Why You’re Not Getting (As Many) Interviews As You Need

career coach career counseling career goal career practices how to write a resume interviewing tips interviews interviewtips job advice job search job search after 40 jobs tech leader power lunch Feb 25, 2021

Transcript of Video

Hey everyone, Melisa here! It is the top of the hour. So, we are going to get started on today's Tech Leader Power Lunch. Thanks for joining me, if you're live, or if you're watching the recording, thanks for your time. And I am excited to talk with you about this today. I hear from so many people, they're not getting the number of interviews that they need, with the right companies for the right roles to land their dream job. And so I want to troubleshoot that with you today.


  • The 3 Part Formula to Generate Interviews
  • How to Know if You’ve Implemented the Formula
  • Diving Into the 3 Parts
  • Why Part 3 is Usually the Missing Link
  • 2 Case Studies
  • How to Implement & Refine Part 3

So let's dive into the agenda. First of all, we're going to talk about the three-part formula to start generating interviews, and how to know if you've implemented that formula or not. And then we'll go into each of the three parts. And we'll talk about why Part Three especially is often the missing link that I see with people when they're not generating the number of interviews that they need. And then I'll give you a couple of examples. And then we'll talk about how to actually implement and refined part three.

So with that, let's dive in. Before we get into the content, if we haven't met yet. My name is Melisa Liberman. I am a former tech executive, I helped build a SaaS software company from really nothing to a quarter of a billion dollar exit over the course of about 10 years. And now for the last eight years or so I've been a career coach, helping tech leaders maximize their fulfillment and value in their career, just like I've been able to do in mind. So if you've heard that before, I also like to just give you a little tidbit of what else is going on. And to this week, I'm celebrating he has two clients landed new roles this weekend, I'm starting to see a ton more activity in the market for new job opportunities out there and people interviewing and that kind of thing. So you're in the middle of that process as well. Maybe you're seeing the same kind of thing, a lot more opportunity, compared to April.

The 3 Part Formula to Generate Interviews

Alright, let's dive in. So first, I'm going to give you the three part formula to generate interviews. And it's actually incredibly simple. Sometimes we overcomplicate things I know as tech leaders, probably a lot of us do that, right. And so the three part formula to generate interviews, whether you're generating some now and not enough, or you might be at the place where you're not even booking interviews. Or if you're in one of those two buckets, you're on this call for a reason. And the first step, the first of the three parts, is do you have:

  1. compelling professional branding and positioning that's focused on your targeted role or roles, you might have a couple of them. And so we've talked about this in prior tech leader power lunches, it's things like:
    1. your resume,
    2. your LinkedIn profile,
    3. your elevator pitch, and I'll go into this in a little bit more detail in a moment.

 The second of the three parts is do you have:

  1. a repeatable, consistent process to get in front of hiring decision makers? You have really clear branding and positioning and value proposition and then you get it in front of the right people. And they interview you. It's very, very simple on, you know, on the outs on the outside, not necessarily as easy if you're stuck here. So what that looks like are things like:
    1. networking with new and existing people, and also
    2. not relying on an application. So you're going around the system. 

The third and most important component, and I'll and I'll talk with you about why this is the most important component is that:

  1. you're confident in yourself and in the formula, are the things you do you think the things that you're doing are going to work in, essentially.

So this is it, the three parts of the formula. And now I'm going to dive into these in a little bit more detail.

Have you Implemented the Formula?

So first, let's just ask ourselves, have you implemented the formula, most likely, if you're on this call, you haven't implemented the formula, or if you're watching this replay, you haven't implemented some component of this formula. So if you have implemented the formula:

  • you're booking all the interviews you can handle,
  • you know that there's an offer that's imminent.
  • But again, you’re probably not on this lunch, right?

If you, you know that you haven't fully implemented this formula, if:

  • you're not booking the interviews that you need to ultimately land an offer, or
  • you haven't actually booked any interviews at all.

So for those of you in this bucket, which I assume, again, if you're on this call, you're in that bucket, we're going to dive into the formula in more depth.

Part 1 – Compelling Branding & Positioning

So number one, do you have the compelling branding and positioning? So I've given you some questions to ask yourself here?

  • Number one, do you have the branding and positioning that's focused on your targeted roles? So as long as your branding is focused on who you're trying to attract, and not about biography of yourself, then you're then you can check these things off your list. So another way to ask you this question is, are your assets your resume, your LinkedIn profile, your elevator pitch?
  • Are they focused on the value the benefits and the results that you can deliver to your next employer?
  • Or are they centered around you and essentially a biography?

There's probably knowing what I see with most people who even have had their resume professionally written, most of the time, there's some component of it, that's more of a biography than then something that describes the value in the results. So really dig in here

That's step one.

Part 2 – Consistent Process to Get in Front of Decision-Makers 

  • Step two, do you have a repeatable, consistent process to get in front of hiring managers and hiring decision makers? recruiters? Are you talking?
    • Are you networking with new people, meet new people, number one, meet new people, meet people at the companies where you want to work. And also, talk to people you already know, I hear so many of you, when we dig into this are like, Oh, I don't want to talk to that part. So, do you have a process where you're not relying on applying online? And you're going around the system?
  • Are you uncovering roles that you're excited to pursue whether they're published or unpublished? So are you finding roles both online, but also through networking?
  • Are you applying or talking yourself out of applying? A lot of people I talked to they're like, I found amazing roles, but I don't qualify. And then I start asking them questions, and we find that they really do qualify, they just decided to unqualified themselves instead of letting the company disqualify them. That a word unqualified, and you know what I mean?
  • And then finally, are you networking before and after applying so you can get around the online filters? It's really just this simple. Ask yourself these steps, these questions about your process. And if you can't answer yes to these, or in you know, in the affirmative, then add this stuff into your process.

It's as simple as this literally. Again, we love to overcomplicate things, but it is literally this simple.

So that's part one, and part two. Having a compelling message getting the compelling message in front of decision makers super simple, right? Not necessarily easy, but super simple. So now let's move on to part three. Are you confident in yourself and in the process?

Part 3 – Confidence in Yourself and in the Process

This is where I see most people faltering.

So how do you know if you're missing out on this third part.

And this is where we're going to focus today. Because confidence is the missing link that I see 99% of the time. And it's usually in both of the areas, but it's definitely in one or one or the other area, either lack of confidence in themselves, the job seeker or lack of confidence in what they're doing.

So let's dive into this in more detail. If you're not booking interviews, again, it's most likely number three, confidence in yourself, and confidence in the process, those first two steps that we talked about. So let's look at confidence in yourself first and test this out. So I'm going to give you a little a couple minutes here to answer some of these questions. 

And don't blow this off. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm confident. I'm amazing at what I do.

I'm telling you, I work with some of the most amazing executives, leaders have the most incredible pedigree. And they we always uncover this stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, most I'm confident that's not my problem, I need to know what to do. But then when we start digging in, we realize that there are self doubts lingering there that are preventing them from putting their compelling message in front of the right decision makers. So let me just give you a few moments to answer some of these questions. 

  • Where do you doubt that you're qualified? I didn't ask you. Do you doubt? If you're qualified? That's a yes or no. Right? Find the place where you do doubt that you're not qualified that you're qualified for something?
  • Where are you downplaying your results and value on your resume your LinkedIn profile? And in your networking? Where are you trying to be humble? This is not the right place to be humble, my friends.
  • Looking back, what roles have you avoided or delayed pursuing till the link goes away, and you realize, Oh, it's too late, before you even know it, because you knew that you would be a fit, but you just avoided it anyway. Can you think back to one or two of those? I bet you can.
  • In what scenarios? Do you discount your ability to interview clearly and confidently?
  • And then finally, where are you worried you won't be successful if you do land, the role? coaches call this imposter syndrome. Where are you thinking like, oh, even if I got this job, like secret delete down, you know, wherever in the in the, in the back of your mind, you're thinking, I don't know, if if I'm setting myself up to be successful.

These questions are really the heart of you finding where you're doubting yourself

Because when you don't have the confidence, you're not going to put yourself and your compelling message in front of the decision makers.

So let's move on and ask now.

  • Where are you lacking confidence in the process itself? So again, the process is very simple. I think it's no mystery here. There's no secret process that you could pay a coach, even me to give you that you couldn't find online.

The process is, get a compelling message, put it in front of the hiring decision makers, don't rely on the online process to do it for you. That's it really in a nutshell. So knowing that that's the process. The question is, where are you not confident in that the process will work? Where are you thinking? And I guarantee you almost everyone I talked to thinks this or says it out loud? Where are you thinking this is wasting my time? I don't want to network with someone because they're not going to help me anyway.

I don't want to network with someone because I don't think there's any openings at that company. I don't want to network with someone because I don't think they're going to submit my resume internally. It's a waste of time.

I don't want to tailor my resume because it's a waste of time. Like all of those things, right? It's I hear it all day long. Where are you thinking that?

  • And what steps are you avoiding networking like I talked about, some of us are avoiding networking with our existing contacts and I'll share a case study with you in about in a minute about that. Some of us are net are avoiding making new contacts to network with some of us are doing both of those things. Some of us are avoiding contacting the hiring manager recruiter or potential peers going around the system. Most of us are doing avoiding all of these things.
  • And ask yourself, where are you not doing enough? Because you think it won't work?

Case Study #1 – Self-Confidence

Alright, right, I want to share with you a couple of case studies, you can kind of get a sense of this from a few of my former clients. So the first one is Jane, and she had some issues with both of these case studies had issues of competence both in themselves and in the process. But for Jane, specifically, she came to me and said, you know, Melissa, I have not searched for a job in over 10 years. And I just don't know how to find a job.

I don't know what to do. It's like dating, right? I, we've many of us have been married for a long time. If we had to start dating again. What would we do? Go on Tinder match Bumble? I don't even know these are the only ones that I know about maybe now, and now the others are escaping my mind. But you know what I'm saying? Well, how do you even find a date at this point? I don't know. It's kind of like that for job searches, searching. Right? What do I even do? I haven't looked for a job. They always came to me. Or I've been at a company for a really long time. Right? For Jane, she had been at a company for a really long time. And then Jobs had come to her. So she had really never searched and at least 10 years, maybe more.

So first, we took a dive in and we said What is she doing because she had started her search and she was getting no results. And what we found is that she didn't know what to do, just like I described to you and steps one and step two, but she had only been doing it when she felt it was safe. So she had been contacting her network, she had been leveraging and creating internal advocates. So she could go around the applicant tracking system, she had been applying as a formality versus as a way to, you know, something she was leaning on as the way to get in front of hiring decision makers. And she really did feel confident going into her interviews. So she couldn't figure out It felt like a mystery. Like, why am I not booking more interviews? And why am I not landing offers? And so I asked her, why was she not doing more of all the things she describes. And she gave me two reasons, they seemed really legitimate, right? You might have this something similar. She had run out of network she had run out of her network is what she told me. But really, she had run out of her safe network, the ones she felt safe to contact. And so I started asking her about what Who are the people that are on your list of network of contacts of connections that you haven't contacted? Who doesn't feel safe to reach out to? And her answer? In a nutshell, if I summarize her answer, in a nutshell was, I'm not reaching out to the people who will judge me.

I'm not reaching out to the people who I have to explain why I'm looking for a job in her case, she had been let go, I feel humiliated. I don't want to reach out to my past network. I'm embarrassed.

Number two, I don't want to reach out to new people, because they're just gonna think I want they that I want something from them.

So she was limiting herself in this tiny box of a dozen or so people. And for some people, it's even less than that. For her. It was about a dozen where she felt safe to see, you know, to talk to them, let them know what was going on. Just you know, just catch up, find out what was happening in the market. And she definitely didn't want to meet any new people because she didn't want them to think they she wanted something. So she was stuck. She wasn't putting herself out there.

She wasn't doing all the things that she knew would generate interviews, right. She already had done those things, tested them. They worked, but she wasn't doing any more of them.

So she was stuck in her job search and I'll tell you what happened to her here in a minute.

Case Study #2 – Confidence in the Process

So let's let me give you another example. And then I'll tell you what happened to both of these examples. So the other person, a client of mine, we'll call him jack. He was lacking confidence in the process. So everything was dialed in for him. He had a resume and LinkedIn profile, the elevator pitch. He had his networking contacts. He was meeting new people as well as talking with them.

His existing connections, even if he didn't know them very well, they were connections. And he was really getting a lot of traction from his networking. He had a company, a targeted company list, and he had all of the exact steps that he needed and his routine in place, right. Everything was on paper looking really good. But he wasn't landing interviews or ultimately offers. And so we dug into troubleshoot and found something similar to what Jane was happy with happening with Jane. He kept talking himself out of doing the work. He he was doing all the safe things, right. Researching roles, but then not applying or applying but not following through to the network, whether it was new people or existing people, or both. And why he was doing that is because he just didn't really believe that the process was going to work. He was blaming the system, that the applicant tracking system is always rigged against everyone. It's not a huge human humane process, it's never going to work. This is a waste of time. And he doesn't know the right people his network is is you know, used up. And so all of this was basically creating a situation where he was consuming all of his time, just get second guessing and talking himself out of the process working. And so as a result, he wasn't working, wasn't working the process, he was kidding himself, that he was dedicated, because it looked, you know, on paper, he was like, I'm really busy.

But he wasn't really busy doing the things he was just eating around the edges, as we like to call it. And he was proving himself right that the process wouldn't work because he was only doing the things that felt easy or safe.


So the result of these two stories is that we work together and fix number three. And then they were able to land their dream jobs. And they've, they've both been working in those jobs for a while.

So let me talk with you more and focus in on number three, because that's really the missing ingredients. And the key here is that the missing number three is focused on confidence, right confidence in the process and confidence in yourself. So it's like the chicken in the egg, we don't gain confidence after we see the results, after we are proven that this will work, we need the confidence in order to achieve the results. So that's what we're going to focus on today, the confidence in you and the confidence in the process that we've laid out.

So I'm going to give you the five step process to tackle step number three. But this is really the key. And I don't know if you've seen this movie or not. Inside Out. It's really good. It's a fun cartoon. But it's this concept of like, we have all these different versions of ourselves in our head, right? The Mad one, the worried the worrying one, the envious one, if the green one is right, I might have forgotten the the and then the one who's joyful. So who's at the helm? And that's really the key here is in step number one, being aware of your internal dialogue, who which one of these is at the helm? Is it the worried version? Is it the angry and resentful version? Is it the one who doesn't believe that any of this is going to work version? Or is it the solid confident version of yourself who's at the helm? On a minute by minute basis in your job search?


So that's step number one constantly being aware.

Step number two to implement this framework is giving yourself standards. What is your good, better and best for each day? How many new people are you going to meet each day networking? How many of your existing network are you going to reach out to? To get caught up and find out what's happening with them and get their take on the market? How many people from your targeted company list are you going to be talking to on a day to day basis?

And just networking with them and hearing how did they get a job at this company? And what are their recommendations for you to get your foot in the door and around the applicant tracking system? How many jobs are you going to apply to how many things you're going to follow up on? Set yourself some standards? What is my good number, my better number and my best number for each day.

And then number three, be onto yourself. Notice when you there's self doubt comes in where you're thinking it's not working or you're thinking this won't work where you're standing guessing yourself. Either whether you're quite, you know, second guessing, am I qualified for this? Or not? second guessing, is this worth my time? second guessing? Is this going to work? Use your standards, and then follow through on them. And if you notice yourself, wanting to shut down or talk yourself out of it, you can simply use one of my favorite mantras, if you will, we're not doing that today. Me and the people here at the helm have in my brain are not doing that today. We're not going to indulge in self doubt. Today, we're not going to indulge in confusion today, we're going to do the process that we set forward.

And then number four, replace that with the dialog that does serve you.

Thinking things like this process will work for me, I promise you, if you're doing steps one and two, the end, from a place of confidence, the process will work for you, you will book interviews. If you're coming at it from a place of skepticism like oh, well, I'm going to do this because Melisa said to but I don't know if it's gonna work, it's not going to work for you. It's all about being confident in yourself, and being confident in the process. And using that internal dialogue with things like this will work for me. And I've got this.

And then the last part of the process is being villainized. Literally vigilant about steps through one through four. 

Continuously, making sure that version of yourself that you want to be at the helm of, of your mindset is the one who's at the helm. And you're not letting this one, whatever her name is the worry one, or the self doubt one, or the angry one who's resentful of the process be in charge of what's going on.


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