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How to get interviews?

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Software Engineering Intern at Technical Consulting and Researcha month ago

Hello Community,

I've been struggling to get interviews for a while now. Here are some things I've tried.

  • Cold Applying
  • Cold emailing recruiters
  • Applying with referrals
  • Networking

Nothing seems to be working. What can I do/improve to land more interviews?

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Discussion

(13 comments)
  • 2
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    Founding ML Engineer @ Lancey (YC S22)
    a month ago

    Can you share more details about stats? what is the percent success for each?

    • 0
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Technical Consulting and Research
      a month ago

      I've only been tracking from last week. I've gotten call backs only from cold applying so far.

    • 1
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      Founding ML Engineer @ Lancey (YC S22)
      a month ago

      Agree with Sameer, get your resume in check, but roughly estimating knowing the stats is super important. How many apps have you sent? how many callbacks? what portals have worked? what types of companies are reaching out? no need for exact numbers but some rough estimate is helpful

    • 0
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      Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
      a month ago

      Can you share the data from the past week then? As Sai says, it's important to track your funnel in detail as we talk about in the job-searching course here: https://www.jointaro.com/course/ace-your-tech-interview-and-get-a-job-as-a-software-engineer/organizing-your-job-search/

    • 0
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Technical Consulting and Research
      a month ago

      Thanks for the reply Sai.

      I've sent around 1000 applications and had a total of 5 callbacks. 3 of these were from directly applying on the company's website, 1 was from Handshake and 1 of them was from a referral. Most of the companies who reached out were F500. Here's who reached out and some details.

      1. Staples: I interned here. Unfortunately they were not willing to sponsor my visa (I'm an international student on F-1 visa) at this time.

      2. Walmart: I had my phone screen with them back in February. The recruiter said that the company doesn't sponsor visas now or in the future (even though they've sponsored multiple positions this year)and I got a rejection email two days later.

      3. Meta: Interviewed for the Business Engineer position. Did really well in the coding rounds. Felt like during the HM round they were looking for someone with more of a Business background.

      4. Global payments: This was the interview I got through a referral. Questions were based on Spring Boot and niche Java concepts. I didn't have the experience to answer the Spring Boot questions, they were looking for 1+ YOE with Spring Development (surprised that I got a callback).

      5. TCR, Inc. : Place where i'm currently interning at. The tech stack is interesting and something I want to get into but the position is temporary and my role ends in September.

    • 0
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Technical Consulting and Research
      a month ago

      Thanks for the reply Alex.

      Over the past week I've applied to 220 roles out of which 6 have been through referrals. I've also sent 3 cold emails (working on getting this number up). So far, I've not had any callbacks from these roles.

  • 3
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    Principal Software Engineer
    a month ago

    It may be a good idea to get some feedback on your resume. That's the first thing recruiters look at when deciding whether or not to take the next step with you, so it could be there are areas in your resume that could use improvement. Looks like Taro hosts resume review sessions which could help?

    • 0
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Technical Consulting and Research
      a month ago

      Will look into this, thanks Sameer!

    • 0
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      Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
      a month ago

      Check this out to make your resume better: [Masterclass] How To Write A Stellar Tech Resume That Gets You More Job Opportunities

      I am currently converting it into a much higher quality course as well.

    • 0
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Technical Consulting and Research
      a month ago

      Will do, Thanks Alex!

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    The market is absolutely brutal for interns and new-grads unfortunately. On top of all the usual advice (optimize your resume, cast a wide net, network, etc) which are relatively low-hanging fruit, I highly recommend building legitimate, in-depth, and successful side projects.

    This is the common theme I've seen from interns/new-grads who are actually succeeding in this market to the point where they're regularly getting interviews from FAANG. They all built something on the side with a minimum of 1,000 users (often 10,000+).

    I actually owe my career to my side projects, publishing 30+ apps with 5 million+ users combined. They got me my 1st job as an Android lead at Course Hero, which I then turned into an Android engineer position at Facebook: [Case Study] Building An App With 1,000,000+ Users To Get Into Facebook

    In this market, having a clean resume and a good GPA from a top school only puts you in the Top 10% of junior candidates. But in order to succeed, you need to be in the Top 1%. The main way to do that as a junior engineer is to build side projects as it's the natural logical extension of your skill-building (you're literally just building real-life software seriously on the side).

    Of course, this will take time and be hard. Nothing that's incredibly impressive is easy. Lucky for me, I started building side projects between my junior and senior year at UCLA. I did it purely for fun and wasn't even thinking about jobs - The first 3 months were pretty uneventful as I wasn't getting installs. But over time, I made the apps better and better and the installs rolled in. By the time I graduated, I had a few apps with 10,000+ users. By the time I was leaving PayPal and looking for a proper Android role, I had a few apps with 25,000+ users. Now I have multiple apps with 500,000+ users that regularly get interviews from companies like Google, Block, Uber, Instacart, and many more.

    There's really no huge secret when it comes to the job market for junior engineers: You need to show them you can code. Normally employers are nice for your first full-time role and let you learn to code on the job. But in this market, that isn't the case as any decent job opening will have at least a couple candidates with legit side projects. Show them you can code by writing high-impact software on your own outside of a work setting.

    • 1
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      Software Engineering Intern [OP]
      Technical Consulting and Research
      a month ago

      Thanks for the detailed advice Alex. Building side projects is definitely been something i'm passionate about but have avoided due to FOMO on not applying to as many jobs. Will start working on something along with my job search.

    • 1
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      Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
      a month ago

      It doesn't need to be a dominating time commitment. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish with 1-2 hours of work per day across 50 days.