TTT #19: The Secret to Getting Hired in Tech

Stephen CollinsNov 18, 2023

In this issue, I’m revealing a key secret that could transform your job hunt in tech:

People hire people they like and believe are competent.

Sounds obvious? Let’s dive in!

Likability: The Hidden Currency

Why does likability matter? It’s simple. Teams want to work with individuals who bring positive energy and can collaborate smoothly. Here’s how you can increase your likability quotient:

  • Build Genuine Connections: Engage authentically, allowing conversations to revolve as much around your interests as theirs. People often resonate more with those who show interest in their ideas and stories, enhancing your likability as they see a reflection of their own values in you.
  • Communicate Effectively: Convey your thoughts clearly and be a good active listener. This demonstrates respect and openness to other ideas.
  • Show Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is infectious. Show excitement about the role and the company’s mission - nobody wants to work with a “Debbie Downer”.

Competence: More Than Meets the Eye

Competence goes beyond technical skills. It’s also about how you present what you know. Here are ways to showcase your competence:

  • Tailor Your Expertise: Customize your resume and cover letter to align with the job requirements. Use specific examples of past work that demonstrate relevant skills.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest trends and technologies in your field. This shows that you’re proactive about your professional growth and have a genuine interest in your career.
  • Problem-Solving Mindset: Employers are looking for problem solvers. Share stories where you’ve overcome challenges using your technical and soft skills - story telling, if done well, can impress interviewers strongly.

The Interview: Your Stage to Shine

The interview is where likability and competence intersect. It’s your opportunity to make a memorable impression. Here’s how to prepare:

  • Research the Company Culture: Understand the company’s values and reflect them in your responses.
  • Practice Your Stories: Have a few go-to stories that highlight your successes and learning experiences.
  • Be Yourself: Authenticity is key. Don’t try to fit a mold; let your unique personality come through.

Continuous Learning: The Ultimate Key

Never stop learning. Attend workshops, complete online courses, and seek mentorship. Lifelong learning showcases an enduring commitment to both personal and professional development.

The Numbers Game: Playing to Win

And remember - securing a job in tech is also a numbers game. The more opportunities you pursue, the greater your chances of success. Every application sent, connection made, and interview granted increases your likelihood of getting hired. It’s about getting up to bat as often as possible — every interaction is a chance to hit a home run.


Getting hired in tech is more nuanced than many realize. By focusing on both likability and competence, you’re not just another candidate — you become the candidate they remember and want on their team.