Ricardo is a tech loving, gadget creator and engineering enthusiast who completed our Manual QA course. In just a month he managed to secure himself two excellent job offers from two world-leading organizations - find out how he managed to succeed so quickly below!
So, what’s your story?
My wife found an advertisement for the Manual QA course while browsing on Instagram. At the time, I was actually at university. I was just finishing working on a grant for NASA - a low-frequency radio for a cube satellite - and I found that I was having a lot of trouble finding work in the field.
I guess, back then I was a very skeptical person and I didn’t believe in anything for a long time. But when I watched your video for the first time, I felt that you all knew what you were talking about, and I felt inspired once again.
Eventually I signed up, completed the course, and here I am.
How long did it take you to find a job?
About a month. During this time I followed all of the instructions that I was given by the team and by my mentor. That’s what resulted in me finding a job!
Did you have a technical background before completing the course?
Well, I did actually have a technical background - I went to college and I recently went to university to study.
However, I don’t always talk about this time in my life, and I didn’t really mention this to interviewers unless they asked me.
What did you do before starting the course?
Before I started the Manual QA course I worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years.
That doesn't sound very technical…
Well during my spare time my main hobby revolved around building synthesizers and maintaining them.
I love learning about how things work, and I often build and test out new gadgets at home.
I’m definitely a scientist by nature, I have an engineer's mind, and I’m generally a math-based person. But it’s something I rarely talk about.
Wow, an engineering mindset! Can you tell us how you applied for jobs?
I used the Job Application Services (JAS), and I didn’t apply for roles myself at all.
This resulted in me being on the phone all day long, and doing about three interviews per day for a month.
To be honest, that's very unusual. Usually, we see graduates applying for jobs themselves and using JAS.
What was the job search like?
Once I started to actively follow your advice it took me a month to find work. However, it took me a while to really settle down and to start the course. There was almost a year between me learning about the course, listening to what you had to say, attending classes, and actually kick starting the job search.
Once the job search had started my phone would ring almost every day and my inbox was always full.
At one point I had so many recruiters contacting me that I had to keep a spreadsheet of everyone's details. I’d write down peoples details in an Excel document.
I would usually get back in touch with recruiters who’d reached out to me immediately, but sometimes it could take up to three days because my schedule was really tight.
In the end I was completing three interviews per day. And the moment I had about 30 companies listed on my Excel spreadsheet, I gave up writing on it. It was too much for me to handle - all the interviews, multiple calls per day, and tons of emails - enough was enough in the end.
Anyway, within a month I got my first job offer and then a second one a few days later.
I had one interview with a QA lead and a QA manager for one of the jobs I went for. Within 25 minutes the interview was over, and I got an offer back not long after. I think it was over so fast because I knew how to communicate with the specialists, and I gave answers that they wanted to hear.
Why did you have so many calls? What’s your secret?
Well, my resume was really good, and I was well-prepared to chat with recruiters about their jobs.
You mentioned you had two job offers, would you like to tell us more about them?
Okay, the first job is in electronic commerce, which I already have experience in, having worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years. I asked them for $42 per hour and they came back with an offer of $85,000 a year, plus a potential $6,000 bonus.
Other extras like healthcare, dental care and vacation time were also included. The job is in Pennsylvania and it is an onsite role. They want me to move from downtown Los Angeles, but this is proving to be a really hard decision for me to make.
The second offer came not long afterwards. The salary is $52 per hour and the role is in a very big and well–known company - the end offer was $110,000 a year. It’s a contract-based job, but it’s a one-hour drive from my house, and a two hour walk away (in case I decide to start a healthier lifestyle in the future).
What were some of the most frequently asked questions you heard during your interviews?
I was often asked what I don’t like about QA. So, I would talk about some technical difficulties that I have with the Wi-Fi in my building, but it was not a big deal.
One interviewer asked me what I would do if he wanted five days of work done in 4 hours. So, I answered that I would do some functional testing first, then a UI test.
There was also a question on how I would test a television. I answered by saying that I would do some positive functional testing, then a couple of simple negative tests, and then a UI test.
One of the biggest questions I had was to state the difference between priority and severity in testing. But the documents you gave us covered this, so it was a piece of cake.
Ha, severity isn’t used anymore, but they still ask about it! It can throw people off, sadly.
To be honest, I had the same feeling about that particular question. But I revised the document in the morning - right before my interview actually. So, I was prepared.
Have you started your job yet? If not, when are you going to?
I’m still choosing which offer to go for.
My mentor said to wait until I start going through the background checks with the bigger company before making a final decision.
In the meantime I’m thinking about signing up for the automation course with you, I want to take my skills to a more advanced level.
Take your time. The first few months in a new role should be focused on the actual job. You need to gain confidence in your new place of work, and you should do your best to immerse yourself in your role, so you can find out what the work is really like.
Make sure you concentrate on the work that’s right in front of you for the time being, and then after a few months you can start learning automation. The Automation course often requires much more dedication and focus than the Manual QA course.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Big thanks to Careerist once again.
What an amazing and super inspirational story! I think you definitely hold the record for having the most callbacks in such a short period of time. Remember to keep in touch with your mentor because they’ll be able to help you out as you start your new role.
Come back and tell us how you’re getting on in the future.