We recently caught up with Shireen about how she secured a role with Sainsbury's DTD, how she built her commercial awareness before the interview and her top tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in her footsteps.
What stood out to you about Sainsbury's DTD?
Sainsbury's DTD is a well-known company that has been operating successfully for over a century now. They are always open to new technologies to help the company grow further. They prioritise learning/teaching as well as testing and experimenting. They’re also very open to new ideas and ways of working; in short, ideas get made, launched and used. Although not being a graduate role per se, it was my first proper graduate role. The technologies used within the team were technologies I was interested in not only learning more about but applying the current knowledge I had. Another thing that stood out for me was that the company are strong advocates for women in tech and encourages this as much as possible.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
Building commercial awareness before an interview is very important since it shows you have actually researched the company and you understand what they deliver. Rather than giving the interviewer the idea that you are applying for this role for the sake of applying, it gives them the impression that you are in fact a keen candidate who puts time and effort into things you want. To allow me to understand my company and give me the necessary commercial awareness required, I researched the company and its values as well as best-sellers. I’d recommend reading up on new product launches and news articles related to the company.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
Make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into and read the job description/specifications thoroughly. I would also highly recommend doing research into the company and understanding how their values line with your own, this gives you a good idea if you would fit into the company. I’d recommend reaching out to people who work at the company via LinkedIn or other messaging platforms and gain their insight into the company and its way of working – the closer their role is to yours the better insight you’ll get.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
I’ve attended a number of Bright Network events where I was introduced to a number of companies as well as a wide variety of roles. These events gave me the insight I needed into the Technology industry and the kind of roles within it. I met a few people who were software engineers and speaking to them about their role and what it entails made me realise that this is the field that I wanted to build a career in.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?
The toughest question has to be “Tell me about a time you were faced with a challenge and how you overcame it?”. I feel most people try to specifically find an example that is closely related to the role you are applying for. However, I think it is best to approach this question with any challenge you have faced whether that is from university or from your extra-curricular activities, and then linking this to a potential challenge you may face in the role.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Understand the role you are applying for and do your research into the company.
- Be confident in yourself.
- Learn and improve from rejections.