This is not a story of a single interview and an immediate offer, but a true example of what persistence and dedication can do. It’s an example of a clear vision of the need to put things on hold when necessary in order to make it to the next level and get an offer.
Tell us about the very start of your journey. When did you find out about us?
Actually, I have no tech background. I found your course a long time ago, before rebranding. I learned about Careerist through a friend who had joined it, but she couldn’t finish it for personal reasons.
It seems like it was pretty long ago. When did you join us?
It took me a few weeks to sign up; I joined the class in March 2021, around a year ago.
And what happened next?
Oh, that’s the whole story. I finished the course in April 2021; then, I took a break for two weeks. I joined the internship, but along with everything else going on in my life, I needed a break before starting. A couple of weeks later, at the start of my internship, I emailed the support team and my mentor contacted me. I practiced answering interview questions with my mentor for about three weeks.
What did you do before switching careers to tech?
I moved to the US 30 years ago as an au pair. I worked as a babysitter first, and then I was a stay-at-home mom for a while, staying busy with daycare.
How long have you been focusing on the job search?
I was in search of a job starting in September 2021. I used the Job Application Service (JAS) and applied on my own too. My job search was focused mainly on Indeed and LinkedIn. I was applying for 30–40 positions per day, which was hard since it took up to two hours a day.
That was my first job search attempt—two months without any luck. I had recruiters reaching out to me almost immediately within the first week of the job search, which was really promising. So throughout those two months, I had ten interviews with HR, but I didn’t get any offers. And at some point, I decided to take a break.
No way! In your opinion, what was the reason for that?
Perhaps I should have prepared better. However, I read all the questions and listened to the recording many, many times. It could also be a lack of confidence because I was super nervous every time.
Did you have any assistance from your mentor?
I was overwhelmed while the whole thing was going on and doing a lot of interviews every day. My mentor was with me the whole time. She was checking up on me and supporting me a lot. If not for her, I would have probably given up. I appreciate her support and motivation for me through all those hard times.
When did you return to the job search?
It was February 2022. My mentor reached out to me and told me this month I was going to get a job. I had a good feeling about that. I stayed focused and prepared a lot.
On February 26, a recruiter contacted me. I didn’t apply; the recruiter contacted me himself. They were looking for someone bilingual, and I had Spanish on my resume. Two days later, he called me to schedule an interview with three more people: the QA lead, the QA manager, and HR. The 40-minute interview went by quickly; it was my first interview since the previous fall. I remember being confident and natural, and everything went smoothly. Then the recruiter said they wanted me. Within a week, I got the job, but I haven’t done anything in Spanish so far.
So preparation and confidence matter. Is it a big or a small company?
It’s a huge, well-known company with a lot of ongoing projects. I couldn’t believe they wanted me to be a part of their team. It was something I thought never would happen, and now I’m there.
That’s definitely a great opportunity. Could you share a bit more about the position and the compensation package?
The job title for my position is Software Analyst. They’ve sent me an offer for $45 an hour, so it’s something like $93,000 per year. I regret not negotiating it. The other girls make a bit more and have been working there for a year or so. They graduated from Udemy, so they have no actual degree. Next time I should double-check.
It used to be 100 percent remote, but recently, we have moved to a hybrid schedule of two office days a week. The company’s headquarters are located in Silicon Valley. So I go there for the office days, and I have to admit I enjoy every day there.
I didn’t get a bonus, and I haven’t worked eight hours on a single day. The schedule is really flexible. I can drop my kid off at school and then drive to the office. I’m so happy about that flexibility. Another perk of office work is free food, and I was surprised we are allowed to take some of that home.
Have you joined the company already?
Yes, I joined the company in the middle of March, so I’ve been there for a while.
It seems like the active job search was three months long, which is the usual timeframe for most of our graduates. What was your overall experience with the interviews like?
Usually, they were between 40 minutes and an hour long. The most frequent questions involved talking about yourself and your previous projects. They also asked what I do throughout the day. There were also plenty of behavioral questions.
Considering the technical part, I was often asked how to write a bug, but just the theory. There were no API- or SQL-related questions. I was also asked questions like if there is a new feature on an app, could I give an example of how I would write test cases. By the way, I’m not writing test cases at work. Everything is already documented for me.
Thanks for sharing. Of course, some companies are going to ask you to do that, but it’s not a common practice. What sort of testing are you doing at work?
I actually execute test cases twice a week. The rest of the week is just regression testing. I’m always keeping my eyes open, but I don’t find bugs every day. We also do exploratory testing once a week and regression testing the other days. Once it’s done, our lead is aware of that, and we do all box reviews and experiments. We have experiments every week. In short, I’m just following the rules.
How do you do regression testing? Is there any set of test cases given to you?
I just have a link to a website where I just click everywhere; it’s so easy. I use mobile iOS and Android. It was funny because one day I thought I had made a mistake. The task was way too easy, and I was just verifying the bug. I hesitated because it looked weird, but my lead insisted on clicking the button.
Have you gotten used to your new job yet?
I’m on my way. In the first two weeks, I adjusted to the app, Google Sheets. I had to learn a bit to navigate it. You don’t have to be an expert.
We have a definite workflow, everything is pretty scheduled, and there is no need to have a daily meeting every day. I just grab the next task. Sometimes it takes three hours and I’m done, but it changes from day to day.
Is there anything you’d like to share with your peers?
Having a job in tech is a dream come true for me, and I’m enjoying it to the fullest. Listen, trust and follow the Careerist team, as there’s no way around it. Be positive and consistent, and you will get a job. You might need to take a pause, but never give up.
Indeed, there are many reasons to say “no,” and that’s fine. But you’ll definitely get your “yes” one day. Whenever you hear “no,” remember that there’s nothing wrong with your resume. Just focus and keep on going. I hope we’ll hear about your progress one day and get a more in-depth picture from you of what it’s like to be in tech.