Victoria, a Manual QA course graduate, demonstrated great courage and dedication throughout her search for her dream job. Her journey was not a short nor a long one, but in the end she found the job she really wanted. Let’s dive a bit deeper into her story to find out more about her adventure.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I didn’t have a Computer Science background before doing the course. I actually have a master’s in Project Management which has nothing to do with quality assurance. I hadn't worked as a project manager either.
Did you feel that listing your education helped you during your job search?
Sometimes recruiters like to see that you have a higher education listed on your resume, but I don’t think it really helped me. Only one recruiter actually asked me for a copy of my diploma. They only asked me about it because I had it on my resume.
That sometimes happens, but usually recruiters don’t need to see a copy of your diploma, especially when it’s not related to QA. Where in the United States are you located?
I’m in Massachusetts, but I’m not close to Boston. I’m further south and nearer to Connecticut.
How did you find out about Careerist?
Actually, one of your graduates recommended the Manual QA course to me, he was like “Victoria, you should do it!” He already works in IT, and he was pushing me to complete the course for like six months. I was rather hesitant because I knew nothing about coding and the likes. But he kept pushing me until I just called you guys up and enrolled.
What happened after you did the course and the internship?
So, I finished the course and completed a 2-week internship afterwards. Then I had a meeting with my mentor and we set up a mock interview for me to try out. This whole time went by pretty quick, and I’d actually started preparing for the mock interview during my internship.
When my mentor called me for the first time he just called to introduce himself, and I asked when we could set up my first mock interview - I wanted to do it straight away. He offered to schedule it for the week after when he thought I’d be ready. I told him that I was already ready, so we did it right away. Basically, I went through all the tests and I started looking for my dream job straight away - I really didn’t wait long.
I applied for jobs for about 3 to 5 months. It was a long journey for me, even though I felt confident and I knew that I knew a lot of information. I was constantly doing my own research, and I always used Google, Guru99, I watched YouTube videos, and I did some extra Udemy courses just to be extra prepared.
I also rewatched the last lessons from my course at least ten times, and I also reviewed the documents we were given in class.
For some reason though I wasn’t really successful in my job search. But even so, I kept on working on my answers and I’d practice with my mentor at every available opportunity.
Can you tell us more about your job search…
It definitely took me a little bit longer than I expected.
In total, I applied for around 3,000 positions - I was searching for remote positions in my area.
I had no in-person interviews and recruiters would use different web tools to contact me. Usually recruiters would call me 10 minutes before the start of an interview just to make sure that all the right tools were installed on my computer. This helped to save a lot of time and it reduced my stress levels too. You don’t want to be stressed and late on the day of an interview.
I had around 15 interviews at different companies. I got to the final interview round at five of these companies. Some recruiters I’d dealt with just ghosted me though and I’d never hear back from them.
The final interview I had with the company that hired me was the longest one ever. I had to meet five different people and I had thirty minutes to talk to each person. It was exhausting. They didn’t really ask for technical information from me at this point but it was tiring. I remember the first lady I spoke to, a developer, asked me how I’d test the login functionality of a site, so I gave her some ideas. Interestingly, I was asked this question a couple of times.
I was kind of upset and desperate to know what was going wrong during my job search. It was at these times that I would call my mentor from Careerist crying and asking for help. I really just didn’t know what to do or what I was doing wrong. He always encouraged me to go and rewatch the last lesson from my course, and he advised me to follow the steps that I’d already been taking. Eventually, I got to where I needed to be.
Is your job a remote job?
It is remote for now, but it’s going to become a hybrid job in two weeks. This will mean two days on-site, which I totally don’t mind because of the Covid situation in my area. There aren’t too many people sick here, and I really want to go to the office to meet new people, and to join the community just like you told us.
You’re going to fulfill your dream soon. Are you gonna test websites or a mobile app?
That’s true. It’s a website.
Would you like to tell us about your job offer?
I got an $80,000 a year salary offer. And I think if I’d asked for more money they’d have probably given me more. In fact, the president of the company scheduled a call with me to discuss my salary - I didn’t expect this to happen at all.
The president said, “How much money do you want?” I hesitated because I expected him to offer me something, but in the end I said, “The more the better”. He then went on to ask me if I had a number in mind and that’s when I said $80,000, and he agreed.
That’s a good offer. Does the company you’re working for have a big QA team?
No, they don’t really have a big QA team. It’s just a couple of people. I’ve already met my QA manager and another girl from my team. We had a really nice conversation and she’s awesome.
Were you asked many of the 15 frequently asked questions?
The most popular ones were:
- “Tell me about your project.”
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- Questions about bug reports.
- “How would you deal with a particular conflict?”
- “What would you do if a developer tells you it’s not a bug?”
Did they ask you how to write test cases in your interviews?
I was asked this a couple of times. I always replied with an answer that was based on the information in the final document that you gave out to us in the last lesson. Recruiters were often shocked and impressed with the answer I gave. It seemed to be just the thing they wanted to hear.
It’s great to hear that they liked your answer and that they were all in shock. Were you asked any crazy coding questions?
Only one company started asking me about SQL, despite the fact that I hadn’t written anything about API or SQL on my LinkedIn profile.
I told them honestly that I didn’t really know anything about SQL. But they still decided to run through an SQL screen share with me, and they asked me to write some for-queries and I totally forgot everything. When they asked me to do this by myself they did help out a little bit and I did it. They were happy with my answers but I wasn’t interested in the job by the end of the interview.
How did you search for jobs? Did you apply by yourself and what sites did you use?
I applied through LinkedIn primarily, and I didn’t use JAS.
I think JAS is good for people who are busy with families and work. But I decided to apply for jobs myself even though I knew it would be very time-consuming.
I applied mostly on LinkedIn and a little bit on Glassdoor, but I never heard anything back from recruiters on Glassdoor. I also applied a little bit on Dice and Indeed.
I got my current job through LinkedIn. So, that’s the reason why I would definitely recommend focusing on LinkedIn.
Did you submit cover letters along with your resumes?
No, never. If a cover letter was required I’d just share a link to my LinkedIn profile.
Do you have any final words you’d like to share with everyone?
I would like to say thanks to all of the Careerist team. I really appreciate the help from my mentor, Victor. We became best friends. And a BIG thanks to all of you guys, the teachers, and the students who helped me practice the interview questions.
I’d also like to say that it’s so important to share your experiences with people. Even if you’re having a bad day, you should share this on Slack. You should also remember that you need to keep pushing forward. Always follow your mentor’s advice and all the steps that they tell you to take. And do not ignore the material you’re given to study.
Never give up.
I’m really excited to start my job!
It’s very important to support each other throughout the job searching process. Once one person finds a job, everyone else gets really motivated to find work too. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us today.