How to Get Interviews
The Tech Hiring Market Has Completely Turned
The market is absolutely brutal for job seekers. Have you checked out a job posting on LinkedIn lately?
The number of applicants per job is enormous. This is true across every function -product management, growth, engineering, analytics…
I was chatting with one highly tenured engineering manager who had this to say about his experience job searching:
Over 200 apps, 50% insta rejection, 2% went through and only one full loop completed so far
This is a professional who, when he was job searching 2 years ago, submitted 35 apps, had 25 interviews, 8 final rounds, and 4 offers. His entire funnel has been turned upside down.
Apply to interview rate has gone from 71% → 1%
Initial interview to final round rate has gone from 32% → 25%
Final round to offer rate has gone from 50% → 0%
Overall apply to offer rate has gone from 11% → 0%
My friend is not the only person who is feeling this way. A Facebook staff engineer went viral this week because he couldn’t make the mortgage payments on his $1.5M Seattle home:
He’s had the same rough go of it as my friend. It’s not clear exactly what the numbers are, but it sounds like he’s gotten a 10% interview rate (50 companies/ 500 applications). A few years ago, ex-Meta folks were some of the most sought-after people in tech. Simply getting a job at Meta meant you had a fantastic resume.
Now, they can’t even get interviews. So, it’s clear that it’s not just my friend, but it’s the market. There’s been an enormous shift in the past few years. What’s driving it?
Employer Side: Supply is Down
On the employer side, the rise in rates has shifted investor’s barometer from revenue to profit - and this has compressed jobs. Most companies and teams that had seen new headcount year after year just haven’t gotten it this year, as they focus on profitability. This includes the vast majority of FAANG, which was hoovering up tech talent over the past few years.
When I Tweeted in September last year, there were 426,000 jobs worldwide open on LinkedIn for the search product manager. As of writing today, there are only 296,000. The market for open jobs has decreased by 31%. All FAANG is barely hiring, and all the startups who can’t live up to their 2021 valuations aren’t hiring.
So, all that’s left are companies that are doing well.
Employee Side: Demand is Up
On the employee side, the massive layoffs in tech have turned scores of tech workers into job seekers. For years, the market had not seen an influx like this. Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of workers hit the market.
As you can see, the market turned around in September 2022. That’s when Twilio and DocuSign set off a wave like the tech industry hasn’t seen since 2001. Microsft, Meta, and Salesforce all followed with RIFs (reductions in force). Like me, you may have forgotten that the wave even reached Google!
These are some of the most desirable employers in the world. They used to have their pick of the best talent. So, the talent that is in the market right now isn’t just a lot of people, it’s a lot of really high-quality people.
The result is basic supply and demand. With supply down and demand up, the qualified applicants per job has gone up dramatically.
You Need a Strategy to Compete in this Market
Back to the senior engineering manager who wasn’t getting interviewed. After he messaged me, I knew I had to spill to him the formula for how to get interviews.
The results are almost too good to be true. He applied to 10 jobs, and he got interviews at all 10 of them. Now, he’s spending all day preparing for and taking interviews, instead of applying.
Many of you readers have also reached out to me that you have been recently laid off or are job searching. One reader yesterday wrote to me that, “I can’t get any interviews.” Even if you have a job, knowing how to land interviews is a crucial life skill.
So, I’m here to share the exact steps that I shared with my friend to get you interviews.
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