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Success Story: Alice, Sophia and Anna

Success Story
Mar 02, 2021

Today we caught up with three of our graduates, and they all want to share their stories with you. Each story is unique in its own way, but one thing remains consistent, all of the stories have a great ending. Read on to learn more about them.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

Generally speaking before I started my role in QA, I had no real background in IT. I’d studied management but I’d worked as a musician and a singer. 

I came to the US about four years ago, and I had this big dream that I’d enter into the IT-sphere. 

So, when I came across the Careerist course I couldn’t quite believe it. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that this course would open up a whole load of new opportunities for me. You could say I was very sceptical. But, in the end I got a job and one that earns me great money too! 

How did you find the Careerist course?

I attended a one-month long course. Lessons were every single day and they were all about 2 hours long. 

Then I did the Bootcamp and the Internship, and this is where I learnt a lot of things. 

I finished the course pretty fast, in just a couple of days or so. I’m actually a full-time mum and my mother-in-law, who helped me a lot during that time, was actually leaving to go back home, so I didn’t have a lot of time to spare.

The length of the course was actually really good from that perspective.

How did you find the job search?

My advice would be to just follow the Careerist plan, and to make sure you follow all the instructions.

The first thing I did was to create an online profile on the different platforms that Careerist tells you to use -  Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Then I scheduled phone calls with the Careerist team to find out how my interview answers sounded. I moved on to applying for jobs when the team told me I was ready. 

There were times during the job search when I was desperate and I kept contacting the team to tell them that all the companies I applied to needed automation skills. Max always calmed me down and helped me to re-focus on the job search. 

I did make a lot of mistakes early on in the job search, but I was lucky to learn from them all very quickly. In the end it took me less than a month to find a job. I found my current job, a job in the Bay area via Indeed. 

I had a lot of unsuccessful interviews to begin with, I’d say around 25 or so. I actually applied for a job at PlayStation because I wanted to work with them very much. So, I was very sad when they said ‘no’, but I’m extremely happy that they didn’t give me a job because I’m working in a much better position now. 

What was the interview like for your current job?

It was a nice conversation with a recruiter. The recruiter scheduled an on-site interview and they offered me $60 per hour, I was actually asking for $50. I also went to a 30-minute long interview with a QA manager and a product director. They were surprised by my deep knowledge and understanding of QA. 

For some reason, the role I’m in was a senior manual position. I’d never sent my resume in to an automation or senior position, so I was surprised when I found out about the role. Maybe I was tired when I sent it off. 

I contacted the team and they told me that there was no such thing as a senior manual tester. But, they said I was lucky.

What questions were you asked in your interviews?

90% of all the questions that I was asked are on the Careerist interview questions database. You need to use this list. There are around 40 pages and you should read and memorize all the questions. 

The other 10% were questions related to IT but were asked in different ways. 

Of course, they asked me if I was trained in manual or automation. There were a few more questions about the previous jobs I’d done, some about Black-Box testing, components of Jira, and how I would make a test case. They also asked me how I would make a test plan, I answered, a QA lead would do that, and they were okay with that answer. 

My current company uses a specific tool and they asked me about it, I was unfamiliar with this when I was being interviewed. It’s called Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), it’s basically the same as test cases, but it’s a slightly different approach. But, I said during my interview that I was willing to learn about this and that was fine.

What perks do you have in your current job?

The office is fresh, clean and there’s a new kitchen with free food. Moreover, there’s a parking lot nearby. 

They’ve also provided me with a laptop for work. They’re teaching me automation and paying me my salary. It’s my third week and I’ve just started working independently. 

What are your day to day tasks?

I deal with phone calls, I work with Google spreadsheets, I make bug tickets using Jira. I’m currently working with web applications. The manager asked me recently if I could teach some junior testers in the team to do test cases, because they don’t know about them yet, and I agreed.

What advice would you give to our students and graduates? 

Be an actor and never show you’re nervous when in an interview. It’s natural to be unsure and to worry during interviews, but even if you don’t know something you should say something related to the question. 

It’s important to smile during interviews. I know some people don’t like to smile, but please do yourself a favor and smile… A big smile can go a very long way with recruiters. 

Success Story: Sophia

Tell us a little bit about your background…

I came to the US around 6 years ago and I had no technical background. I had some basic knowledge of web-related stuff and database development. 

How did you hear about Careerist?

A friend told me about Careerist.

How was the job search for you?

They don’t tell you in college how to find a job, but the Careerist course was really helpful when it came to helping me find a job. I managed to find a position in a brand new company very soon after graduating. I started my job search in October and it took me 3-4 months to get the job I’m in today. 

I tried to apply every single day for jobs, but the job market in Seattle, Washington is slow during wintertime. I found my current job through my LinkedIn profile. Most recruiters contacted me via this site too. 

I had a lot of phone calls while searching for a job, and I think I had around six unsuccessful interviews.  

How did you find your interviews?

On the whole they were pretty good. I didn’t stress too much before I went. I learned the questions from the list off by heart, and you get given all the necessary information on the course. I didn’t think that there were any extra questions that I didn’t know about. So, I was well prepared.

It was also great that Careerist provided one-to-one phone calls, so you could practice giving your answers to different questions. 

What type of questions were you asked in your interviews?

I mentioned in my interviews that I was proficient in SQL databases and they asked some basic questions. 

They also asked about components of a test case and bug reports. There were some questions on bug results and smoke tests, and of course “What would you do if you had no requirements?” and “How would you create a test case?”.

What was the interview for your current role like?

First I had a 30 minute phone call, it was a personal interview. Then I had another call that lasted 1.5 hours with two developers. The third interview was a 30 minute talk with the product manager. 

They offered me $38 per hour, and I was incredibly pleased with this offer. 

Success Story: Anna

Tell us about yourself...

I currently work and live in the Bay Area, in San Jose, California. And I've been living in the US for about a year.

Tell us about your job offer...

I received an offer at a super big company a few months ago. It’s a full-time position and I start very soon. I’m still waiting for my background checks to come back.

They've offered me a $90,000 a year salary, with free shuttles and food. 

Can you tell us about your job search...

Yes, indeed! In the beginning, I had a strong feeling that nobody wanted to hire me for any IT job, and there were some moments of desperation. This all led to a call with Max, and he persuaded me to move forward and to apply every day for jobs. I eventually got a job! 

I had about four interviews: two video-interviews and two onsite interviews. In total, I received around twenty ‘Nos’.

What questions were you asked at your interviews? 

They asked me about my previous company, how big it was and where it was located. They were curious about my previous projects, so I prepared a good answer to this question in advance. 

There was an interesting problem-solving question during one on-site interview. 

They asked me, ‘Imagine your friend has just graduated, and they’ve asked you to throw a party to celebrate. What would you do?’ I quickly realized that I had to answer the question from a tester’s point of view. I told them that I would ask about requirements first, then location, what alternatives did my friend have in mind e.g. If the restaurant was closed, and so on. 

At one interview I was also asked to test a bottle of water. It’s a problem-solving and critical thinking exercise, so my advice is to be creative in an interview!

Do you have any tips for our students? 

The key to success is to keep moving forward and somebody will say yes to you. Don’t give up because you can make it! 

Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories with us. Your stories will inspire many people to start a career in IT. Good luck in your new jobs!

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