It’s always encouraging to hear the real success stories of your colleagues. It increases your confidence, and confidence is a big part of anyone’s journey to success.
Tell us about your job experience. Do you have a tech background?
Actually, I started in the IT security field and was there for about a year. It was way too busy for me, because you have to be all over security; it’s a day-to-day task, updating information. Overall, I had to cover too much work.
So it was cybersecurity before QA, and I was even a certified Ethical Hacker for three years up until last year.
It seems like we have a hacker on our team!
Now everybody’s job is to make sure we can’t do this.
How did you learn about us?
I saw one of your ads for QA on Instagram, and I thought that testing would be something I would be interested in. . However, I’d seen your ad before you became Careerist; I remember it was JobEasy, and when I figured out you were renamed, I got even more curious.
Yes, we had a rebranding some time ago. What did you do after the training?
First, I worked with my mentor a lot. It took me about three months because I was busy working at my job. She said it was okay if I needed some more time to memorize things and prepare well.
It can take two weeks for many, but three months was about right for me. So once I graduated, before every Saturday meeting, I went over all those questions, and it helped. The videos were also of great help.
When you moved to the job search itself, did you apply on your own? How did it go?
I didn’t use the JAS ; I applied myself. It was pretty tricky at first because I was reading each description. I was very particular in all that stuff. But after the first couple of weeks, I talked to my mentor, and she said I shouldn’t do my search the way I did.
The problem was, I could barely reach 25 applications per day, spending up to three hours. I carefully studied all those job descriptions to make sure I would fit the role. My mentor persuaded me to change the strategy, and then it became much faster and easier. Within one hour, I could apply to 40 open positions per day.
So the new strategy worked better. What about the calls and interview invites?
Within the first month, I wasn’t getting a lot of calls, probably because I messed up my LinkedIn profile a bit. The problem was in a batch of tags, which I didn’t set up correctly in the beginning. My mentor and I couldn’t figure it out for a while, but closer to the end of the first month of the active job search, the Careerist guys fixed everything. I started getting two to three calls a week in the second month, which was a drastic change.
I think you had both positive and negative moments. Did you have any rejections? If so, how many?
Talking about rejections from recruiters via phone, it was probably seven. Of course, there were many emails, something in between 800 to 900 that I never opened.
It sounds like nothing comes to you in one day. How many interviews did you have?
Actual interviews, like not counting the phone calls from recruiters (because those are not interviews), I had seven. After getting the first job offer, I got two more the following day.
Sounds exciting. If it’s not a secret, what were the salary numbers?
A local company offered $75,000 and pretty nice benefits after two rounds of interviews. The company was nice but small, and I didn’t sign a contract with them.
The next one was about $80k, and I’ve chosen it. The company offered a hybrid model and good benefits. It’s in Chicago, IL and I didn’t mind that. I commute once or twice a month, and it’s not bad for me. They also offer a 10% bonus every year plus benefits, like $90,000 total.
The third one felt utterly bogus. They were asking about automation and all that stuff, and they were offering only $65k. I was just like, ‘who is going to work for automation at $65k if the actual pay for the automation specialist is $110k minimum?’
You are right. Maybe a desperate one will agree for $105k. Where are you located?
North of Chicago, in Wisconsin.
How intense were the interviews?
The first was intense because of the anxiety. I didn’t have any board or panel interviews.
Did you mention your cybersecurity job experience on your resume?
No, I didn’t mention it. It isn’t relevant to QA. Maybe if I have a project on cybersecurity one day, it might be of some use in the interview.
Which questions came up the most during the interviews?
The current project was asked about a lot. I also put API and SQL in my experience, but I didn’t have any questions about that.
The questions at the bottom of the list were a bit challenging. Every time I was reading from the top of the list, my brain went foggy by the end of it. I wasn’t paying as much attention as I had to. Probably going backwards might help, but I never did it this way.
Did they ask you for test cases or bug reports?
I think they all asked how many I completed in a day. For test cases, I answered 10 to 30 executing, then three to seven creating and 10 to 15 completing. As for the bug reports, from three to seven, depending on the app.
Thanks for chatting with us. It’s just the beginning of your career journey;you have room to grow, and you’re definitely on the right path. Keep focused, prepare and learn, and you will reach the stars soon — but don’t forget to come back and tell the second part of your future story to inspire your peers!