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Success Story: Victor

June 1, 2021

The moment Victor joined the IT industry he contacted us because he wanted to share his story with you all - he will even tell you about some mistakes he made along the way too! Today he will share with you a summary of his job searching journey, so that you can be inspired and learn from him. 

Let’s dive right into the details now! Oh and did we mention… this guy has found an epic job in Miami, FL… pretty neat right? 

When did you join the IT industry? And, what background do you have in tech?

I moved to the US in March 2020 and I joined the Careertist program in the summer. I was located in Chicago at the time but then I moved to Miami. 

I managed to find my current job in December 2020. So, it took me around five months to get work.

Before testing I built computers (set motherboards and video cards). I did this for fun.

Some people say that they have no interviews to attend, so what is your secret? 

I started by completing 2.5 weeks of the Careerist internship. This allowed me to use my new found testing skills in a real world setting. But, looking back, I have to admit, I was too lazy to do the tasks I was getting during my internship. I wasn’t applying myself to it enough.

For about a month after completing my course I was applying for jobs in the Chicago area, but not around the country. Me focusing on this one set area actually made my job searching process longer. 

Chicago is full of opportunities and I applied for twenty positions every single day. When I started applying across different states for jobs, the number of applications I was sending in increased to forty applications per day. 

In total, I had seventeen interviews and I got my offer on the eighteenth. 

So, my first secret is don’t give up, just keep applying.

When did you start getting interview calls?

I find it strange when people tell me that they don’t get phone calls from recruiters. I actually got my first two calls within the first week of applying for jobs in Chicago. At its peak, I had around three to six calls per week on average. 

What is the most important thing you learnt from your interviews?

After fourteen unsuccessful interviews, I started to think about why I wasn’t getting any offers. Max was surprised too. So, when we checked it all out together we realized that the way I was answering questions was okay, but I was always rushing to answer my questions. 

I was answering unnaturally fast most of the time.

My second secret for you is, take your time, and include pauses in your interview answers. Breathe, and never show the interviewer that you’re worried about the question you’ve just been asked. 

Chill and keep thinking that they need you more than you need them. Don’t answer questions immediately - even if you know the right answer. Be real, and show recruiters that you are actually thinking of an answer.

At the last and eighteenth interview I was totally relaxed. I behaved like I didn’t have a care in the world and I got the job in the best city ever, Miami, FL.

You’ve had many interviews, so can you tell us what questions you’ve been asked in your interviews? 

First of all, you don’t have to have a Computer Science degree to work in testing. I have an incomplete Computer Science degree and I’ve never been asked about it.

The most common questions I had were:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “How do you write bug reports?”
  • “If you have a lot of tasks, but not enough time, what do you do?”
  • “Tell me about the bug life cycle in your company.”
  • “Tell me about your day at work.”

There were no questions about ADB or Unix commands. Only once was I asked some basic questions about API, SQL, and how do you use a proxy. The basic principles of SQL and API are taught during classes, so you know enough about them to answer a question related to them. 

It’s the same story with Agile questions. I was asked about Agile twice. I guess you need to be ready to answer questions on these topics, but don’t focus too much on them.

Oh, some things you should definitely know about are the latest versions on Android and iOS.

Problem based questions are pretty easy to answer too. They may ask you something like “How are you going to solve this problem?”. All you need to do is assure the recruiter that you are looking for new challenges, you want to explore technologies and tools, and that you want to try your hand at another industry.

To get the best out of an interview you just need a basic idea of some concepts, no in-depth knowledge. You need to use your common sense and logic to answer questions, and the more you revise for your interviews the easier it will be. 

You should combine the educational videos from the course with the study document you get given. I used to use the documents more, but it depends on personal preference. I can’t recommend the most effective way of studying for everyone, obviously.

What platforms did you use to apply for jobs? 

I mostly used LinkedIn, and this is where I applied at least thirty times per day for jobs. 

The second site I used was Glassdoor. Indeed, Dice and Monster turned out to be less effective for me. 

I created folders with resumes for different cities on my profiles (LA, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.), and this helped me to apply for jobs far faster, and it did save some time. 

It’s important that you follow the applying rules that are set out for you.

Did you find the company you work at now or did they contact you about your current role? 

The recruiter reached me on LinkedIn and told me about a potential opportunity. They were very satisfied with my interview answers and told me I did great. My LinkedIn profile told them I was somewhere in the US, but my city wasn’t specified. I told them at once that I was in Chicago but that I was open to relocation. 

After that, there was one Zoom video call, which was a simple conversation and it was done.

Can you share some details on your job offer with us?

The company I work for is a huge, and very well-known company around the world. The position I’ve got is partly office and partly remote based - but that’s not a problem for me. It’s like one day per week at the office. But, at the moment, the majority of my work is done remotely. 

The office is located in Miami, FL. They pay $35 per hour and $52.5 for additional hours. There are around 60 hours per week, but they do pay extra for overtime. I did not have to relocate immediately because it was pretty cheap for me to catch a flight across the country when I needed to. A flight cost $135 with my luggage included. 

It has been great to hear your story and to see that you didn’t give up hope. Thank you for coming to share your story with us all. And, a big congratulations on your job. 

We get a lot of students coming to us saying that they find the job searching and interview processes hard. But if we can all learn something from Victor, it’s to keep applying for jobs and to strive towards our goal.

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