The proven 3 step method to get interviews with great companies
The AIM model for securing interviews. AIM stands for aware, interested and motivated. I use this three-step model to make hiring managers and stakeholders aware of candidates who could be of benefit to them and be relevant for a position they are hiring for at that time, or will be in the near future.
I also recommend this as a tool for you to use in your job-search journey. If there’s an opportunity people are aware of, they will either redirect you, introduce you or tell the relevant people about you. Then you are much more likely to secure the right interview/s.
Here’s how the three-step AIM model works.
Step 1: Aware. Contact people to make them aware that you are exploring new job opportunities.
The first and biggest hurdle to overcome here is awareness. You are not aware of all the suitable jobs that exist at the moment. Vice versa, the people hiring for jobs who require your experience don’t know that you are currently interested in their job.
Everyone is busy and focused on achieving goals and overcoming challenges, and even the people who know you and care about you might not be aware that you are dissatisfied in your current job or that you are in between jobs.
This is the reason why you need to contact them and connect with them. At this first step in the model, you need to be proactive, targeted and persistent in contacting the right people.
Step 2: Interested. Educate people about why you’re interested in working with them, the company or the role, and how you’re a good match for them.
Highlight relevant problems you’ve solved and results you’ve achieved through a STAR story. In addition, mention people you have in common – this is a great ice-breaker.
Be careful to ensure that you know the person in common well enough and that they have a positive relationship with the hiring manager. You can quickly figure this out with a call, text or email to the person in common.
If there’s an opportunity that they know of in their team, company or industry for which you are a good fit, most people will be interested in communicating with you, as well as others they know would benefit.
Step 3: Motivated. You can motivate people by including a call to action. Be specific about what you want them to do next.
Scarcity and timing are two factors that motivate people to take action. In terms of scarcity, if you have a rare skill, it is useful to point out that there are more jobs than candidates for a skill like that. In the case of timing, if you are available to start straight away, this could spur people into action.
In addition, depending on the maturity and stage of your other job opportunities, you could mention that you may not be available too much longer. This demonstrates that you are motivated to explore opportunities in a timely manner.
People who are AIMed
When people are aware, interested and motivated, they will respond positively by informing you of one or a number of opportunities that you can act on. For example:
- They are hiring for the position that interests you
- They know someone in their company who is hiring for the position that interests you
- They know someone outside their company who is hiring for the position that interests you
- They know of a company that is hiring because they were approached, but are not sure whom to contact at the company
- They know a recruiter who is well networked in your target industry or company and specialises in the position that interests you.
Work your network
Here is a list of people you can approach and potentially connect with, from the warmest to the coldest contacts in terms of relational capital.
People you know:
- Past colleagues
- Partners and collaborators
- School and university friends
- Industry group acquaintances
- Known industry recruiters.
People at companies that are on your target list:
- Hiring managers
- Stakeholders, including HR and talent acquisition teams
- LinkedIn connections in common with the hiring manager and stakeholders
- Advocates and influencers
- Contacts you’ve met at conferences and events
- Corporate recruiters
But what if:
- People don’t reply? They probably aren’t aware of an opportunity and are too busy to reply now, or may intend to do it later, but don’t. Either way, they are aware you are looking. If anyone contacts them, they can refer you. You’re ahead.
- People aren’t interested? They don’t think you are a good fit or there isn’t a need for your experience at this time. That can change in a moment when a different role comes up for which you could be a great fit, and then the interest level goes up. You’re still winning.
- People reply and suggest next steps?
You have accomplished your goal at this stage. You have secured an interview.
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