Searching for a job in Seattle 2/2

The diary for last three months of a job search: what did I do, how did I approach it? Posted by Lena Barinova on April 9, 2017 Know-how

This is the continuation of my job search odyssey (first three months may be found here).

Month 4 (January): coding

I stopped applying desperately for a job. In fact, I found out, that there are around 10 companies at most that could actually provide H1B sponsorship and those companies are the hardest to get into.

I decided to invest most of my free time now in coding skills improvement: I’m learning new libraries, remembering programming foundations, working on a couple of personal projects as well as contributing to an open source systems.

During January I had one more quite successful screening. This is how my work desk looks like just before the screening call:


I try to surround myself with different notes, diagrams, lists, etc - in case I forget what are my weaknesses :)

I joined, created a profile there, successfully passed a coding test. My profile got approved! They claim they approve 10% of all applications - so this is quite an achievement. They even have scheduled an auction date for me. But guess what!? :) Right, visa stuff, again! It appears that works only with the candidates that are authorized to work or have a transferable work visa.

So this is a list of tasks I have accomplished during January:

  • Got approved on
  • Found a hacker rank
  • Attended meet-ups.

Month 5 (February): high season

This was the month that any job seeker would be dreaming to have. I’ve been really busy, having in average 4 calls a week (there were days when I had two interviews a day) with different recruiters and hiring managers. In addition to that I had a full day on-site interview cycle, which was actually fun.

This is how I prepare for the tech interview:

Preparation for tech interview

I bought some thin markers (which I actually took to my onsite interview :), the thinner the line, the more code you can write on the same whiteboard area) and some huge paper sheets (that immitate whiteboard for me) to practice coding excerises.

Now I am a bit more relax, since I’m doing quite well with all those screenings and I’m moving further through interview processes with several different companies. My confidence grows, so as happiness.

TA DA! Late February I got an offer! It’s an awesome company and a job I could only dream of.

This is a list of events and tasks for February:

  • 5 screenings with HR
  • 5 tech screenings
  • 1 whole day on-site interviewing

Month 6 (March): the end of job search ‘project’

After getting an offer I went through brief negotiation round and accepted it. My “searching for a job” project is completed successfully and in time. I’m so excited and want to share these great news with the whole world, but I guess I need to suspend emotions here - it’s just the very first step in a long “getting work visa” process. After accepting the offer and signing the agreement I canceled my interview appointments with other companies and unsubscribed from LinkedIn’s Job seeker’s subscription.

This is a list of events and tasks for March:

  • Accepted offer after one round of negotiations
  • Canceled interview processes with other 2 companies
  • Visa application process (I think I’ll have a separate blog post on the visa peculiarities)
  • Unsubscribed from LinkedIn’s Job seeker premium


Entering the new era now - H1B application process. Will see what it brings me. But that’s a totally new topic. Who knows maybe later I’ll decide to write a diary entry about it as well.

I hope this was if not useful then at least interesting to read. I think I will definitely look into these posts if I need to prepare for a job search, though I hope I will not be in a such situation again. I believe I will be “head-hunted” in the future, and I won’t need to search for a job actively ever again.