Amazon Sunnywale Interview feedback

GoPro / QA khtq18
Oct 18, 2019 18 Comments

Hi everyone, just wanted to share some feedback on the Amazon Interview process.
YOE: 7
Current TC: 330k
I worked in a few startups and 2 large enterprise companies. Over the last 6 month have interviewed with Netflix, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Now let’s come to Amazon:
- Completely unprofessional interviewers, they came to interview and read the questions that they saw for the first time. They did not try to understand the answer, just focusing on typing my answers into their laptops.
- Highly incompetent manager, I would question a lot her knowledge, the technical manager should at least understand the structure\architecture and basic knowledge of different software layers. The way she was interviewing was like she was doing favor for someone, she did not care about the answers, about the position, I don’t know maybe she has issues at her personal life, but she seems to be super unprofessional.
- During the whole interview process I felt like I'm in some police station, everybody was trying to do their job of asking as many questions as possible within the 1-hour session.
- Questions itself - every time I was asked 2-3 questions that I've already responded to the previous interviewer. I do not get, they want to test if I'm a parrot or it's some police tactic to keep asking the same thing over and over again?
- No respect for my time, I was not offered any break to take a breathe and get my thoughts in shape before next interviewer. The last interviewer who was actually a hiring manager got late 10 mins and delayed the interview for almost half an hour.
- Another feeling of police station is when I was trying to ask something then 90% of time their response was "It's under NDA we can't disclose", made me feel like if I would've asked “what was in cafeteria for lunch chicken or fish”, the response would be "It's under NDA we can't disclose".
- Interruption - that was making me crazy, you asked a question that required thinking, I'm providing you an answer but you keep interrupting me, and that was making me lose the thought that I had and made it very hard to deliver the right answer.
- No structure in questions, They were from random areas. At the same time, they were not giving time to cover the whole answer, just keep moving on with a new one.
- At the end of the day(that was more than 5 hours of interviews) they had so happy faces, asking me "How do you like such beginning of the week?", what was that, seriously you just "made love" with my brain for 5 hours and trying to prove that that's the right way to do the interview?

Overall, during my career that was the worst interview process and the least competent people I’ve ever spoken with. Felt like they were “automated” bio-robots.
In the companies where I would be willing to work, Amazon takes the last place!
The offer was for 350k+


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TOP 18 Comments
  • Amazon nervousLid
    Lol sounds like you interviewed for some new project in Lab 126
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • Amazon wDaz75
    I really dislike this company as a whole (waiting for stocks to vest before I leave), but I’ve also been through enough interviews to smell arbitrary bias when an interview goes south for somebody. Sounds like you had an objectively bad experience combined with taking it personal. Like every oddity was a slight against you.

    Amazon culture is weird and autistic in a way, but not as inept and erratic as you make it seem. The culture dictates that every decision is made through data, hence the frantic typing/listening. Yeah, it’s stupid. But at the interview debrief, all feedback is read by all interviewers and people make decisions and argue over the evidence (notes). Yeah, we could just record and then transcript out things, but nobody has the time to commit another hour of doing that when we’re already behind in work. Maybe a team could implement some auto transcription service like we have with other voice software.

    On the no structure comment - they were probably behavioral questions that came from out of the blue, yeah? If so, they tie directly with leadership principles. This company, because of the evangelism of Jeff Bezos and his lieutenants, uses LP’s as a strict business and code of ethics. That’s for better or worse. Your interviewer mentioned the LP’s a lot in the prep, and it wasn’t for no reason.

    I don’t doubt your claim that the hiring manager was bad. Big company, lots of potential for bad apples. But your speculation about personal problems is a pretty bad reflection on yourself and speaks volumes about your maturity level. Toxicity comes in all forms around here, but the last thing this place needs is that form of pettiness to lower standards even more
    Oct 18, 2019 5
    • Sony / Mktg luhc
      Would you mind sharing what these questions are like? I’m facing layoffs myself and am trying to navigate what to expect if I get called for an interview at Amazon.
      Oct 18, 2019
    • Amazon wDaz75
      “Tell me about a time when... {some scenario that brings a leadership principle front and center.}”

      We look for clear demonstration of an LP by YOU and not by your team, your direct reports, etc. A hired candidate is selected because he or she gives answers that show loud and clear how he or she demonstrates a leadership principle - simply being a part of a team or event that highlights an LP isn’t good enough.

      Example - “Tell me about a time you had to sacrifice standards or take a shortcut in order to satisfy a customer.” Even if you as a person hate pushing out low quality garbage, “long term returns over short term profit” is important but not a leadership principle. What IS an LP is Customer Obsession. So you would talk (or lie) about a time you spun up a quick web app to read from an Excel file and write to a database so that a sister team of data scientists could more easily model data programmatically. The result was automating at minimum 5 hours of repeatable work a week for these customers, enabling them to do their actual jobs. You should be able to talk about challenges and pain felt for your answers, so in this example scenario, pain felt could be that your team pushed this app out without the rigid edge case QAing it deserved and the sometimes attention-pulling work you had to do to support it when it error’d out, but that pain went away because you built the plane as you flew it and hammered quality into it iteratively. In the long term, you built trust with your sister/customer team and saved your org valuable time to help it grow and be stronger.

      That’s fake scenario off the top of my head I spit out in five minutes, but you get the gist of it. Any follow up question you should answer with definitive ownership - “I did this, that was my decision, I made the decision personally and pitches to higher to get this delivered, etc.”

      Hope that helps in some way
      Oct 18, 2019
    • Sony / Mktg luhc
      I wish I could offer you Blind gold. You are the best. Thank you
      Oct 18, 2019
    • Amazon bandwagon
      I dislike your interview question. I can't think of a single time in my experience at Amazon where it would apply. In fact, insists on the highest standards *is* an LP.

      Unless you're just fishing for projects where things were done in a rush but that's not what your question is asking about There's much better ways to focus on customer obsession.
      Oct 19, 2019
    • Amazon wDaz75
      That’s a fair criticism. I originally had a commonly asked customer obsession question, but changed the wording to obfuscate some
      Oct 19, 2019
  • Juniper phe
    Interview process sucks at Amazon. They sometimes hire stupid ppl based on the leadership principles and later put them on pip. Moreover, the work culture sucks there. So dont worry you did not miss anything. There are lot of good companies in bay area. Hope you will get a good job soon.
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • Amazon peachez
    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. The only thing here that seems reasonable is the NDA one. It’s likely a new secret project, so I get that. But, the rest is totally unacceptable. Your recruiter would probably love to hear the feedback if you’re willing to invest more time in the process. Totally get it if you’re over it.
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • What kind of problems were you asked to solve? Did any of the interviews ask the same question as the previous?
    Oct 18, 2019 3
    • GoPro / QA khtq18
      I meant questions regarding projects/behavioral and management questions were the same. Programming tasks were different. Basically leetcode medium problems, nothing too fancy
      Oct 18, 2019
    • Thank you for the insight. I do appreciate that you put the time into posting this experience.
      Oct 18, 2019
    • Google hypms
      I had similar experience quite a while ago. When the hiring manager was interviewing me, all I was thinking were how he could get the manager job. Lol.

      I declined the offer. It was a Cupertino position.
      Oct 18, 2019
  • Netflix the.oa
    Amazon has always been hit or miss with me. I interviewed in the Palo Alto campus and was left in a conference room for a virtual interview and the next guy never came after that and I was kicked out of the room for another meeting and literally just waited by the coffee machine for an hour before someone remembered me. The cheap bastards didn’t even have snack I could eat while I waited.

    They wanted to bring me back to for a second on-site to make up that missed loop. I said no thanks.

    Everyone was rushed. They ask intro question like “tell me about a time you have to solve a difficult problem” and I go into my explanation and 30 seconds later they interrupt saying we need to move on and ask another question. I mean if you ask a question like that, need to be prepared for 2-5 min answer.

    I don’t think this is a normal experience. But it was my last Amazon experience. And I won’t be interviewing again soon.
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • Citrix Systems / Eng ಅವನೌನ ಹಡಾ
    Sunnywale? Like sunny wale ? Like those who are sunny ? 🤔
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • Uber / Eng itsdara
    They're there to get data to justify their yes or no inclination. And managers only care about LPs. That should explain your experience. And yes you'll become a robot after some time there.
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • GE F499
    Congratulations on the offer. I had similar experience, the interviewers were multi talking, taking notes and listening. They mentioned they we’re supposed to write down all the answers, so didn’t take it personally. They could have recorded our conversations instead of taking notes, so that way they could focus on candidate.
    Oct 18, 2019 0
  • Eigen 🔥blind
    Ama is unpro but your TC is too high.. Need to straighten you attitute
    Oct 18, 2019 0


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