It must be that time of the year that Amazon's vampires, err, I mean recruiters awaken, come out of the woodwork and try to gather new initiates. Indeed it is very fitting that this is happening around Halloween! Two years ago, after a rather unpleasant interview process, I asked to be put on a do-not-contact register so I thought that I'd never have to hear from an Amazonian again, yet just like in the plot of Groundhog Day, here I am reading yet another email from an Amazon recruiter asking to talk to me about a possible opportunity. Will this horror never end?
Since Amazon promised to follow up on my experience but never did, I figured this would be a perfect time to share it. This is a story of my Amazon recruitment experience. I wish I could say it was a pleasant one but sadly it neither had a happy ending nor a smooth journey. This is a retelling of the two tedious months that Amazon put me through only to tell me that I can't code, which I now find funny, but at the time it was rather insulting and humiliating considering that programming
is a big part of my job and, at least in my opinion, I'm not all that bad at it.
Update: Thanks for everyone reading this, I really didn't expect such a huge interest in my story. Based on some comments I read it seems to me that the light-hearted humour nature of this post was missed by some. This post fits into my weekend/fun post, so parts are a little dramatic, but that's the fun in writing this. Enjoy reading the rest of the article!
I work in the integration/services space and have to write a large amount of custom code (Java
, etc) to make products work together. It's not 'pure' engineering because it involves a good deal of customer interaction, requirements analysis, design work, expectation management, putting out fires and some people management. So typically whenever I'd receive a recruitment email from Amazon, it would go straight to trash because the jobs didn't really line up with what I wanted to do...until one day I had a crazy idea about going back into engineering. I had a colleague whom I worked with previously who worked at Amazon locally, so I went out for some drinks with the team to meet them, see what it was like and to decide whether I wanted to apply. It could have been a drunken decision but I went ahead with the application.
I sent in my resume and received a response from the recruiter the next day. They wanted to start the interviewing/recruitment process immediately. Naturally I was excited to get started so missed some of the obvious red flags here. The recruiter was in a different country (in fact a different continent) to me. From their responses, they either didn't know how to convert for time zones or really didn't care (outside of US didn't seem to exist for this recruiter). After several attempts of incompatible meeting time suggestions, two weeks later we were finally able to schedule an introduction call. I was surprised how little regard the recruiter had for the 17 hour difference in time zones and the fact that I have a full time job.
I was still looking forward to the call though!