How to get hired without an interview

I know it is possible, because some of my coworkers on an IT project I did got hired without interviews. How can I do it? I have a lot of valuable skills, but a lot of companies don’t seem interested in hiring me because I am bad at interviews. I currently work as a freelance IT guy, which I have been doing since that project failed. I don’t want to be a road warrior anymore.

If you know enough people and can work your networks hard, sure, it’s possible to get hired without interviewing. You just need to know enough people with the power to hire their friends, and then wait until one has a job that’s a good match.

It’s a heck of a lot of work and requires an enormous amount of lucky timing, however. And it may not ever work at all. As a primary job-hunting strategy, it’s going to leave you pretty hobbled.

Interviewing is a skill like any other, and it’s one that responds pretty well to training. There are a number of very good books out there that provide insight in to what hiring managers are looking for and how to present your skills and address any concerns they have. Then, you can prepare for common questions and develop a mental library of stories about your competence to bring in (I write mind on paper). There is a formulaic way to do this, and it works well. After that, practice with a partner or on video, and you’ll be pretty good to go.

It’s a lot of work, but unless you have a genuine social disability, you can definitely improve.

Start your own company.
Find one of those spots where a guy drives up in a truck to hire a bunch of day laborers.
Find a relative or close friend who is senior enough at a company to bring you in without going through the normal HR process.
Become so well respected in your field that people reach out to you offering you jobs or consulting gigs.

Drive for Uber. I started a couple of weeks ago and I have yet to meet or speak with a living Uber employee, even on the phone. Even most of the email we’ve exchanged is generated by their bots.

I’m in IT, and I know many others who work in the field that don’t interview well. But interviewing is a skill you can learn, just like dancing, riding a bike or giving a speech. You need someone who can work with you that is successful at helping others do this. There are stage fright experts, if that’s the actual problem, or there are people who help with coaching on acting or some headhunters can help basic interviewing too. It is something you practice and do it often enough you learn how to do it and feel comfortable with it.

I believe that is the key to your success, because that is a universally accepted skill that is needed. The idea of hoping to be seen in the right light and situation so you will be impressive for someone to just offer you a job without a formal interview sounds like betting on a bunch of circumstances which might be difficult to have come together. Even then, someone might say “Thanks for doing that. You really know your stuff. Would you be interested in a job here?” and then expect you to interview with their boss anyway.

It will be a lot more work to get a no-interview job than it will be to polish your interview skills.

The no-interview hire happens because the person already has a very well known reputation so that an interview is not necessary. Essentially, the interview has already happened because the hiring person already knows everything they need to know. Getting that type of opportunity happens because you know the right people at the right time or else you’re so well known in your industry that companies already know your skills well enough to skip the interview. If you’re not in that position already, it will be a lot of work to try to make it happen.

There are many job placement services you can use in your community to improve your interviewing skills. It’s worth going through a few mock interviews so you’re more comfortable and they won’t be as much of an issue to getting hired. It’s a skill like any other and you can learn how to do it better.

I have to agree with some others. Unless you’re looking for some oddball online gig, you simply can’t make “don’t get interviewed” a viable job search strategy.

I hate to get all AOL on you, but “me too.”

In the sense that most of the other respondents have spoken truth: most IT-related employers use rather mundane conventional HR processes, and stick to them religiously. So “not interviewing” is not a viable strategic decision.

Now comes the scolding.

Being an adult means doing things we don’t like and don’t think we’re very good at. And, ultimately, becoming better at them by repetition. (Even if that doesn’t fix the “I don’t like it” part. Because ultimately, in this imperfect world, what we personally dislike is pretty irrelevant if we have to get along with other people and follow others’ rules.)

In my callow youth, I was a classic IT introvert. A choice to serve in, and make a career of, the Air Force forced me to rise above that. When I’m being outward-focused and communicative, I feel like it’s just acting, but it’s effective acting which produces the desired results so that’s good enough.

I think you’re asking the wrong question. Yes, it’s possible to find jobs without an interview, but they’re few and far between, at least in the IT world in my experience. Interviewing is important, not only because you want to make sure the person actually knows what they claim or imply that they know, but you also need to learn about that person as an individual, whether they’ll fit in with the environment and their potential future coworkers. In fact, unless someone is unable to perform the work, if I were a hiring manager, I’d rather have someone that needs a bit of training but with a good attitude that will fit in well, than someone that can jump right in and start working but will have personality clashes or a negative attitude.

Another thing about interviews is that it helps YOU learn about the job in the same way it helps them learn about you. Maybe it seems good, but during the interview you find out that some of the work you were hoping would be a part of it is much smaller and a part you aren’t too sharp on is the primary focus. Maybe you meet your potential future boss and he just comes off like a condescending prick. Who knows. You get to ask questions about the environment and learn things that could make you more or less excited.

And, really, do you actually want a job where they don’t appreciate the value that an interview adds? It’s common to relate looking for a job to dating, and I think it’s applicable here. An interview is a first date, so it’d be like skipping a first date and bringing the girl home to meet your parents. Sure, her dating profile on okcupid seemed like a good match, and maybe it will work out alright, or maybe you find out she’s secret racist when she drops a slur during dinner with your parents, or she has horrible table manners or that the pictures on her profile are horribly out of date or she just flat out lied about who she is. I don’t care how great her profile is, I want to have a first date before I subject her or myself or my parents to that.

Instead, you’re better off learning how to interview better. It’s a sales pitch, and yes, I really hate it too, but I got some advice from people and when I was looking for a job, I got practice. One thing you can even do is, after an interview, you can send a quick thank you and maybe you’ll even get some pointers or establish them as a potential person to network with for a job you might be a better fit for. Find someone you know that is a hiring manager or a boss or otherwise gets involved in interviews, get some advice, maybe even do some mock interviews. There’s books, there’s websites, there’s youtube videos, there’s tons of resources out there on being better at interviewing. Take advantage of them.

I’ve hired a few people without interviews - but they were all interns the summer before, and so in a sense interviewed for 3 months. I phone screened them for the internship, and they were recommended by their professors whom I knew.
Even well known people are going to have pro forma interviews, just to be fair.
And I also agree about improving interview skills. Interviewing is all about selling yourself, which is a good skill to have in IT or anywhere else. Think of it as acting - you assume the role of someone the company wants to hire, and interview as that character.
The people who interview well have both good knowledge and are also high energy, at least for the period of the interview. I’ve seen actors turn on when the cameras begin to roll, you need to turn on when the interview starts.

How are you getting your freelance jobs? One common way to get a permanent job is to get hired on after a temporary assignment. You may want to view your freelance job as an informal interview and really do an excellent job. They may hire you right away or call you back if something opens up in the future. Be friendly with your co-workers and managers so that they put in a good word for you and may ask for you specifically if something opens in up the future.

I’ve never seen employers advertise jobs with no interview required. As others have said in various ways, you get a job with no interview because you’ve already been interviewed by someone the employer trusts.

Also, don’t just believe the line about being a bad interviewee. That’s the typical excuse with technical positions for some other reason they don’t want to hire you. If IT people were hired based on good interviewing skills there’d be a lot more openings.

Pretty much as above. Never seen people hired without an interview unless the manager was very familiar with them (former co-workers, family, friends, etc).

On the other hand, I’ve gotten about half my jobs, including this one, on a single interview. Heck, this one was a PHONE interview lasting about 20 minutes.

Be open, be friendly, be kind, don’t say anything negative about anyone. The best way to avoid bad topics is to derail the topic by kinda-sorta answering something close to the question. Experience with OUR tool? Gee, just look how many places I’ve worked. I had learn new tools at each one. Not a big deal. I know how to read manuals and I can figure it out. Experience in our line of business? Nope, but that’s one reason I’m applying here!

It can be your worst day ever, but if you can put that aside for an hour and be Positive Peppy, you have more of a chance. You can walk out the door, vomit from the stress and then go home and hide under the blankets. But you know you’ve put in your best during the interview.

It doesn’t always work - as noted above, it really depends on the company - but something I’ve seem working more recently.

Try to get hooked up with IT placement firms (Robert Half Technology, Talon IT Talent, Modis) in your area. Usually these recruiters will want to talk to you - but it’s generally a lot less intense, not so much an interview as a conversation (and sometimes it happens on the phone).

Once that’s done, concentrate on contract-to-hire positions. In my experience, a lot of companies may skip or shortcut their interview process to hire contractors from a staffing firm (with the knowledge they can be cut loose pretty easy), and then use that contracting period as an extended on-the-job interview before thinking of bringing someone on full time.

Like I’ve said, I’ve seen it happening more recently as the job market gets better and companies need to hire a body NOW NOW NOW, but there are a lot of factors that go into if you’d be the type of person with in-demand skills who might be able to pull this off. And you’re opening yourself up to getting more screwed later on by being an hourly contractor with a carrot of full-time work dangling in front of you for years on end … factors to be weighed.

Disclaimer: all-in-all, its better to follow the other advice in this thread and improve overall interview skills, you’ll be able to be a lot choosier in addition to having a lot more opportunities.

There are some consulting gigs I’ve seen gotten without an interview - its “we need a body and we need them now, send over three resumes and we will pick one to start tomorrow.” The deal with those jobs is that by noon, they might be calling a different consulting company get three more resumes for tomorrow if you don’t seem to have it - the first half day of work is your interview. But if you work out, you could be there for years or get offered a permanent position.

I see this most in really tight markets and on projects where any body is viewed as better than no body for skills that are “Generic Java Programmer” or “Exchange Administrator.”

I have actually gotten people hired cold. I work for an NPO and we help people get off public aid, and I even had a school teacher get a job offer based on her resume alone. The catch, the jobs are usually not so good. In the case of the school teacher it was in the Virgin Islands and the place was expensive to live and the pay was not great. She took it, liked it and stayed for a few years.

So it can happen but like everything in life, there’s always a reason why. And if you can get hired without an interview it’s probably going to be a company with some issues like pay, location, working environment.

I believe in hiring by auditions, not interviews but that won’t help you any since I’m not hiring.

You could get in with a temp service that hires you based on your skill set and then take jobs that are temp-to-hire.

My three best jobs were landed without an interview. For my government job, they hired me after a test because they were backlogged and needed people with my particular skill. Though I from what I gathered talking with others on the job, I was about the only one hired without an interview. They called me on the phone and asked a couple softball questions, then told me I was hired. My next best job was obtained through a temp agency and was for the same type of job, so there wasn’t any interview there either. My current job is also better than most of them have been, and there was a meeting explaining the job but I wasn’t really asked more than a few casual interview questions. My worst jobs all required interviews.

Good comments!

I’d like to add, that a huge part of the reason for an interview is to see how well someone can communication too. Because people interact with others in meetings and presentations, and if someone can’t express an idea or alert people to a problem in face-to-face communications that’s really going to limit the effectiveness of that person in the group.

In IT, I’m trying to think…even if you got hired for the job somehow, it would be limited to working in a position like 3rd shift doing hardware maintenance for an internet hosting service. I’ve saw one of those jobs advertised and the pay was low, but from the requirements it looks like they were expecting someone with like a 2-year degree and not much experience.

I hope this is merely a problem the OP is going to work on and overcome it, and it isn’t something more serious related to a medical condition. But I have to say, after working in IT for many years, most people in it don’t have the best presentation skills as a whole. So the bar to improve on interviewing in IT is already set pretty low compared to someone interviewing for a sales job.