Looking for a job in London

I came to work to London on June of 2015. In this post I will describe my experience from the moment I started looking for a job in London until I got it.

The first thing I did was to go to Reed.co.uk and start sending my CV to a few offers that seemed to fit my profile. There are a lot of job offers in Reed, and almost all of them are posted by recruiters.

I didn’t know this back then, but recruiters like to post a lot of offers to get CVs and put them in their databases so keep in mind that not all the openings shown are necessarily real. Don’t desperate if you feel like you are getting very few responses for the amount of applications you are sending.

After a while I received a phone call from a recruiter. He wanted me to do a telephone interview with a British company. I accepted and we scheduled a date and time for them to call me to my number. The interview went fine and the recruiter told me that they wanted to have a face to face interview.

At this point I realized that I was on a complicated situation. If I accepted, I would have to cover all the expenses of travelling to the UK and staying there for the interview, and there was no warranty that I would get hired. I finally decided to decline.

After that I decided to improve the process and try again. I realized that sooner or later I would have to travel to the UK so I decided to maximize my return from such trip. I went back to Reed and applied to almost every opening that seemed reasonably suitable for me. I didn’t keep track of how many openings I applied for, but I’m pretty sure it was a 3 digits number.

I got contacted back by a lot of recruiters this time and I took between 10 and 20 phone interviews. I passed several of them and the companies asked me to do a face to face interview. I booked a flight to London and a hotel for one week. I told all the recruiters that if their companies wanted to have an interview with me they would have to arrange it for that week. For logistics, this time I only applied for companies in London or relatively close to London.

During my week in London, I went to over 8 – 12 interviews. It was an exhausting week. Quite often I would have 2 or 3 interviews a day. After some of the interviews I got offers from the companies. They often asked for the other processes and how much money did the other companies offer. In many cases, they made an offer beating the previous ones. Therefore, I didn’t really have to negotiate very hard.

Out of all the offers I got, I filtered companies based on three criteria: technical level, salary and business model ethics. I ended up with three companies that scored very strongly at the technical level and Ok on the salary and business model ethics. From those three, one stood out because it they do pair programming, so I chose it based on that.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/8125987596/


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