Is it possible to get a job offer after attending just three interview rounds? Yes. Our graduate, Tatiana, did it! She passed all three interview rounds in the very first company that invited her to an interview. So what’s her secret? Read on to find out.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I could tell you that I had years of experience working in the IT industry before I started my course. But I’m not going to. The truth is before the course, I had no IT background and I started out like everyone else.
My schooling started in September 2020 and lasted until November 2020.
I passed the final mock interview with my mentor in November. I got all the further information I needed and I prepared my resume ready to start my job search.
What was the job searching process like?
At first, I wasn’t consistent at all. I started applying in early December for jobs, then I slowed down as I had a few family events.
Then I started actively applying again in January when the festive season was over.
There were days when I applied for 30-40 positions a day using just LinkedIn. But, it wasn’t the same every single day.
I talked to a couple of recruiters but I didn’t have any luck. I wish, looking back, that I’d started applying for jobs from the very beginning. Maybe I would have had more calls.
What was the successful interview like?
The company contacted me in mid-January, after I’d been looking for a job for two weeks. But I hadn’t been to an interview at that point.
There was one meeting with the QA team lead, one more with the PR Manager, and the last one was with a technical manager and the founders.
To be honest, the interview wasn’t smooth as I was really nervous, and I got stressed out because it was my first experience. I was trying to be confident, but in my head I kept thinking that I wouldn’t get an offer on the first try.
The offer I got came as a total surprise to me.
What did you talk about in your interviews? What were the questions like?
Everyone asked me to “Tell us about yourself”. But not all of them asked about projects I’d worked on. Basically, only the founder asked about projects I’d worked on.
There were more questions than I expected, but nothing we didn’t learn on the course.
If I didn’t know how to answer a particular question, I’d answer the recruiter by saying, “I didn’t work directly with it, but I was exposed to it, and I know what it is. I am more than happy to learn about this topic and I will pick it up very quickly.” This was the advice given by the course tutors.
There were a couple of questions about SQL that I couldn’t answer at all.*
They asked about the bug life cycle, and what I would do with a bug if the developer returned it to me and said it’s not a bug. I had prepared an answer to this in advance, so I felt confident. I’d advise anyone to prepare well ahead for your interview.
I had a technical assignment too. I had to do a bug report, which wasn’t complicated at all.
I’m much more confident now than I was, but there was one time when I didn’t feel confident with the QA vocabulary.
*Companies typically ask questions about API and SQL in 2-3 interviews out of ten. So, it’s not obligatory to be proficient in it.*
Are you happy with your job offer?
At first, I got a $65,000 a year salary offer, which was for a full-time remote job, but I managed to negotiate this salary.
We decided that in three months I will be eligible for a $70,000 a year salary.
They didn’t actually discuss salaries with me during my interviews, I got an email with an offer. I wrote back to them immediately and said that I had a $65,000 a year job now, and I asked if they could make me a better offer.
So, my advice is, don’t be shy, do negotiate if you want to get a decent salary.
Do you have any other advice?
I had a problem with weak motivation and stress at the start. So, if you can address your weaker points early on, you can overcome them. I started thinking about the biggest goals I would like to accomplish, and it motivated me to work hard during the job search.
I’m also not very good at public speaking, so going to interviews was a tiny bit stressful. I would practice with my teachers and this helped me a lot.
The guys who are interviewing you don't want you to fail, they need you. For any graduate who’s worrying about failing an interview, think of it as a quiz. The recruiters are asking you questions to make sure that you fit into their company, as much as they fit into your working life. Take it as something more positive. It’s not a test.
I found the Unix and Android Studio topics confusing. So, I would rewatch the classes dedicated to these topics regularly. I’d speed up the videos, so that I could cover them in a day. It was six hours or so, and it worked well for me. So, my advice is, if you don’t understand something, just rewatch the videos as much as you like.
Lastly, apply to as many jobs as possible. Don’t worry too much about what it says in the job description because it will take ages to read everything. So, just apply!
Thank you very much for sharing your story with us because it’ll motivate others. We wish you all the best in your job!