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Success Story: Lilly

November 23, 2021

Many success stories look quite similar, but the truth is, every single tale is different. Every individual who embarks on a journey towards getting a job faces some struggle, whether it be big or small. 

The point is, any one of these success stories can resonate with someone and can change their outlook on the job searching process. Reading about a fellow graduate who has similar concerns has the power to motivate, and inspire people who are feeling a little dispirited. 

Be inspired by Lilly’s story today! 

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?

I come from a fine arts and healthcare background. So, no tech-related background at all. I am currently living in Seattle, it’s often raining here but it’s a nice place in Washington. 

I found Careerist on Instagram. I think I saw an ad and it caught my attention. Before that, I didn’t know that people could actually work in the tech field without actually having a background in tech. 

The ad looked perfect for me and it was the main reason why I signed up for the course. I started at the beginning of March, and during my time on the course I gained a lot of experience and everyone was extremely supportive. 

When did you graduate and did you complete an internship?

I graduated in April and I completed a two week internship as well. During the internship I executed test cases and did both web and mobile testing. I really loved it as it gave me a lot of practice. It was a great experience and the lead was fantastic. It didn’t take me too much time to carry out my internship, probably up to 3 hours a day. Writing test cases and then executing them didn’t take much time. 

This short exercise helped me a lot during the first interview I attended because I was asked how to write test cases and do bug reports. Being able to practice these skills in real world settings improved my confidence level.

How long did it take you to find a job?

My job search was about 6-7 weeks long. During this time I applied for approximately 220 places. In total, I had around 12 calls from recruiters, which is not many. 

I got a call from the recruitment team at the company I’m currently working at on the second day of my job search. I guess you could say that I had a good feeling about the job right from the start. 

The recruitment process was a pretty long process. After the initial call from the recruitment team I had to wait two weeks for my interview with a senior QA member and the HR team. 

I had plenty of time to study beforehand for this interview, and on the day of the interview I felt really prepared. Looking back I can see that the process took a while, but it was totally worth it.

My advice is: You definitely need to study for interviews. I listened to the last meeting given by Careerist’s tutors over and over again while cleaning, doing the dishes and so on. I studied the course material every single day and I watched all the course’s videos twice.

How many interviews did you have in the end?

I had one interview and it went really well. It resulted in me getting a job offer. 

If I’d looked a little longer for a job I would probably have had more offers. I guess, some people are just lucky to pass their first interview, while others may need to try a few more tries. I was a lucky one.

What questions did you have during your interview?

When I got to the interview, the interviewers asked me around ten behavioural questions and around five tech-related questions.

 «Tell me about the time something went wrong and you fixed it»  ,  «What’s your usual day at work like?»  ,  «What would you do if a developer told you it’s not a bug but a feature?»  . Were some questions that stood out for me. 

Despite the fact that I found these questions difficult to answer, I still managed to answer them all well and they were satisfied with my answers.

They also asked me to tell them about a time I’d worked with a customer. I answered honestly, and said that in my last job my customers were the developers and managers, and I had to clarify information with them. That’s probably all I could say in order to answer that difficult question.

Is your job remote or at least in the same state as you live in?

It’s fully remote. It’s actually a full-time position that’s based in Ohio, but I get to work in Seattle. 

They offered me a $70,000 a year salary and I tried to negotiate it. I asked the recruiter whether they could make it up to $75,000 a year, but they told me that they weren’t sure about going up so high. 

I didn’t actually have high hopes about the job really. The last interview session was really hard. The behavioural questions were quite tough, so I was really surprised when they called me back after the interview, and that’s the reason I didn’t want to push my luck by demanding a higher salary. 

I’m now on a yearly salary of $70,000 a year with benefits, that bumps the salary up to about $80,000 in total. Overall, that’s not that bad, but I know I could make more in time. 

What are your next steps?

I started my job back in August. And it was recommended to me that I should stop updating my LinkedIn profile for now, so that I could work in my current job for a while and to gain even more real world experience. Once I feel confident about what I’m doing I will continue my job search. I’ll update my resume in time, but I’ll be sure to apply for jobs with bigger salaries. 

I’d like to express my gratitude to my awesome Careerist mentor. She was a huge help to me and I’m happy I found you guys.


We would definitely love to hear from you in the future! Come back and share more stories with us in a  few months. Thanks for sharing your story with us all.


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