My Personal Experience

Jordan Yeo

Experience as a graduate software engineer


Who am I?

A bit of background about myself. I studied Software Engineering at Curtin University, Bachelor of Engineering (Software Engineering). I'm from Perth and just moved to Melbourne. I was a tutor at Curtin University for the Department of Computing. I tutored the majority of first year units offered in computing at Curtin, along with a final year software engineering unit. I was an ordinary committee member for Curtin's computing club in the final year of my degree.

How I got a graduate position

This will detail the process I went through to get my graduate position at Leidos in Melbourne. This process is a bit different from the typical graduate program or software company. This is just the process I went through.

The initial application was like any other. I made sure my resume was up to date and showcased the experience and skills necessary for the position of Graduate Software Engineer.

I submitted my resume and a cover letter. I always made sure to submit a cover letter for each position I applied for.

I was successful in passing the resume stage and was asked to do futher testing. The first assessment I did was a digital interview. This contained behavioural questions relating to my own experience and values. As well as a few questions about Leidos. Pre-recorded questions were asked and I recorded my responses with my webcam. This process was very strange at the beginning of the online assessment process, but over time it gets much easier. The next stage was an online assessment through Revelian. The focus for these types of testing are to quanitify your cognitive ability. Cognify is a type of testing offered by Revelian and is a gamification of the testing process. Linked are some sample questions. Sample questions from Revelian. But to be honest as you do more online assessments that becomes your practice.

My final interview was initially intended to be a face to face interview with a few staff members at the Leidos office in Melbourne. Of course being in Perth I couldn't drop everything, especially in the middle of semester, to fly to Melbourne for an interview. Fortunately, they were more than willing to allow me conduct the interview over the phone.

This interview had a wide range of questions. There were questions about my resume, education, personal experiences (in the form of behavioural questions) and technical questions. I wasn't expecting a technical side to the interview (looking back I should have expected just about anything), after reading whirlpool forums about the graduate position for 2018. Technical questions ranged from SQL injection to semaphores and mutexs. Definitely a focus on data structures and operating systems.

My advice

The best advice I can give is prepare for every interview as best you can. Even if you don't see yourself in that position. Practice is only going to improve your interview abilities. I did a conference call with the one company purely for the experience. Research common behavioural questions and prepare answers from your own experience, so you aren't caught off guard for the majority of the interview. Now interviewers are nice about giving you time to think and letting you come back to questions, in my experience. But I think it is always better to be able to answer most questions quickly since you've already done the preparation prior.

Oh and it's okay not to know things. Don't let it discourage you during your interview. I openly admitted in my interview with Leidos that I didn't know the answer to one of the technical questions. I told them I wasn't sure and my best answer would be "x", but I didn't want to guess. They appreciated my honesty and understood that I didn't want to pretend I knew something when I didn't. At the end of the interview they informed me no one they had interviewed answered the question correctly. I just made sure to not let it negatively impact the remainder of the interview, since it was asked near the start of the interview.

Experience in industry

This will be updated once I've started my position this year. Please check back later.