How to Get Promoted Quickly by Making a Lateral (Diagonal) Career Move : Z’s Story | Life In Tech by Bessy Tam

How to Get Promoted Quickly by Making a Lateral (Diagonal) Career Move : Z’s Story

Published on 23 June 2020 by Bessy Tam | Filed in Success Stories, Testimonials

Today we have a testimonial from Z. Z has had challenges stumbling in cognitive questions during previous Google and Facebook. He knew he needed help and reached out to work with Bessy on the interview prep program, particularly on the Google final interviews he had coming up.

Although Google had a hiring freeze during COVID, all the interviewers (including the Director) mentioned that he would've been hired if it weren't for the case. At the same time, the interview prep actually helped him get into a startup within cryptocurrency since the role was quite similar.

This is awesome because it:

  1. Happened during COVID and while other people were having challenges getting any job at all, he was able to get a awesome role
  2. Gave him an opportunity to become a manager. This was something that he really, really wanted
  3. Expanded his skill sets beyond just paid ads, but also into organic search as well in order to grow the company
  4. Allowed him to get to Shanghai because this was a place that he really wanted to go. Previously he was in Hangzhou in Alibaba

We were able to use it interview prep program to make sure his answers were very clear and concise because Z has a  bit of a challenge being succinct. This way, we were able to make a big connection with both the company as well as Z in order to maximize the interview's value and content within limited 30 minutes time.

Check out Z's video above and make sure you subscribe and comment.

If you also want to have a free 23-page interview prep guide, download it here in this link 

In Z's Own Words:

Hi, My name is Z!

I have recently worked with Bessy on interviewer coaching where she helped me through all stages of my interview at Google as well as for a start up. We were able to drill down on every single question that she knew that the interviewers were going to ask me [and she was right!]

"From my previous experience in tech interviews...I stumbled through different cognitive questions that I was not prepared for and I wasn't able to give as well-rounded of an answer as I would wouldn't have hope for."

I was in Alibaba in China Hangzhou and I was there for a little over 6 months.

At that point I kind of realized I want to try something that fit my career and personal strengths a bit more.

So my challenges were: I realized that interviews had a real format every time I went through interviews in top tech companies eg Facebook & Google. I had a hard time passing final interviews from my previous experience in these interviews, such as in Google a year ago for a different position.

I stumbled through different cognitive questions that I was not prepared for and I wasn't able to give as well-rounded of an answer as I would wouldn't have hope for.

I would think to myself after I answered the question, "Oh, I should've answered that differently!"

And the funny thing was that, I didn't work with Bessy until the last 2 rounds for my interview at  Google. The first two rounds I noticed I continued to stumble. I couldn't answer the question the way it should be.

The interview themselves were kind of like, "Oh, that answer took a very long time!" They would just give me that feedback, in a very polite way, that it was little too long.

And I realized that [whatever I was doing] didn't work.

"I tried to work on this myself, talk to more friends, and doing more online research... But none of it worked."

I know that I have to show this interviewer within 30-40 minutes all 360-degrees of who I was. I have to make sure that I answered interview questions differently for every interviewer to tailor my answers and provide even better versions of my answers

I tried to work on this myself, talk to more friends, and doing more online research.

But none of it worked.

"I looked her up on LinkedIn and saw what she was posting, specifically regarding COVID-19 Interview preparation for Tech. So I was like, 'wow this is really cool! this person knows what she's doing.'"

Knowing that, my ex-coworker recommended me to Bessy.

I looked her up on LinkedIn and saw what she was posting, specifically regarding COVID-19 Interview preparation for Tech. So I was like, "wow this is really cool! this person knows what she's doing."

"Bessy helped me study the interviewers.... turn negative questions to a positive answer...ask interview questions & follow up on them... and negotiate the salary to get the most out of my offer"

I recommend Bessy because of 3 reasons:

#1 It's really a professional service end-to-end

Throughout this experience, she's always attending our meetings on time, helping me through the details, and asking me all the qualifying questions before our meetings so that we don't really jump into things .

#2 Bessy is really resourceful​

She's someone who's worked and lived in Hong Kong( Asia), and in Chicago (America). So with her experiences and wealth of network, she can help you answer all the questions and think with a bigger picture.

Initially I thought this was one of those coaching services where you just kind of talk about something and then you spend an hour on it. 

But with Bessy even from the beginning, she spent time on each question during the interview prep and gave me 14 pages of information. She spent almost 2 hours in our first session to go through the steps in detail with me.

Overall she helped me:

  • Study the interviewers to connect with them more
  • Turn a negative question to a positive answer such as "Why are you leaving your current role?" Initially I had a wishy washy answer like "the environment is not right for me"
  • Be able to ask the interview questions and then follow up on their answers to show off my skills and strengths. This helped me be a lot more confident
  • Negotiate the salary. Talking through the ins and outs, helping me stay focused during the interviews until I got an offer so that I could get the most out of it, and pushing the negotiations back so that I could buy more time when I was waiting for both Google and the startup (that I got an offer with). 

#3 This is a thought provoking experience

A lot of times when you prepare for interviews yourself, you feel like you did okay and it was great. 

When I'm talking to my friends or coworkers, or doing research online, I never knew if my answers were right, clean, or detailed enough. I also didn't know if my answers were timed to 1 or 2 minutes [the way that Bessy coached me]. 

From a professional standpoint, I always wondered, "Can these answers really fit into the role that I'm apply to?"

And with Bessy, she's able to ask you question after question to think through my answers. For example, I thought my strengths were managing people but she helped me dig deeper into my approach, "is it really managing people?"

She just helped me drill down step-by-step and walk me through my own answers.

"Bessy and I were working together for almost a month and a half, and the results were very clear... I was able to answer all the questions that all the interviewers had... and come off as confident"

Bessy and I were working together for like almost a month, month and half. The results were very clear when I compared the first few interview loops to the second interview loops (where Bessy and I worked together).

I was able to answer all the questions that all the interviewers had, Not just during the Google interview but also other interviews from other startups I was interviewing with at that point.

When I went through the interview, it was as if I almost memorized my script. I knew how to answer whatever they were asking me and however many ways that they could ask those questions eg what's my strengths, what's my weaknesses, etc.

And because of this, I came off as confident

I knew the answers very fluidly and I was able to stop myself from talking forever (which is one of my "habits").

I remember another experiences where I had a startup interview that I didn't really prep for. But because I've already prepped with Bessy on Google, I was able to just pick up the phone and start listing my stuff. I was able to use that Google interview experience in this interview experience.

It worked out just the same because the role was similar.

"With this experience, a company gave me an offer. I was really happy because the role expanded my skills horizontally... and helped me go from an in individual contributor to a managing role managing ...potentially 10 people"

Before working with Bessy, I interviewed with almost 10 companies. With this experience [working with Bessy], one of the companies gave me the offer

I was really happy because that role:

  • Allowed me to switch from my position from Alibaba in Hangzhou to a blockchain company in Shanghai (where I wanted to me)
  • Expanded my skills horizontally from just paid to organic search
  • Helped me go from individual contributor to a manager role managing 3-5 people, potentially 10.
  • Helped me step into the startup world since I'd been working at big companies for the past 8 or 9 years of my career. This is the first time I'll be in a startup that's growing crazily.

My Google interviewers said that if it weren't for COVID-19 and thus a hiring freeze, I would have gotten the Google offer. 

On the other hand, I still got to offer a year in a blockchain in Shanghai, which was still huge.

"I found that once I had that direction, I knew where I wanted to go"

Who is this service good for? If you are transitioning from a(n):

  • Non-tech industry to a tech industry
  • Individual contributor to a manager role
  • Startup to a non-startup role
  • Role to anything that's a little bit more outside your comfort zone where you are going to have to answer questions that you are usually not ready for
  • Non-structured type of interview to a very structured interview like Google, Facebook, and Amazon

You have to be just very clear in the short amount of time. That kind of result get. you not only the job but really at the end of the day, gets you the pay and the level that you deserve as well.

A person can have 20 years of experiences in tech but if you interview like a 5-year experienced person, you'll just give doubt to people on the other side of the interview table.

Especially with COVID-19, we're going to have even more interviews that's on video. You lose that body language to connect with interviewers.

So these are things that Bessy will help you through, which of course you need to find out later yourself, right?

Want to know the SECRETS to acing interviews in tech?

Download this FREE 23-Page Ultimate Interview Prep Guide

to Master Non-Technical Interviews

  • What To Expect in Tech Interviews?
  • How to Best Prepare for Behavioral Interviews
  • The Top 5 Interview Prep Strategies to Land Jobs at LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Startups
  • 43 Interview Real Questions my Clients Got that you MUST Prepare for!

About the Author

Bessy Tam is a career coach who helps busy professionals get into their dream non-tech job in tech. She’s helped dozens of clients get interviews and offers from companies such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Lyft, Amazon, Babbel, & More. She currently works at Google in Chicago.


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