Rockborne’s Application Process

by Ryan Peters

05 Jan '22

The period between graduating from university and getting your first job is often an incredibly stressful time for recent graduates, covid notwithstanding. After many “meet-the team” sessions, chats with enthusiastic but ultimately uncaring recruiters, personality, IQ, aptitude, and whatever other tests you can think of; all to receive that dreaded “We regret to inform you…” email (all from personal experience a few months ago), Rockborne maintaining constant and quick communication was a welcome breath of fresh air.




My first contact happened on LinkedIn. I had finished a gap year abroad and had been applying to graduate schemes and entry level jobs surrounding data science when I stumbled upon Rockborne. The company was quite new having been in the middle of their training period for the first cohort, so I had never heard of them and the website was a bit limited (there was the smallest of thoughts that this might be some sort of scam), however, I got a message from the Chief Talent Officer, Amy, booking me in for a call. The call was probably the most relaxed interaction I’ve ever had from a company: Amy was very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in my life/experience even outside of data and I left with an immediate response that I’d been progressed to the next stage, an online numerical test.


Online Test


No one really enjoys these online tests but it’s pretty much the best it could be. The platform is user friendly and different to the ones I’ve seen before and it’s nice that the test itself is directly linked to the skills you require for the role – you need some level of numerical capability in data after all. Being the second stage in the process rather than being sent a test as soon as you apply also felt different, they actually wanted to test my knowledge. After I completed the test I was contacted the next day by Amy and advised I was progressing to the next and final stage of the process, an interview with one of the other partners at Rockborne.


Interview and presentation


The interview consisted of two phases: The first I had to prepare a presentation outlining the end-to-end data lifecycle and the role of a data engineer and allow for questions at the end, whilst the second phase was the more standard interview with one of the partners who, to my surprise, I would later come to realise was Neil Berry, the CEO! I was very nervous, but I used the presentation to show off my research into data pipelines, the different kinds of data engineers and a well-known case study. Despite my prior nerves, the presentation went pretty well, and Neil gave me some constructive feedback going forward (knowing now how many presentations we would come to do, this was more a test of how well you could present). The second phase I found quite daunting – a lot of data problem solving questions, which went somewhat out of the scope of my research , however, I took my time and verbalised all my thinking to eventually we both worked towards a coherent answer. Having Neil work through the answers with me and share his insights was a totally different experience and made it more of a two way conversation.


Offer of employment


Much to my surprise (at the speed not in my abilities as an interviewee), I was offered a job at the end of the interview! Suddenly, my four-month long search for a job within data had come to an end and I had the opportunity to work at a great grad scheme. The whole process took about 2.5 weeks from first contact to receiving my offer and I knew where I stood with the company the whole time. I wouldn’t be starting until September, but we kept in constant contact throughout, I was provided pre-learning and lots of areas to research and prep. Leading up to September we got to meet the previous cohort along with some of my colleagues on a zoom meeting and also was introduced to Waseem Ali, Chief Data Officer, who soon becomes your mentor, guide and all round data guru.


If you would like to transform your career with world class Data training you can apply here


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