How to Win at Interviewing
(3 Min Read) Replicate the simple trick that companies use to hire top talent and use it to land your next job with multiple offers.
Las Vegas: Imagine you are at a casino sitting in front of a slot machine that has a jackpot of $250,000. Each spin costs $.25 (quarter) to play. You happen to have a $10 roll of quarters in your pocket that you found lying on the floor as you walked the casino. Do you play?
Maybe, you do. If you do, do you play one spin for $.25 or all $10 (40 spins)? If you are like me, all 40 spins. This is the money you've found, so it's not a big deal even if you lose it all (most definitely). But there is a chance you could win $250,000.
Some people would say, "the probability of winning on the slot machine is so slim, it's better to keep that quarter roll. At least you have $10. You'll leave Las Vegas with money (an anti-pattern)".
But imagine (really imagine) that as you were playing, on one of the spins, the slot machine broke1. And now it spins without needing additional money. Unlimited free spins. Would you continue to play?
Hopefully, everyone will because now it's a number game and not a chance game. With unlimited spins, the probability of winning is 1; it's just a matter of time.
But how is this above fable related to winning at interviewing?
The interview process is very similar to the broken slot machine, and the jackpot is the job. There is an unlimited number of tries, and it is just a matter of time before we win/land the job.
The more we interview, the more chances of us winning in the interview process. And the good news is, unlike a slot machine, our odds of winning improve because we get better (at interviewing) with every interview. In short,
Interviewing process is a numbers game. The more you play (interview), the more chances you have of winning.
This is true for both an interviewing candidate and the hiring teams (companies). And surprise, surprise, companies are already playing that game and winning.
How are Companies winning at recruiting?
Companies have recruiting pipelines/funnels for each job function, such as server engineer, DE, DS, managers, sales, recruiters, etc. Every single job function has a pipeline with numerous candidates getting added to it frequently. Companies are interviewing tens and hundreds of candidates as they move through the funnel to find the best candidate that matches the job. They are playing the numbers game. With enough interviews, they will win at finding a great candidate. The funnel looks very similar to this.
The problem is that interviewing candidates are not playing the same game. Many candidates take one interview at a time and hope to land that job. It's like taking only one spin of the broken slot machine and hoping to win the jackpot. Candidates are playing the chance game when the winning strategy is playing by numbers.
Every interviewing candidate must build their own interviewing pipeline/funnel. It should look something like this.
In candidates' pipelines/funnels, companies move through various stages. Companies get dropped at different stages in the process because of a job mismatch/interview failure etc. But the one that makes it to the end, presents the offers. Make sure to add new companies to the top of the funnel (i.e. apply constantly) and make them go through the process.
This way, the candidates get to play the number game as well. The one trick to this is that when you create this funnel as an interviewing candidate, do each stage in bulk. Apply to companies in bulk, interview with recruiters in bulk, do telephonic interviews in bulk, and onsite in bulk. That way, you receive multiple offers at the same time and negotiate to get the best offer.
Building companies' pipelines are how you win at interviewing as a candidate. And I can assure you; there is a company for each candidate.
I hope you find this post interesting and insightful. This post combined with the previous post on “Don’t do Interviews, Do Discussion!” (Which reached the front page of hacker news 🙇♂️) presents ideas on how to make the interview process easy, predictable, and successful. If you like this post, consider subscribing to this free newsletter.
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