While applying for jobs and researching on the common interview processes for certain companies, I learned that being flown out for an interview was not a myth. When I first learned about this, I'm not gonna lie, it became my dream to be flown out for an interview. Little did I know, that dream soon became a reality for me in November 2016.
With a response to an email from a developer, then submitting an application, and participating in an initial phone screen with two technical employees at Progressive Insurance, I was soon contacted that I would be flown out to Cleveland to interview at the HQ offices.
Congratulations! You are invited to Progressive’s Final Interview Event!
I am writing to follow-up on your recent interview with Progressive Insurance. Congratulations! We are very impressed and would like to invite you to our Final Interview Event for the Programmer Associate - Entry Level position.....
Once I saw this email in my inbox, a wave of happiness fell upon me and I could not believe what I just read. Reading on in the email....
We are holding final interviews at Progressive’s headquarters in Mayfield Village, OH (near Cleveland)....Please respond to [email] confirming your attendance, so I can start to coordinate your travel arrangements.
I am going to Cleveland!!! At first, I was happy, and then I had a small ounce of fear since I am travelling to a new place. So I quickly contacted my friend, who also went through the preliminary phone interview with Progressive. Fortunately for me, he also made it to the Final Round and he became my travel buddy!
The recruitment staff worked very hard and were helpful in helping my friend and I travel to Progressive Insurance's office. The flight costs were covered and we did not have to pay for it. (Flying is not cheap and I was glad I did not have to pay for it!)
When my friend and I touched down in the Cleveland airport, we were assigned a chauffeur to take us to the hotel we were to stay at for the the night. Yes, the hotel costs were covered as well! Two other candidates were flown in as well for other open positions at Progressive Insurance and were in the chauffeur mobile.
When arriving to the hotel, my friend and I were greeted by another member of the Progressive Insurance recruitment staff and we met even more candidates for the final interview. Apparently, there were at least 70 applicants being interviewed for the final rounds that were also staying in the same hotel.
Progressive Insurance's interview process for the final round involved a casual meet-and-greet dinner for the first night and then the one-on-one interviews with managers for the next day in the morning. Throughout this final round of interviews, I learned so much about the company, it's employees, the potential future of the company, and the type of people Progressive Insurance cares for. One of the main takeaways that stuck with me during this interview process was:
"You are here because you have fans. Your fans are rooting for you to succeed. Don't forget that you have a fan base!" - Progressive Insurance employee (manager)
And of course, my friend and I were flown out the afternoon of the same day during our one-on-one interviews. I really wished I was at the Progressive Insurance office for another day!
I am happy to say that Progressive Insurance was the first company I applied for that flew me out for an interview. My experience was all positive and I felt valuable as an full-time employee candidate for the IT position.
To my fellow job seekers, keep doing your best and I hope that you too will be able to have positive experiences like I did with being flown out for an interview. To the Progressive Insurance candidates that were there in November 2016 for the final round, I hope you have found your success in your career plans!