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3.1Rating Details
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth3
Work Environment3

From Austin, TX — 11/19/2009

Interviewing for an SDE position at Amazon is weird. You need to know one main thing. ***Amazon development is basically a loosely federated collection of the usual web development teams. *** So it's the same environment of a start up only more of it.

Be aware that the people that interview you over the phone are NOT on your face-to-face interview schedule. Rather, they are used to scout you out. I was deeply disappointed that I went through all this time and expense thinking that I was learning about a great position with Mr. X and Y, and when I show up in Seattle, I interview with Ms. Z who has never heard of Mr. X or Y, and the position is nothing like what Mr. X and Mr. Y led you to believe. Amazon should make that crystal clear up front, it is rather close to a bait and switch, IMHO.

Another thing to watch out for is that you will state your salary requirements up front in the phone screen, and when you get to Seattle for your interview, the first HR guy you meet intones that you asked for too much, but they will interview you anyhow. Then Amazon, why did you fly me all the way up to Seattle if you could not meet my modest salary expectations? Because they have deep pockets and can afford to bring in candidates and offer them positions they never wanted below market rate... and hope they are desperate enough to have to accept.

Hopefully the team you interview with will be a higher caliber one. Again, ***Amazon development is a collection of federated standard web dev teams.*** Sort of the way the continent of India is. Really, the only way to make sure you get on the right team is to already know someone that works on one.

Good luck. Other than that, they put you up in a really nice hotel and give you a nice lunch. Seattle is a neat city. Overall, the interview was a good experience, I guess.
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