Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Amazon.com
- Software Development Engineer (841)
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I applied online – interviewed at Amazon.com.
Phone screening after online application. Recruiter called and shared a surprising position degrade after the original application (just within a couple of days of the interview appointment).. Seems either a broken process or something else??
- We have just changed the position (degraded) after you applied. Are you interested in the new position? Answer Question
Other Interview Reviews for Amazon.com
Anonymous InterviewDeclined OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
interviewed at Amazon.com in August 2014.
I applied online. The online process is easy; however, it's seemingly not that easy to tailor your resume/cover letter to specific reqs. I received my first email from the recruiting coordinator 24 hours after applying. I had an hour-long phone screen with the hiring manager. The interview was a series of behavioral questions. I asked her a few questions, but each time she gently let me know that the recruiting process is "very structured for a reason" and that we "would not be discussing role specifics at this time in the process." The recruiter called back to discuss next steps 3 days later. I declined to continue with the interview process and stated that I'd changed my mind about making a job change at that time.
I was contacted 3 months later by a recruiting coordinator for a different org; I responded expressing interest and received an invite for a 1 hr phone screen with hiring manager. During the phone screen, the hiring manager let me know the in person interviews would be structured as a "tryout" with team collaboration and development done during the interview and I was looking forward to that format. I received a decision email and invite to a second phone screen interview for the following day with a business partner. I received a decision email and a list of questions, including desired compensation, pending offers, desired start date, etc. I provided general or "to be discussed" responses.
Two days later, the recruiting coordinator sent a "hold the date" invite and a work assignment. I was told to complete and return prior to the interviews.
Five days later, the interview schedule was sent. It was very detailed and included (in all-caps, seriously): "NO LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED. WATER WILL BE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST."
The in-person interviews were held in a windowless conference room with dim lighting and a single spotlight centered over the small round table. Gave off a weird vibe, but good for an ice breaker joke, I suppose.
The first "interview" was with the lead recruiter. He kicked off the conversation saying he would talk compensation in broad terms, orient me to the interview process, and discuss the next steps. He emphasized the importance of the Amazon Leadership Principles and that I would most certainly be asked about them during the interviews. He then described the interview process (policy is no feedback provided post interviews, format is behavioral interviewing, etc.) and asked follow-up questions about the information I had provided. He neglected to talk compensation in broad terms, but I decided I wan't going to remind him.
I interviewed with 7 people total; all but 1 brought very dated, heavy laptops. it must be a "thing" with this group to plaster them with bumper stickers. Each asked me the same intro questions in the same order. How is your day? Do you need a bathroom break? Do you need a water refill? I have my laptop; can I take notes while we interview? I told one person that he could take notes, so long as he made eye contact with me and there was some semblance of two-way dialogue. (He didn't look away from his screen except when asking the next questions.) I told the second person that no; he couldn't take notes. (He laughed, then took notes anyway.) Each interviewer deflected questions I asked them ("we'll get to that at the end") and each left precisely one minute at the end for my questions. (Questions-Plural? Really?!) I found that disingenuous. The day ended with an interviewer who I believe was the "bar-raiser": very openly and repeatedly mentioning a complete lack of understanding of my background and of the role needs at Amazon, but also very happy to talk about positive personal experiences and tenure at the company. That was a good way to the the day.
The recruiter followed up promptly 2 days afterward. Again, i thanked him for his responsiveness. I declined to move forward, this time citing poor role fit, but I did say I'd be open to exploring future opportunities if/when they were.
Pros: Overall, I found the process very well coordinated. While the interviewers remain close-lipped, the recruiters themselves were refreshingly open and direct (and QUICK) with communicating the decisions. I think that's one very good way to live their leadership principle of being "quick w/bias for action".
Cons: The behavioral interviewing is drone-like and textbook (one could prepare for it by simply googling a list of behavioral questions and memorizing answers in STAR format. Use a stopwatch and get your answer down to 30 seconds flat and you're golden). Overall, I found it to be a grossly one-sided process.
- NDA, but I will reiterate that questions are not unexpected. Answer Question
Reasons for Declining
Did not "click" with hiring manager.
Anonymous InterviewNo OfferNegative ExperienceEasy Interview
I applied online. The process took 1+ week – interviewed at Amazon.com.
Applied online, was contacted by a recruiter and scheduled a meeting with the hiring manager. The interview itself was a joke - did not focus on the job at all. The interviewer was more interested in pointing out things in my background that she didn't like which was a total waste of my time. I ended the interview as soon as possible and her response was "well we have other people to interview, so OK".
Simply put, not my cup of tea and 25 minutes of my life I could have used to keep working at my present job or do something more productive
- None, nothing in the interview was really applicable to a manager level job. Answer Question