Rejected by Amazon for not fighting with manager!?

New / Eng sadboy😥
Oct 12, 2018 52 Comments

Just got my rejection from Amazon. Recruiter refuses to share feedback details on the on-site but hinted that i did great on the coding and design. Ended the call saying that Amazon has certain leadership principles that it evaluates everyone on.
What is that supposed to mean?
(My interviews all had 15 minutes of questions on my past experience. Coding was LC medium and I managed to get mostly workable solutions. The only controversial questions I had to answer was have you fought with your manager and do you regret any decision in the past. I said no to both. In my case I have never ever fought with my manager and could not recollect any technical decision that I regretted.)
Is that why I get knocked off? For not fighting with my manager?! I answered the questions as truthfully and humbly as possible.
Can the good folks at Amazon please shed some light on why someone gets knocked out on leadership principles?
TC: 170k

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TOP 52 Comments
  • BuzzFeed / Eng
    0xdead

    BuzzFeed Eng

    PRE
    BuzzFeed
    BIO
    leet hax u fr00bs
    0xdeadmore
    Why the fuck would you say “no” to both? That’s stupid in any interview. Those questions are freebies—you should know right away “They’re looking for a way to gauge how I handle interpersonal challenges.” If you can’t see that, yeah, you should be mad...at yourself. You gave up an opportunity. Your post is annoying because I’m over here kicking my own ass over LeetCode practice while you, a person who can get through the Amazon code questions well, fail on elementary shit like this. I’m coming for your fucking spot and taking it if you don’t get it together.
    Oct 12, 2018 3
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      Well then you can imagine how it is to get knocked out after grinding LC (not saying I am an expert, far far from it), travelling onsite, answering their graph and string questions and then getting rejected for telling the truth!
      Fwiw, I didn't say a short no, I just explained that I never had a need to fight. I also explained that we have techincal discussions all the time.
      Oct 12, 2018
    • BuzzFeed / Eng
      0xdead

      BuzzFeed Eng

      PRE
      BuzzFeed
      BIO
      leet hax u fr00bs
      0xdeadmore
      Fuck telling the entire truth. Don’t lie. Project. Are you just a hermit? Do you not know people yet? The world? Honest Abe got shot in the fucking head. Remember that. Get yours. This isn’t a world built on whole truths. Come up with a situation on the fucking spot when you don’t have a real answer.
      Oct 12, 2018
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      Well I am curious what would be a good story to make up on fighting with your manager? Mind you we are not talking about arguments. We are in mortal combat zone.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • New Xyhfvjm
    To be honest, I think they are looking for a more sought after explanation as to why hasn't there been any disagreements btwn u n ur mngr. With all due respect it kinda portrays you as gullible.
    Oct 12, 2018 7
    • Google the serge
      This random guy with no reference to Amazon just pitches in some corny bs.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • New Xyhfvjm
      @serge I just recently got an offer from Amazon
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Google the serge
      And you told them some fiction about how you fight with your colleagues to display confidence? I'm guessing not.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • New Xyhfvjm
      Dude, Did u even read my reply above?
      Just FYI not every one is asked the same lp questions atleast not word by word.
      Also if u really think this LP question is about actual specifics of a fight with your colleagues or mngr, I think you have already lost the chance. In my view it's about disagreements and how both parties reached a common ground.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Amazon XKgS81
      Dude when they asking you about fight they didn’t mean if you punched you manager in face. They want to see you are able to resolve possible disagreement emerged during work. You have some disagreement regarding technical decisions? Seems you do have a case. You can just say I disagree with this and that then we talked about pros and cons then we found a solution that we both agreed and problem solved.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Google Gangnam st
    That is why you make up shit if you can't find such example.
    Oct 12, 2018 3
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      The truth is I have been really lucky to have had some really good managers and I know and have seen how bad some others can be both in my company and outside. I told them exactly that. I also said that we have techincal discussion all the time.
      Oct 12, 2018
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      So how do you make stuff up on this? I mentioned disagreements but they kept asking me about fighting! I thought making stuff up was more dangerous than the truth.
      Oct 12, 2018
    • Microsoft uUwz87
      They wanted to test the principle: Have backbone, Disagree and commit. And probably you failed to provide a situation to support your cause. And thats why they say before an interview with Amazon have your data points ready for every principle. You just cannot ans NO to such questions.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Square / Eng SQ
    Honestly it's a red flag to say you never regretted any technical decision. We all make huge mistakes, it's part of learning. Saying you've never regretted anything or would have changed things in hindsight either means you're lying to make yourself sound perfect or you actually haven't made any technical decisions.
    Oct 13, 2018 4
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      Well again the answer wasn't a short no, I spoke about bugs I caused and how they got fixed. The one I got drilled most was fight with manager!
      Oct 13, 2018
    • PyLadies iQea15
      What if we haven't yet had the opportunity to make substantial technical decisions at work (which is a reason why we're looking for a job elsewhere)? The technical decisions I've gotten to make so far are fairly straightforward and I don't regret them. As for more open-ended technical decisions, I've mentioned to my manager I'd like exposure to that but it hasn't happened yet.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Square / Eng SQ
      It doesn't have to be huge architecture decisions. It can even be saying "in hindsight, I would have taken the time to gone away from a Singleton architecture as it would have made us do dependency injection and made writing test cases easier."

      You didn't make the decision to have a Singleton, but you recognize that it's a horrible architecture choice and given unlimited time and resources, this is something you would have done to improve the code.

      Anything you've contributed to codewise, even if you didn't make the architecture decision, it could have been improved. That's what we're aiming for in this round - recognizing that things can always be improved in hindsight.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • PyLadies iQea15
      This is a good way to think about it under such circumstances. Much appreciated @SQ.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng ajbsbzzbhz
    Don't worry. Most of the time BR give not inclined just to show his bar is high.
    Oct 12, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Eng poopybutt
    Well, Amazon tests your BSing skills and call it "Leadership Principles"
    Oct 13, 2018 1
    • Amazon Ha ha
      ^This is the right answer
      Oct 13, 2018
  • New
    nfs

    New

    PRE
    Booking.com
    nfsmore
    Not regerting a technical decision means you're are unable to accept you're wrong, or never learned from your mistakes. That's a huge blind spot that will easily fail you an interview. It's most likely you failed because of that rather then "not fighting with your manager".
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • Matterport yesbutwhy
    To be honest, if I'm asked to judge only by the way you come across based on your question then I wouldn't hire you. This is not criticism, please take it as constructive feedback. You don't know why you were rejected, you came up with two possible reasons, then you picked the one that seems the most ridiculous (rejected for not fighting manager), and then you framed your question and the title to emphasize that reason. You're trying to show that your interviewers were stupid. It's passive aggressive. If you did something similar in the interview then that's your answer. Of course I'm speculating. And what do l know anyway? But think about it, and maybe it helps in a future interview.
    Getting rejected sucks, I know from experience. I feel your pain, and I hope you get a better offer soon. Good luck.
    Oct 13, 2018 1
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      Understood. Not trying to prove anyone stupid, but rather looking to eliminate what seems like my most bothersome root cause. You and folks above are probably right - it's likely something with coding- maybe I missed a corner case or overlooked a bug. Just going by what recruiter said seemed like LP was the root cause, but that could just be a (confusing) attempt at sweet talk. Thanks for the honest feedback though.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon Northman
    Imagine the debrief. "This guy never disagreed with a manager? Is this person really an Amazonian?" Once a debrief goes that way there is no way to save it. OP, you need to have examples for all the LPs to go into an Amazon interview. Disagree and Commit means discussing a time you disagreed (possible strongly) with others at work and how you worked to resolve it. The word "fight" seems to have you stuck here. I suspect an interviewer wanted to hear about your passion for something - how you fought for a technical issue or fought for a customer-facing feature. Not fight in the sense of fisticuffs. People with beta personalities don't thrive at Amazon and that's why this LP is screened for. Google will love you though.
    Oct 13, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng in bvggx
      This is 💯 percent true. Amazon don't want beta personalities.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon Gjdyveycc4
    Ur interview didn’t go well. LPs hardly make any difference. You might feel that your interviews were good, but ur interviewers felt other way. Also, like any company it’s based on number of votes you get from your interviewers.
    Oct 12, 2018 4
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      Maybe you are right but honestly it did not feel like the coding or design rounds were bad. I needed a hint or two but nothing seemed terrible. The interviewers always walked out with a whiteboard filled with a complete function(s). I have had tougher luck before.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Amazon Gjdyveycc4
      It’s a thing in Amazon to give good experience to the candidate. If you would have got more yes, they would have given you another team even if your HM didn’t wanted to hire you.

      Also not trying to judge you. At the end of the day interview is just a day thing and depending on how your day went you either get a call or not.

      Best of luck for your future interviews.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Google the serge
      +1000 please look harder at your technical interviews. I'm sure they were looking for more there. LPs even apply to technical strengths.
      Oct 13, 2018
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      Thanks. I guess this is the reaffirmation I was looking for. I don't mind being knocked out for poor performance at coding. It sucks but that's just how the system is.
      Well back to good ol LC for me.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon / Other Zon180
    I once “improved” a design by deleting a legacy caching logic. I was semi senior so didn’t need to justify much. At launch that caused an expected issue. Nothing too serious . Oncall had to spend couple of hours. I didn’t regret my call. I regret not talking about my design enough so that I didn’t foresee the issue. I would have made the change anyway while mitigating the impact . The guy who was officially a senior engineer disagreed with my decision. So we talked and disagreed and he gave me a bad review. In an interview I would go into the details of what did I learn. He was right and I was wrong. I understood that some years later. You don’t have technical regrets? Either you need to recall examples. Or you lack self awareness. Or you never make any consequential calls. None of those options make me want to hire
    Oct 13, 2018 1
    • PyLadies iQea15
      What if you don't have the opportunity to make consequential calls, even though you have told your manager you would like more responsibility on that front? No one on my team has that opportunity except the team lead and the manager.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Am A Bot
    OP, Amazon has a culture that values disagreements. My manager almost never disagrees with anyone and it gets him into loads of trouble.

    What they probably found were other LP risk areas and the manager wasn’t willing to coach in these areas. Usually 1-3 gaps are normal unless you see red flags. Most people who do really well on the LPs across the board before having worked at Amazon... usually end up doing poorly elsewhere. Have backbone? Fired. Insisting on highest standards? Fired. Are right a lot? A know-it-all but fired nonetheless. Customer obsessed? Fired for not caring about the business and profit. Ownership? Fired for going outside your lane.

    The list goes on and on. But you get the point. I would examine your other behavioral questions to see if they really align. My guess: you were technically excellent but just not a fit for Amazon.
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • Uber / Eng
    meowimacat

    Uber Eng

    BIO
    Im a cat! 🐈 Meowww... Fancy feast is my favorite kind of kibbles 🐱
    meowimacatmore
    Lol these LP questions are stupid, it's very possible that someone hasn't had an example of this and will just make shit up, or change some details...

    OP what is recommended is that you pre prepare examples for all the LP questions before you go to the onsite. So you probably failed the disagree and commit LP. Don't worry though, Amazon is a sweatshop...
    Oct 13, 2018 3
    • Amazon contracon
      And uber isn't?
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Uber / Eng
      meowimacat

      Uber Eng

      BIO
      Im a cat! 🐈 Meowww... Fancy feast is my favorite kind of kibbles 🐱
      meowimacatmore
      No not anymore
      Oct 13, 2018
    • Amazon contracon
      Sir, I respectfully disagree with you about amazon.
      Oct 14, 2018
  • Amazon hiring
    OP, which role was this for and how much experience? PM me.
    Oct 13, 2018 1
    • New / Eng sadboy😥
      OP
      I don't mind sharing that. This was SDE III at Seattle for an ads team.
      Oct 13, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng in bvggx
    Amazon is factory and they want all same kind of pseudo alpha people.
    Oct 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon -fhbajsnxz
    Maybe quality of solutions wasn't up to standards?

    idk most ppl seem to thinking getting a correct answer = getting hired... but sometimes that's not all it.
    Oct 15, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng in bvggx
    U got escaped through LP hell.
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • New / Data
    demi drunc

    New Data

    PRE
    UBS
    BIO
    Data scientist / ML engineer from Germany
    demi druncmore
    You failed the "disagree and commit" LP
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • Amazon contracon
    After reading all the comments, IMHO if you really want to know where you f'd up I would write down the leadership principles and see which one/ones were not solid. It has to be more than one to get rejected without down leveling etc.
    Oct 13, 2018 0
  • Amazon supreme18
    If you’ve never had any disagreements with management before then you just don’t have enough experience. Disagreement is inevitable and they don’t want to be the first to get surprised with how you deal with it.
    Oct 13, 2018 0