Amazon SDM III/L6 Pre on-site compensation questions

New eAUo73
Dec 7, 2018 17 Comments

I'm interviewing as a SDM III/L6 Prime Video in Seattle. Passed the phone screens, on-site is scheduled. The recruiter is pushing for my TC before the on-site.

My background. Over 25 years heavy technical leading 10-12 person teams. Founded a moderately successful start up very relevant to Amazon position and cashed out after 8 years in a very niche, limited available talent industry. The money isn't the biggest factor in my decision, I currently make more than their max base in passive income, but I'm ready to do something and I'd like to double up as I'm getting older and such. As I'm older with older person problems (teenagers in last two years of high school, wife with an east coast based job), large paid off house to relocate eventually, cars for a family of 5, etc. I have to maintain two households for a while. I am very interested in joining the team after speaking with and seeing the qualifications of peers so there's that.

They are saying L6, but I personally believe that I'm a very high L6 because of my unique experience relevant to the position.

I'm more interested in having the TC be enough that I can relocate, hit the ground and not worry about the day to day complications of not having quite enough money to to be completely dedicated, make the life altering changes worth it and something I'm pumped about. Can I successfully use any of the above as leverage in the negotiations?

I'm need them to max out the base, that's not really a negotiation, but what do you think about the sign on bonus and timing, the relocation, and stock amount/schedule?

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TOP 17 Comments
  • Google / Eng
    chum lee

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    chum leemore
    Based on what you have described, you should push for L7. These days anyone can be an L6 sdm at Amazon.
    Dec 7, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
    It’s against Amazon policy to ask a candidate for current compensation. Period. Talking about “expectations” is a bit of a gray area, but I’ve always told them “give me an offer that you think I deserve and I’ll tell you if it meets my expectations or not.”

    L6 almost always max out base (160k) and usually have anywhere between 60k and 160k of RSUs.
    Dec 7, 2018 2
    • New eAUo73
      OP
      Thanks for tee reply. Any thoughts on signing bonus/timing, RSU timing as well as relocation and corporate housing?
      Dec 7, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
      If immediate cash is not important to you I recommend you negotiate for lower salary and higher RSUs. You’re more likely to get appreciation and it gives you some wiggle room to grow for performance increases. It also looks better if a recruiter has to get an exception to hit a negotiated comp target because it is risk mitigated by cliff vesting if you wash out.

      I’ve seen bonus paid out one of three ways: all lump sum; lump sum for year 1, and monthly prorated for year 2; and finally, monthly prorated for 2 years. The last one has been more popular lately because it eliminates claw back clauses in the employment agreement.

      For RSUs granted to technical staff it’s most often 5%/15%/40%/40% (annual cliffs) for offer grants and 50/50 (25% semi-annually) for performance grants.

      I think you’re given 1-3 months of corporate housing to find a place, and it depends on housing availability, market conditions, etc. I don’t know if it’s given lump sum, is just paid for, or reimbursed.
      Dec 7, 2018
  • Morgan Stanley ninja007
    Push for L7. Though L7s manage around 50-60 people, you may fall short on the people management experience.

    L6 will max out 400 TC. You can get an exception to 450 - but that’s the upper limit for L6.
    Dec 7, 2018 1
    • New eAUo73
      OP
      The people management experience is my internal doubt for L7. I do think however that maybe my expectations on competency of the Average SDM’s may be a bit out of reality based on some of the comments. However everyone I’ve talked to there has been stellar in their presentation and demeanor.
      Dec 7, 2018
  • Amazon LVxU52
    Seriously though (to the above go for 7) And when you start please pm me... SDE2 looking for leaders who know wtf they are doing.
    Dec 7, 2018 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • New eAUo73
      OP
      They haven’t offered anything other than vague ranges for the position. They are asking my expectations.

      The phone screens were all behavioral and some previous experience questions. No technical at all.
      Dec 7, 2018
    • New eAUo73
      OP
      Is that TC realistic? I know be good with $400k TC structured like that.
      Dec 7, 2018
    • New / Eng
      CnfusdSprm

      New Eng

      PRE
      Starbucks
      CnfusdSprmmore
      Relocation is standard 10k
      Dec 7, 2018
  • New eAUo73
    OP
    My second interviewer told me that recruiting is very different right now. I’m looking forward to the onsite.
    Dec 20, 2018 2
    • IBM / Eng ( O O)
      And I believe we only have to go through 4 interviewers during the onsite. That seems pretty quick.

      So you had 2 phone screens then? Not just one?
      Dec 20, 2018
    • New eAUo73
      OP
      Did you have your on-site?
      Jan 10
  • IBM / Eng ( O O)
    @ OP - I hope you’ll see this, how long did you have to wait from your 1st phone screen until the recruiter came back to you to move forward and schedule your onsite? I’m waiting for that now, got my 1st phone interview. Thanks!
    Dec 20, 2018 2
    • New eAUo73
      OP
      First interview was one week after recruiting contact. I was contacted that day to set up the second. Second phone interview was about a week later. On-site is the middle of Jan.

      The recruiter has feedback immediately after the interview. I don’t think you can put much stock in the response time because they are crazy busy.

      How do you think the first phone screen went?
      Dec 20, 2018
    • IBM / Eng ( O O)
      Thanks for the details! It went Ok the interviewer was really nice and knowledgable. It’s hard to tell with the 14 LP’s, they might get picky but the interviewer was kind enough to share some positive feedback. I know I can nail the onsite but I’d just need a shot at it. I hope that’ll happen. I don’t like interviews over the phone, I’m more comfortable face to face.

      The recruiter told me it’s 1 phone screen and 1 onsite and that’s it. Their process is pretty straight forward.
      Dec 20, 2018
  • New eAUo73
    OP
    Yes, one with the team lead and one with a L6/7 SDM from a different organization. Both calls ended up with me thinking “it could go either way”....but in retrospect it’s just self doubt on my end. Considering the difficulty of the phone screens and how hard those are to feel good about, I’ll kill the onsite. I’ve got some really niche experience with my start up and sold team building/design skills from a 20+ year career. Really looking forward to it.
    Dec 22, 2018 0