finally tell the following: I am excited and very interested to have a 10-minutes meeting with you or to be short listed in order to discuss this great career opportunity.

      Good luck Susan,


  3. It appears the entire job search universe has deteriorated to a system in which one’s “hire-ablility” is determined by a tragically flawed automated system. The success of an organization depends on each prospective new hire wordcrafting a resume which will be read by robots searching for clichéd key words. Is the key attribute of all applicants their ability to excel at keyword bingo? Where are the human beings in all this, the hiring managers? Are they waiting for automatically chosen applicants to appear in their in-box while they’re clearing automatically generated spam out of their in-box? Seriously? Is there any question why people cannot find work, when human beings (those who hire and those who are hired) have been eliminated from the decision-making process?

    • You are absolutely right, it’s a out how good your résumé is, did you hit in key words or phrases, or who you know. It’s becoming increasing difficult to obtain a job based on the quality of work you delivery or your abilities.

  4. Well,my advice to my friends is that much as we look for job is a good idea but also try your best to think of creating your own be it small and build up from there-WHY? This world is complex and so do the EMPLOYMENT FIRMS! With time you can reach your destination with <>.Good post.

  5. I’m not sure I’ve seen a “biographic” (Infographic – plenty!), although it sounds interesting. Any examples?

  6. The article is a great refresher to help keep your resume up to date with the way hiring managers and recruiters evaluate a resume. My biggest challenge when it comes to resume writing is demonstrating my experience from higher end to let’s say an analyst position. What advice do you have and/or resources to help my resume stand out against those who have years of experience in a field/industry I want to enter?

  7. I just wanted to ask, what if I apply to that job posting, friends and family tell me to call the person although there add says apply in the manner specified and sometimes/ most time say no phone calls. Do I disregard and call anyway or just submit my resume and maybe a follow up email???

    • If the ad specifically says no phone calls, then I would not call. Its not that it can’t work, but its not worth the risk. A follow up email is perfectly fine. If you could find someone at that company who would walk your resume to the hiring manager, that would be ideal.

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