Idris has changed his life for the better by following his dream. With a little bit of patience over a short but busy application period, Idris secured a new job in the tech industry.
What’s your story?
I started the program in the autumn of 2021, in October or November. When I finished all the final notes on the resume and practiced answering interview questions with my career coach, it was December, so I postponed the job search. We were told that the market was slower in December, and January was a better time to start applying for a new job.
What about your background? Do you have a tech degree or a computer science degree?
I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration but no tech background at all.
Actually, it doesn’t matter when you start your job search. Sometimes even in slow months, our graduates succeed in finding a new job. But you started in January, right?
Yes, it was January—the first quarter. I heard that companies set their budget for the year, so it was a promising period. I think I did everything possible and got my offer in mid-February. I started working as a manual QA on March 1, 2022.
So it was around a one-month job search. Could you tell us about your new job in a few words?
Sure. It’s a fully remote position. My company is in New York, and I’m based in Indianapolis, Indiana. My salary is $70K with the option to increase it.
Wow! For the first job, $70K is a great sum. I remember that feeling because my first job offer was very similar to yours. The point is that you can get more. Just keep that in mind. Feel free to renegotiate the salary in a couple of months. How did your job search go?
That was not easy. I applied in the mornings and late at night before and after work. I searched every single day. For that one month, I was always at home. I enjoyed Thursdays and Fridays because I found many vacancies to apply for throughout the weekend.
How many interviews did you have?
I made it to four final interviews in total. Out of those, I got one job offer.
How is your new job? Have you already started?
I’ve been working here for three weeks so far. It’s nice—I would say it’s even cool. Moreover, the company has sent me the laptop I’m working on now.
Is it web or mobile testing? Do you get enough support at your job?
It’s both: mobile and web testing. At first, I did training on how the software works, and now I’m starting to test and do other related stuff.
I’m getting good reviews from my supervisor so far. Thank you for everything you have told and explained to me. I’m just asking the right questions, so I’m able to learn.
Just follow our instructions which are really recommendations. Make a little effort before asking, like trying to do your own research first, and then start asking questions. Can you remember any tricky questions you had during the interview?
They were asking if I knew any of the API testings or Postman. I said I’m not into those yet, but I’m willing to learn. I told them I knew how to use Chrome dev tools.
Just trust me: put in the effort to learn what an SDLC is. It has saved me many, many times. Most questions are about this or related. For instance: at which stage do I think a QA should be started? I’m looking back at the SDLC I described at the design stage, and that was a good answer.
Actually, SDLC wasn’t among the popular interview questions overall, but it’s nothing complicated. You were lucky to get more questions related to SDLC.
In fact, you have already provided us with all the questions, so we have everything on a list. I tried to have something to say for every question. Another question: what was my biggest mistake? I said I kept working late—overnight—and that’s the mistake.
It’s important to show you were learning from your mistakes and make sure you won’t repeat the same mistakes. Your job search depends on the way you’ve prepared. Please work with your career coach because there are many individual situations that are worth discussing. Is there something else you would like to share?
My career coach was awesome! Any question that I shot out, she checked in with me and motivated me a lot. I think it was my coach who made me not give up. And our Slack channel. I was deeply inspired by those who were writing good news, telling everyone they had found their jobs.
Those who search for a job for one year are those that didn’t search for it actively. There are some exceptions, but in many cases, these people have issues either with soft skills or not sounding confident enough.
The more calls you have, the better you get. My first interviews weren’t as smooth as the last ones I had right before I got the job offer. The point is that it becomes much easier with time.
The more you do it, the better you get. Thanks a lot! You have obviously changed my life.
We’re happy to hear you prepared well and found your offer so quickly. Thanks for sharing your story. It will definitely inspire someone else. Good luck with your new job! We’re looking forward to another interview with you after some time in the industry.
**The questions and responses in this article have been edited for clarity.