Best Tips to Land a Job Interview with a Specific Company

Do you have your sights set on changing jobs and joining a new company? Read on for creative tips to “get in” and land a job interview.

Last week, someone I don’t know reached out to me via LinkedIn asking for my “perspective” on one of my former employers. His message made it sound like he was actively interviewing with the company and was seeking to learn more about the organization.

I agreed to chat with him (especially since I’m a huge proponent of talking with current or former employees during an interview process to assess a company fit prior to accepting a new job!).

However, fast forward to our phone conversation, and it turned out what he really wanted was for me to introduce him to someone at my former company. He wanted my help to bypass HR to actually land a job interview. I should have known better!

Bait & Switch a Stranger for Introductions??


Although I was slightly annoyed by his bait and switch tactic, I still spent 15 minutes chatting with him. Based on his overly long elevator pitch on why my former employer should hire him, it became clear that he really, really wanted to work at this company.

Much to his disappointment, I wasn’t going to introduce him to someone at my prior company (I only do that for individuals I can personally vouch for based on prior work experience), but I did offer a few recommendations on ways to “get in” and land a job interview. 

A New Twist on ‘Old School’ Tactics 


I remember back before LinkedIn ever existed, and online job boards were just starting to become the go-to place for job seekers, I tried many creative ways to get past HR screenings and gain the attention of hiring managers. 

Like when I saw a marketing job posted on Monster, I would search through the company’s press releases to find the name of the marketing leader…  and then I would try different variations of email addresses to reach them with a carefully crafted message about my interest in joining their team. And, more often than not, I would get a response – and even landed two jobs using this approach.

And then there was the time I was living in Southern California and searching for a job in Phoenix. I didn’t want to get ruled out as a candidate just because I lived out of state, so I bought a burner phone with a Phoenix area code to use as my primary contact number. Of course, once I was able to “get in” with a company and land a job interview, I let the hiring manager know I was in the process of relocating. She didn’t care that I wasn’t yet a local resident and offered me the job — success!

Anyway, back to this guy I didn’t really know. I appreciated and resonated with his hustle and determination to “get in” with my former employer, so I shared three ways to get management’s attention and land a job interview (offering a new twist on tactics I used back in the day!)

Since these ideas can apply to anyone who has their sights set on joining a specific small or mid-size company, I thought I would share them in case they can help others successfully change companies, advance one’s career, and make more money.

1. Engage with the Company’s Social Media Pages

One of the best ways to get on the radar with a specific company is to follow, share, and engage with their social media pages (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

Be an active contributor for a few months and 1) you’ll learn a ton about the company that will be useful when you land your job interview, and 2) you’ll get noticed by the company’s hiring managers and leaders.

I guarantee you the CEO (and CMO, CRO, CHRO, etc.) is keeping an eye on these pages and posts (and their competitors’ pages and posts too!). If you’re a frequent contributor, company leadership is going to remember your name.

Show the company some love on social channels for a few months, and then reach out to connect with a few of the leaders directly. Then your message isn’t a “cold open” connection request, as you’ve likely built up some goodwill already and it will be more of a warm introduction. Or, they may even think they know you already since they’re familiar with your name from social posts!

2. Time Your LinkedIn Connection Requests

If you’ve tried to connect to someone at your target company in the past but didn’t get a response, this doesn’t mean you can’t try again. In fact, I would encourage you to time your connection requests based on a company’s hiring windows.

For example, if a new sales job gets posted, this is the perfect time to send a connection request to the CRO or area sales managers. Or, send a connection request when a new fiscal year is about to begin, as this is often when budget for hiring gets approved and managers are starting to plan for staffing up.  

One important note, if you’ve sent a LinkedIn connection request to a company leader in the past and didn’t get a response, be sure to withdraw your invitation at least 3 weeks before you send your next request to connect (LinkedIn requires you to wait 3 weeks before sending a new request).

Or, instead of sending a LinkedIn request, maybe do what I did back in the day to land a job interview and try a few different variations of email addresses to reach their inbox directly with your message! 

3. Get a Customer Referral

If you have your sights set on joining a specific company, a great way to “get introduced” is through a company’s customers. 

Many tech companies have “user groups” with local chapters. This could be a great place to start and network with current customers. You may find out you already have a customer in your network who could offer you a referral.

I received several candidate referrals this way over the years, and I often followed up on these leads for the simple reason I didn’t want to disappoint my valued customers!

The Power in Hustle and Creativity

If you can land a job interview through the traditional route of applying for a job through the company’s website, then good for you! But if you don’t hear back from HR, don’t give up. Try opening a few different doors!

While I don’t recommend taking a “bait and switch” approach to ask for help on LinkedIn like the stranger who reached out to me, I do believe in the power of hustle to get what you want.

If you have your sights set on joining a specific company, try the ideas I shared in this post. And if those don’t work, get creative and come up with something else. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! (like this woman who secured an interview with Nike by sending her resume on a cake!)

Have you tried a non-traditional approach to land a job interview with a specific company? Please share and tell us all about it!



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