Have you heard people talking or telling you that I applied to 500 companies and I have not had a single interview or I had only couple of interviews? Why does that happen? I applied to 20-25 companies and had 3 job offers at the end. I followed 3 important things while I was applying for jobs and interviewing. This is my opinion and it worked for me.
First and foremost thing I did was an introspection. I tried to gather information from myself and understood my skill set:
- What are my strong skills?
- What exactly I enjoy working on?
- Am I really good at software development or is it software quality/testing?
- Do I enjoy sitting at the desk and work on code for hours?
- Am I good at communication skills?
You get the gist of it, right? After having that on a paper I researched what kind of jobs can really apply to my skill set or my strong areas. I found out Business Analyst, PreSales Tech Engineer, Post Sales software support, Project Management, etc. Basically I understood that I like working with people instead of computers and I know how computer works, hence I researched certain position that I can really apply and be best at it. I followed up with alumni’s and friends who are in that position and ask what does it really takes to be at their roles.
After my research I spent around 6-8 months building my profile in a right directions, by participating in campus networking events, looking for right student jobs where there I could communicate with students/develop communication skills. In your case, it could be developing some real products and uploading it on GitHub, creating some web application and publish it on web, etc.
Basically, do a thorough introspection and market research before you start applying. Once you get the answers then work on your profile to build it according to the positions you decided on!
Quality vs Quantity
I would rather prefer to spend 1 hour on 1 application than spending 1 hours on 20 application. You know it is so important that you spend time understanding the job position. Why and what is the requirement for that position?
Don’t just skim the description and see if it matches your profile and then apply!
- Understand the company,
- Company’s product,
- What and why is that requirement for the position
- Ask around and find people who are working in the company and try to learn about position.
Once you know all this you are so much at a better position then just blindly applying to it. Understand that all managers have plenty of things on their plate, they have certain things in their mind when they post a job position.
Put yourself in that manager’s shoe and consider your profile – who would call for interview/offer a job?
If the answer is yes then go ahead and apply! If the answer is no then how can you make it better and work on it. Consider you own a company and now you want to hire someone, how and what would be the requirement and how would you choose a candidate? This perspective should help you understand your application and get some improvements on it.
Alumni’s and Friends are biggest resources in such situations.
Alumni’s and friends play a big role in job search/getting an interview. When you looking a certain position, check if there is any of your friend working in the company already, check if any of alumni working in the company – ask them questions, clear your doubt, ask them if they could recommend you for this position.
I cannot emphasize enough that practicing on mock interviews are so important for this process. Its not only about getting an interview, you will have to crack the interview and it can only happen if you have enough practice.
For technical interview – there are tons of resources online practice those questions, time yourself and track your progress overtime. Understand your weakness and improve those.
For Behavior interview – lot of them think that if they clear technical interview they got the job! Answer is NO! Managers are looking for someone who can work in a team, have passion for his work, express and communicate the problem and resolve it. So you got to be ready for behavior round.
Most managers will be fine if you are little bit weak in technology. Because technology can be learnt in few months – behavior/attitude can’t be taught!
Grab yours friends and family and do a mock interview with them. You will find plenty of practice questions just ask your friends to randomly ask you from the list. Try to record yourself and see how you sound with your answers. I almost did 15 mock interviews with almost all my roommates, co-workers, and friends. Each time I had a different feedback and it all helped me to improve.
Well! I hope this article helps you, as it did work for me! Good luck and all the best!
Please like/share/comment and let me know what you think?