Is it worth taking one of our trainings if you already have a technical background? The answer is YES.
If you haven’t joined the tech industry yet, or maybe you’ve been out of the field for a few years and need to refresh your memory, signing up to one of our trainings is the way forward! By completing one of our trainings you’ll also get access to top-notch support from our talented experts, and you’ll receive mentorship throughout your job search - it’s an opportunity that should not be missed. Read Oksana’s story to learn more!
Every success story helps to motivate someone who’s searching for a job, and Oksana’s story will inspire you today! So, Oksana, can you tell us all a little bit about your background?
I’m excited to share my story. There might not be anything super exciting about it, but maybe my story will help somebody.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. But I studied this when I was young, and I guess I wasn’t completely into education at that point in my life. It’s really just a piece of paper to me, I don’t have any real knowledge of the field.
Did you write down that you had a degree on your resume and on LinkedIn?
Yes, I put it on both. There were a couple of questions asked about my education during the hiring process. I told recruiters that I didn't have any real knowledge of the field as it was years since I’d achieved my degree - I was being honest. I didn’t even work in the field. And even though I remembered a few bits and pieces about the topic, I’d lost most of what I was taught on the training because I wasn’t actually practicing in the field.
How many connections did you have on LinkedIn when you started your job search?
I only had around 200 actually. I’m still adding people. I’ve nearly got 500 connections now.
When did you join Careerist and how long did it take you to get a job offer?
I joined the June class. However, when I finished my class I went back home to Ukraine. So, I didn’t start looking for a job straight away.
It took me another month to get back to America and I started learning the questions and working with my mentor then. The job search itself started on the first of September, 2021, and I got my job offer on the second of October, 2021.
It’s great to hear that it only took you a month. How many interviews did you attend?
In total, not taking into consideration the initial calls, and only taking into account the calls I had with hiring managers and the various interview rounds I attended… I suppose there were 15-20 interviews in total.
Up to 20 interviews in one month, that’s incredible! How many jobs did you apply for?
I applied for around 1,080 jobs in total. Approximately 40 positions per day, but it was sometimes less.
I did apply for jobs on Friday and Saturday, despite the fact that I wasn’t recommended to do so. On Mondays, I’d usually have a lot of calls from companies that I’d applied to on the Friday and Saturday.
It was a busy time as I had 3-4 calls per day. I also got to the second interview round at five companies, and then I made it to the final interview round at three of these companies.
Attending multiple interviews is quite common, but there are also exceptions - some people get a job offer straight after their first interview.
How long did the interviews last with the company that hired you?
The interview with the hiring manager was about 30 minutes long. The second interview, which was also the final interview, lasted about 40 minutes before they said bye-bye to me .
They didn’t ask me much in the final interview. I was mostly asking them questions because they were waiting for one more person to join the interview, but she never came. I didn’t want to be quiet, so I started asking questions about the job, company, people, something the interviewer liked and didn't like about their job, for example.
They called me back about 20 minutes after the last interview and offered me a job.
Did you continuously amend and change your resume before you sent it out?
I used the same resume I created with my mentor. I didn’t make any changes
Would you like to tell us about your job offer?
They offered me $45 per hour. The contract is for 6 months. They have told me that they hope to extend this contract if the budget permits. They’re aiming to keep me on as a full-time employee.
That’s a great salary! And is it a remote job?
Yes, it’s a remote job. I’m in Phoenix and the company is in Maryland.
Do you remember any frequently asked questions from your interviews?
Well, the first questions were usually something like “Tell me about yourself”, “Tell me about your project” and “What do you do in your current company?”
The questions are pretty much the same as the ones we were told about. There were other questions about the company I worked for and my internship. There were some additional questions about the QA processes I used in my previous company.
There were also a lot of behavioral questions. Careerist’s ‘frequently asked questions’ document helped me a lot when it came to answering these questions.
The company that hired me didn’t ask me many tech-related questions at all. When I was asked some questions about development and reproduction, I got stuck. I didn’t know what to say, so they stopped asking me technical questions. But I never stayed silent during my interviews, I would ask questions myself, so we kept the conversation going.
Where did your interviews take place and which platforms were used?
All of them were video calls, usually on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Where did you apply for your jobs?
Mostly LinkedIn Jobs. I also used Glassdoor, but I didn't have many responses there. I often got something like “Sorry, we are not hiring anymore” or “We decided to proceed with a different person” on that site.
I applied all over the United States, I didn’t focus on any particular city. I just looked out for manual QA jobs all over the US. I applied for everything I could see and find.
During the first week of my job search I read lots of job descriptions, but after talking to a lady that was with me on the training everything changed. She advised me not to dive into the details and to just apply straight away for jobs. So, that is what I started doing, and it really helped me to send out applications a lot quicker. It was less stressful since I didn’t have to think about each and every requirement that was noted in the job descriptions.
I tried to apply for new positions, like jobs posted within the hour, and recruiters usually reached out to me very fast when I did this.
The job I actually got was one I’d applied to within an hour of the job post going live. A recruiter called me 20 minutes after I’d posted my application to say that I’d been considered for a first interview. The interview was with the hiring mentor, and by the following week I’d heard I’d made it to the second interview round.
I also noticed that after I got my job offer, I still received invitations to attend interviews. This continued for a further two weeks, but I just canceled them because I wasn’t interested anymore.
How did you prepare for your interviews?
After attending my first interview I noted down the questions that I had trouble with. Then I went home and Googled the questions, so I could find answers to them. Then I discussed the questions with my mentor, and I ran my answers by them to make sure that I was answering the questions in the correct way.
I always tried to learn from my past experiences. Every company I spoke to used different tools, some I’d never heard of, so I was Googling a lot during my job search. I also read up on anything else I wasn’t familiar with in preparation.
That’s great that you did your own research. Were you asked about API or SQL in your interviews?
I did have API written down on my resume and I did have a couple of questions about it in a few interviews. But I told the interviewers that I only knew the basics, and that I’d only tested a login function with it. I followed the simple rule of answering the questions as simply as possible, using only the knowledge that I did actually have.
I didn't have SQL written down on my resume, so I didn’t get asked about it.
Did they ask you about Linux or Unix commands in your interviews?
No, nobody asked me about anything like that. The questions were more like “How would you test a clock” or “How would you prepare for the release of the clock”. They meant a regular clock like one hanging on the wall.
Have you started your new job, and if so, how is it going?
Yes, I’ve been working at my new job for 2 weeks. It’s an e-commerce website and I am testing the cart option and the checkout process at the moment. It’s interesting and I really like it. In this particular company QAs do a lot of work, so I am learning a lot every single day. That’s the reason why I like the job. Every day there is something new to discover.
In my team there’s a QA Lead, me, and another QA person. I think they have 10 to15 agile team members that test different features on the website in total. The QA manager supervises all the teams, so my lead is the one who is training me at present. My QA Lead is training me via Slack, and he makes records on Microsoft Teams and shares his live screen with me. They also have a tester who lives in India, but she finishes her day when we start. Overall, my team is very supportive.
I am not trained in automation yet, but the company has mentioned that eventually they will train me for an automation role, which will involve learning about Java. They’ve already said that it will be a couple of months before they start training me. I’m excited about this new adventure!
Let’s hope that they keep their promise because learning automation is such a great opportunity. Can you tell us about your internship at Careerist?
I split my two week internship into one week with WiFi Map, and the second week with PeerBoard. It was really easy for me. I was on vacation at the time, so completing the internship didn’t take much time for me. I did all the tasks that I was supposed to do and I believe that it was a good idea to join the internship program.
What was your first week at work like?
During my first week at work I went through a rather rapid onboarding process, and I literally started doing tests the second day I was at work. I got my first task via Slack from my QA Lead. On my fourth working day I was writing test cases. It was way harder than I’d imagined because the test cases were for a new feature on the website.
Some of my tasks are still in their infancy, so nothing is actually on the website yet. Since I don't know the website well it has been quite challenging writing test cases.
Did they give you some instructions on how to write test cases?
Since they don’t have a PRD (Product Requirement Document), they write test cases in Jira. Here we have a ticket or a story where we write down what the outcome of the task should be. I’m writing test cases for one story now.
In my first week, I was stressed a lot. I seemed as if I knew nothing, but little by little I have become more confident, and I can now feel the ground beneath my feet again.
Since you’re working remotely, did the company provide you with equipment?
Yes, they sent me a laptop before my first day. I got my laptop on the Friday, and I started my job on the Monday.
It’s so great to hear your story! Your story will definitely inspire someone, because every time one of our graduates gets a job, they motivate their fellow graduates to keep on searching for work. Come back to tell us more about your job soon.