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Success Story: Kristina

July 20, 2021

So, tell us a little bit about your background and how your tech career started... 

I can honestly tell you that I did not have any tech background before I did the Careerist course. 

I’m European, but not Russian. When you’re looking for a job, the nation you're from doesn’t matter. If you have a job offer as a goal - you will definitely get there in the end. It’s all about your approach to looking for work.

I did the Careerist course in July 2020. I always made sure that I was present in all the lessons, and therefore I was able to ask the teachers questions. After the course I did the one-week internship and that’s it. 

What was the job searching process like for you? 

Before I started applying, I had a one to one meeting with my mentor. We made a checklist of everything I needed to do beforehand. And by the autumn I had my resume and LinkedIn profile ready. 

I started applying in early September, but I was a little bit busy with family stuff, so I couldn’t start my job search earlier.

I’m located in Atlanta, Georgia. So, I started applying for jobs around there, but it was really slow. I started seeing results about a month in. I was applying for about 30-40 positions per day. My job search took around two months in total before I found my current job.

Are there any ‘must-dos’ you’d recommended to your fellow graduates?

The first must is to follow what your mentor and Max say. 

Another must is to always state your full name on your online profile. Shortenings aren’t normal when it’s your name. 

Additionally, you must have a professional photo on your online profile. You should be careful with what you put on your profile as well. No awkward shares and posts, because LinkedIn is not like other social networking websites. Keep your profile professional.

How many interviews did you have?

I started to keep a record of all the companies I was applying to early on. I'd write down the name and location of the company. I can tell you that I applied to 753 positions in total. Of this figure, 117 companies rejected me immediately. I got 50 general call backs from recruiters in total. 

I’d go to about four interviews on a daily basis. Basically, I’d be finishing one then I’d be straight into another one immediately. It was pretty stressful and tiring, but I managed to get the offer I wanted.

Each interview I went to gave me new knowledge and confidence. Looking back I’d say that it was a good journey. I was really ready for the last interview. 

How many interview rounds did you go to?

Most interviews I went to were made up of several interview rounds. Some rounds were just short calls during the week.

17 companies I had an interview with had more than 2 rounds of interviews with me. 

8 companies had 3+ rounds of interviews. 

I had one company that had 6 interview rounds. 

I’d say that at least every interview was made up of two interview rounds.

What were your interview questions like? 

The questions were exactly the same ones as the ones that were discussed on the course. The question, “Tell us about yourself” is almost always the very first question you will hear.

I really prepared for each interview, I’d even look up the company info and its requirements. This additional background research let me answer the question “What have you heard about our company?” much easier. Plus, it looks like you have taken an interest in the company.

Although I noted down API and SQL on my resume, only once did a question about API come up. The only reason the company was interested in API was because it was mentioned on my resume. Anyway, if they do ask about it you have to know the basics, and you must show the recruiter that you understand their question. 

Before going to interviews I’d rewatch Lana’s videos. And every time I did so I learnt something new for myself. But not all recruiters are looking for API knowledge, because it’s very specific. If they ask you about it, it will be an easy question.

There is no special key to getting interviews right. It’s all about perseverance and hard work. 

I would rewatch some lessons back, particularly on the topics that I found most difficult to understand the first time around. I guess, my advice would be, to not make textbook style answers, be natural and be yourself. And don’t be afraid to Google questions if you don’t know something. 

If you keep applying, you will definitely find a company that will like you and hire you.

Are you happy with your job offer?

My offer is $35 per hour, and it’s around $75,000 per year for a fully remote job. The project is about databases and they will start training me soon. I’m happy! 

What advice would you give to your fellow students?

You will have good and bad interviews for sure. Some interviews will be super easy, and others will be very technical and draining for you. You never know what to expect. There are bad days and good days. But you will get there. It’s a game, so keep yourself motivated. 

If you need to take 2-3 days off from looking for a job, do so. 

Go and get your dream job. 

Thanks for sharing your story with us all! Come back and tell us how you get on in your job soon!


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