Inga succeeded in getting the job of her dreams. Her confidence and positive attitude earned her an offer. Today she is involved in innovative testing and happily shares her story.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Honestly, I have no technical background, but I do have a marketing background. I took one training on QA about a year ago, but I didn’t succeed in finding a job. I switched to Careerist and started my training on October 5, 2021.
When did you start applying for jobs?
I started my job search at the beginning of December 2021. I tried to follow all the instructions, and I applied to 30-40 positions per day. According to my notes, I submitted 1,250 applications during the QA job search after graduation from Careerist.
Awesome! Did you start getting calls for interviews straight away?
It happened in a short period. I started in December, and there were definitely more calls in January than before Christmas. Despite the fact things went slowly in December, I still got some interviews, and I hoped for the best.
I tried to take chances even if I saw there was something not applicable to me. It was a great opportunity to work on my interview skills, and it worked a lot of the time.
How long was your job search?
It was two-to-three months. I got my first job offer in less than two months, and my second offer came a week after the first one.
That’s what usually happens after you get your first job offer—the others start to come immediately. How many interviews and offers have you had?
In total, there were six companies where I had interviews. I got to four final interviews, and I had two job offers. In fact, one helped to get me another.
That’s interesting. How?
When I got my first job offer, I was still interviewing with another company. I was really interested in the second company, and I just let them know I already had a job offer. I honestly asked whether they were interested in my candidacy.
They shared their plans with me. We proceeded, and they organized more interviews in a shorter period of time. The last interview with them was successful, and I chose to join them.
Is your new job in the same area? Did you have to relocate?
I’m in New York, and my new job is also here. However, it’s remote, since the office is closed because of COVID. I think it might be hybrid in the future.
The first job offer was also hybrid. I was supposed to relocate, and they had a really good relocation bonus for me. But the second company was better in both ways: more interesting projects and a better salary.
What did you like most about the job you chose?
It’s not a simple QA role—it’s a kind of an “experimentation” QA role. They run A/B testing and multivariate, which is also called A/B/C/D testing. I learned that they have a constant experimentation team, and this is their approach to the software. Continuous integration (CI) and continuous development (CD) are supplemented by continuous experimentation.
So does the job focus on devices and mobile applications, or the web?
Both: web and mobile. We experiment, and it works even better than the usual testing, as it deals with real-time users. The company definitely benefits by immediately detecting if new features are good or bad and seeing how they can improve on existing features.
Another exciting thing for me had to do with having no experience in A/B testing. Although they mentioned that in the job description, they still considered me and chose me. That was something you were talking about: you don’t need to be an expert or have a computer science degree. It’s more than enough to be self-assured and answer all the questions confidently. Showing your interest and friendliness works everywhere.
You got two job offers in total. How many interview rounds did you have with each company?
The first company was very responsive, and I really liked their approach. I had one call with the recruiter and one call with a hiring manager, who invited other team members to the interview, so it was like a technical round. That was a totally unexpected twist for me, so my advice to everyone is always be prepared. The first job offer came during the hiring manager interview, which was also the last one.
Speaking about the other company, it was a bit different. I had no experience in A/B testing, and they didn’t ask me about that. They just divided the interview into two parts: 45 minutes to talk about myself (I had a small presentation where I shared my approach and experience) and another 45 minutes where the hiring manager showed me the whole process. He expected me to share ideas about improvement.
That’s quite a rare case. Were there any other tricky questions?
I can’t tell if I showed enough of my technical skills in the interviews. In fact, there was a lot of improvisation. All the other interviews were pretty simple. Despite the fact that I didn’t get any other job offers, everything was pretty much the same. I prepared some assignments with test cases ahead of time, so I had nothing to worry about at all.
Interviews consisted of simple questions and nothing else. I was asked how I would test a kitchen with household appliances. There were questions about the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). They wanted to understand where I was in my learning and for me to answer as much as I knew correctly.
The most popular questions were things like talking about yourself or discussing how to report a bug. I also had API and SQL on my resume, but I only had some general questions about these.
What has helped you to prepare?
I enjoyed Lana’s video, and I rewatched it a couple of times. There was a video with Max that was also useful because he explains pretty well what interviewers want to hear.
After the videos Careerist provided, everything clicked in my head. I had a clear picture of what companies want and expect to hear from their dream candidates.
How big was your offer?
The first offer was $72,500. The recruiter named their salary range during the first call, and the upper limit was $73,000. She said the number before I told her my expectations. So I asked for $73,000, and they gave me $72,500.
The second offer was much better. They offered $90,000. To be honest, I was asking for a bit less, and they gave me more, which made me happy.
This offer sounds like getting a job in the White House on your first attempt. Have you already started?
I’m starting next week. My mentor has already provided me with a list of advice for the first time in a new place.
Is there anything you would like to tell those who are still on their way to their dream job?
Just one more time, thank you. I also wanted to give a big thanks to my mentor, who is from Ukraine. We became friends over time, and we still constantly check in with each other. The support throughout the job search was just priceless.
There were also some cases when I thought it would be just a recruiter call, but it appeared to be an interview with the hiring manager. The HR reps always wanted to know if I knew something about the company. It’s always a good idea to check the job description and try to anticipate some possible questions. If you know what the company does and the people you are going to talk to, it’s definitely worth checking them out online.
Show interest and enthusiasm. Be excited about the opportunities. I was trying to think positively, and it helped me a lot. There was nothing too technical, so don’t worry about that. The job is really awesome. Sometimes it’s even too awesome to feel like it’s really true. It’s totally my dream job—I couldn’t even imagine a job this good before.
Thanks for sharing your story! We’re pretty sure you’ll like your new job because the teams are often as awesome as the remote jobs themselves. We are looking forward to our next meeting!
This interview was edited for clarity.