The Job Series - How to Get The First Interview

If you have found the job you want, how can you secure the first interview?


This is a blog post in a series of articles about getting a job in tech. Confused? Here’s the first post

How many times have you applied for a job online, and, within the day, been rejected from that same job? Yeah - it happens to all of us. At this point, it feels as though online applications are not worth the time.

So how do you get the job?

Referrals are everything.

You might feel weird about referrals - I was recently talking to a friend about this. They don’t want to put their friends in a weird spot by getting the first interview and then potentially failing. This is totally a 100% valid concern, but without taking advantage of referrals and outreach, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Everyone else is doing it - not doing so only holds you back.

I’d like to also point out that many companies have a referral bonus incentive for employees. Not only does the person get to work at the same company as a familiar face, but they also potentially get some shhhmuny out of the transaction.


If you’re feeling extra shameless - and I’ve probably done this myself - reach out to even the loosest connections to ask for a referral. I know for a fact that I’ve asked friends to have their friends refer me to roles so I can increase my chances. Everyone has to get by somehow, and referrals really do make a difference.

Cold emailing works:

Whether it’s on Twitter or LinkedIn, reaching out to ask questions about the role is an amazing way to bring your name to the front of the resume pile. I’ve written an article in the past about how to talk to people on the internet. It’ll help you understand how to better craft a message asking to open a conversation and bring attention to your name.

In addition, this article by Michelle Lu is a clear and thorough outline of how they used cold emailing to secure a highly sought after role. It’s a must read for how to strategically send cold emails, and how to use them to your advantage in the hiring process. If you’re doing a cold email / first call, I’d recommend checking out Paige Doherty’s article about how to have quality intro calls.

Bonus Video