Will a long pause in your job search stop you from achieving your dream job? Absolutely not!
Graham won the hearts of recruiters in several states in the US after taking time out to recover from major surgery. He knew that he wanted to find his dream job and to succeed in the tech field, and he set out to do just that!
So, don’t let your worries hold you back. Let’s dive deeper into his story, so you can be inspired by his commitment, dedication and perseverance.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
I’m currently located on the East coast in Maryland. I joined the Careerist bootcamp last year, it was about June-July time. Basically a year ago.
After completing a two week internship I started applying for jobs, but I had to stop because I had to have surgery.
Then there was a long period of rehabilitation and that put my job search on hold. I couldn’t do anything for the rest of the year, but fortunately, I’m good now.
I started applying for jobs again in February after I contacted the team at Careerist for support. They helped me update my LinkedIn profile and CV.
How did you find the job search?
I applied for around 30-40 positions a day via LinkedIn Jobs. I had a lot of interviews in the first few months of my job search, up to five or so. There were two quite remarkable and memorable ones. The first one was in California and the other one was in Texas.
The California interview was held over three rounds, and it was for a job that would pay a yearly salary of $90,000. The only thing that really disappointed me about this job was that they needed me onsite. I wasn’t able to move states because of health reasons. I basically have to go to see my doctor frequently and I wasn’t ready to relocate to California.
There were three stages to the interview I went to in Texas. As I went through the various stages I was able to talk to the manager, a tech person and a few more people. The job was completely remote and it was a full-time position. They offered me a yearly salary of $70,000 with additional benefits, which would be worth around $80,000 in total (including annual bonuses). They were even prepared to pay for my relocation, but the position was remote, so there was no need for that.
I started my new job in July.
My job search lasted between 5-6 months. In this time I managed to get two offers, and I had the opportunity to choose between the two.
Many of our graduates worry about their first week at work. How did your first week at work go?
I received good instructions from my company, as well as receiving a laptop during my first week of work. My career coach also contacted me and clarified some details.
I followed the instructions I was given, I was executing test cases, and I was doing exploratory and ad-hoc testing. I also familiarized myself with the tools used and I looked into Jira. And later on I was writing bug fixes.
Can you tell us about your interview questions? Were there any odd questions that are not on our question list?
There were no new questions. The questions are absolutely the same as the ones on the list. Nothing new.
I had straightforward questions about myself, recent projects I’d worked on and my previous work experience.
I was asked about what challenges I’d faced at work and what motivates me. I used common sense to answer these questions. I told them I hardly ever have confrontations at work, and that teamwork motivates me a lot, as well as completing tasks.
What are your plans for the future and do you plan on continuing your studies?
I’m planning to start an automation class soon because my new boss wants to make me a senior testing analyst. That’s the reason why I’m learning Selenium at the moment - I really want to get into automation.
Any final thoughts?
Things worked out just as you’d told us they would on the course. All the processes were the same and there were no extremely hard questions to answer during interviews. Just plan and prepare. Most of the job searching process is just normal and straightforward communication.
Thanks a lot for sharing your story with us. You’ve inspired many people to keep on striving forward in their job search! Sometimes people give up too early in their job search, but your story shows us all that perseverance is the key to success.