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Old 05-09-2014, 12:17 PM
 
5,342 posts, read 6,165,175 times
Reputation: 4719

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD90277 View Post
They usually ask for salary part way through the process (like after your phone screens).

It is not too common but happens sometimes where you interview for one team, do well, get approved for an offer but they determine that you aren't a great fit for the team yet you are a good fit for Amazon. In that case you will get shopped around and there are many openings so you might get lucky.

You will need to interview again but not the entire process...a revised process of just a few interviews.

And sorry to rain on the parade a little bit but your experience can vary widely depending on your team and your manager. Check glassdoor and other sites and you'll see some unhappy people out there. But you do get the opportunity to interview with the hiring manager (usually) so take the opportunity to think it through. The general reputation around here about Amazon...uh, oh well.

RVD.
I checked glassdoor, but they don't have anything for the position I was contacted about

here: Amazon.com: Program Manager, Global Assessment & Evaluation

I have all of the min and preferred quals. I guess jobs like this that are one-offs are a little harder to get a gauge on than your traditional software engineer positions.

Just kind of curious as to what the compensation would look like for this type of position.

This thread has been very helpful though. Thank you everyone.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:32 PM
 
41 posts, read 103,834 times
Reputation: 71
Default Amazon-Not so good experience.

Wow, I didn't know there was a whole thread on this! Had I known, I would have added one of my posts to this. Anyway, my experience was not so good and a bit "strange"....

See the thread here.

https://www.city-data.com/forum/work-...ew-cracks.html
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:19 AM
 
26 posts, read 114,329 times
Reputation: 23
Default Amazon Offer and Relo Assistance

Hi, I've been a member a long time but have not posted in a very long long time ....

Just got an offer from Amazon and tried to get any insights from other board members here.

Some details:
- Offer is mixed, the initial base is a bit underwhelming. It is an increase per the number, but counting cost of living adjustment, it's actually a bit lower. I live in an area where the delta difference with Seattle is anywhere btw 25-28% depending on which calculator that I use. The offer only has increase of 23%.
- The initial sign on bonus is good, with a 2nd round of bonus vested over year 2 - which is quite good also
- The stock grant I thought is pretty good, even though they are vested in a long time. Considering the company trajectory, I think that's quite generous.
- Offer is on their IaaS/cloud computing, which I personally think is revolutionary, and very exciting side of their business

Current situation:
- My current employer is a large tech giant as well, but we're retrenching, and not growing. I can sense that growth potential is much better at Amz.
- I do have lots of work/life flexibility. I am a remote employee, and remote work is actually encouraged. I have a direct report that lives in the Big Island! I've heard a lot of conflicting comments on it. Some on Glassdoor mentioned horrid balance. My ex-manager, which is now at the same team that extends my offer loves it, and she's one of my most trust-worthy friend. She got home by 6pm every day and no weekend works since she joined. I've heard the same thing from all my interviewers too.
- I do have calls on odd hours due to having a global team.
- 401K vested immediately, 5% matching with 20+ investment options, and I heard that this is better than what Amz offers.

Questions:
1. Do anyone have any experience negotiating offer with Amazon? How was it?
2. If anyone care to share their initial offer, do they look close to what I described above? A lot different?
3. I've been through environment of stack ranking during performance review period, and did really well actually for as long as the company applied that approach. I understand Amazon is the same way. Anyone on the board have direct experience about their process? Care to share?
4. I view the job as well as a door opener, but I really like the long term prospect of the company itself. Anyone care to share their opinions on this?
5. Can anyone share their relo options? Do Amz pay all? What's the assistance like? I've moved twice with my current employer - and the relo assistance I thought was really good. Good movers, paired up with realtors, no closing on house hunting etc. There was also some additional cash assistance during the move too outside of the sign on incentive.
6. I heard that they provide spousal job search assistance as well for 12 months. Anyone ever use that service? Care to share experience?


I am thinking of negotiating even though I am leaning on accepting the offer. I think it's a great opportunity. It's getting me out of my comfort zone due to my long tenure with my current employer, but I think the long term reward is there.

Thank you and looking forward to hearing your experience. Thank you!
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:27 AM
 
1 posts, read 36,084 times
Reputation: 11
I was given an offer as well. I'm losing sleep over relocation now. My previous work contract came to an abrupt end at beginning of April and I just submitted my resume on Amazon out on a whim and was surprised to get a call from the recruiter.

Interview process:
1. Had 2 phone screens. I thought I did alright but didn't think they would proceed.
2. Recruiter told me they're moving forward and will fly me over to Seattle at their expense. I'm not working, there's a free trip, so why not?
3. Went to Seattle downtown (not SLU) and stayed 2 nights. Arrived Tues. evening, Interview Wednesday, leaving Thursday noon.
4. Interview was with 7 people for a duration of 6 hours. By the near end of it I had no idea if I was repeating myself to the same person or if I introduced myself yet. It went from 10 to 3. I did overall okay but thought they wouldn't take me since I probably wasn't "extraordinary", again I was still looking at hometown NYC and didn't think they would extend me an offer. But again I got a free trip to Seattle!
5. Exactly one week after the interview my recruiter got back to me with a verbal offer. Me being blindsided accepted it verbally and didn't think twice to negotiate. Thinking back I probably should've but again their offer is still better than a lot of the other local lowball offers I've been getting because people know I'm out of a job.

Offer:
- It's about the same base salary of what I have been making. The increase is almost negligible but I take into the no WA state income tax into account. (I live in NYC and NYS+NYC tax is about 10-12% of income)
- There is a good, substantial, 1st year sign on bonus. This will be paid on first check and I believe this is prorated to be paid back to them if for any reason I leave during the first year. Almost negligible vesting of stock options after year 1.
- There is also another very similar 2nd year sign on bonus that is 10% less than my initial year bonus. But this is paid monthly. Some additional percentage of the restricted stocks will become vested after year 2.
- 3rd and 4th year is when the majority of the Restricted Stocks become vested.
- Relocation services are offered through their partner Graebel, however since I am not selling my property, not moving a lot of stuff over to the west coast, not even going to move my car, I am thinking to take their lump sum relocation package and not use any of Graebel's services. I was wary of the fact that if my employment is terminated (either them or me) that I will owe them whatever amount I have incurred from relocation (Graebel rep told me just using the initial temp housing will cost ~$4000 a month, paid by Amzn, but will all be documented and trackable on my own personal online account). By taking the lump sum option I would have complete control over every little expense and will only owe them the lump sum paid to me if for any reason it doesn't work out and I quit or get fired.
- The job sounds really exciting and the team is going to be different than what I used to deal with. It can very well lead to many other opportunities.

My situation:
- I grew up in NYC. I have doing some traveling as a consultant a few years ago but never left NYC as my home since I moved here when I was still in elementary school.
- I know nothing about Seattle (that's why I'm here on this board and joined today)
- My work has been 40 hours straight weekly. I didn't work a lot of OT in my past few years. Work Life balance has been great. I read all these horror stories on gawker about amazon - I'm a bit cautious on that. I know because of their work culture and people in general that they do over 40 hours, which I'm fine with. But anything over 50 will probably make me grumpy. But again with cool people to work with I may be able to do more, I have no idea yet. It's just that I didn't like the people or the clients I used to deal with and anything over 40 with those sad people would just be awful.

I have a lot to leave behind (family, girlfriend, friends, pets, a house, etc). I'm not sure how well I would handle such a big change in my life. Hope there are others who have done similar and can share their stories and experience as well.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:50 AM
 
26 posts, read 114,329 times
Reputation: 23
Hi Gotham (I don't feel right writing your full board name ...... )

My situation and yours is roughly the same ... it's almost carbon copy, except that I will have my wife moving with me as well.

At least I have someone to commiserate now ....
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Seattle
338 posts, read 847,495 times
Reputation: 331
Gotham, my situation was the same but we needed the relo. We took the entire big, they pay for everything package. It was well worth it for us. Amazon/Graebel probably spent $50K relocating us.
We made it through year 1 with no problem. In fact, my husband got 2 raises and 1 promotion within the first 8 months.

For us, we always wanted to end up in Seattle. It was worth it for real. The signing bonuses on year 1 and 2 are also nice. I will add that Amazon stocks have gone up about $100 a share in the one year we've had them. If they continue on this climb, when they vest in years 3 and 4, it'll be very, very nice.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:02 AM
 
2,064 posts, read 4,433,377 times
Reputation: 1468
A few things:

1) As for offers, you really need to look at your comp as the total comp package of base + sign on + RSU. As you move higher up in the company, the base part is going to suck more and more because it is capped. A much higher percentage of your total comp will be stock as you move up so you need to be comfortable with that. I know that for many in mid-upper levels, they like to live their lives with their base pay and save all (or as close to all) of their RSU as savings (to buy a house, etc.).

Compensation is all about market rates. An SDE I at Amazon will get a competitive total comp package as another SDE I at a competing tech company in the city that you are interested in. Usually this is correlated with cost of living but not always (e.g., Vancouver gets paid a lot less even though the cost of living in Vancouver isn't really much different from Seattle).

2) Relocation is pretty good. Graebel will take care of everything.

3) Some teams are awesome. Some teams suck. That's just the nature of the game. It is very rare to get promoted within your first year. It does happen when you were mis-leveled coming in or if you're in a fairly low level (level 4 but should have been level 5). I've never seen it happen higher than that but that's just my experience. Jumping up 2 levels in 3 years is considered extraordinary and I've seen it happen a few times (usually guy goes from L4->L5 and then 2 years later goes to L6).

4) Many teams are global and work closely with teams in India (Bangalore and/or Hyderabad), Ireland, etc. As you move higher up, you will be expected to join in on late night conference calls, etc.

5) Amazon has SDEs (engineers) and SEs (Systems Engineers) for operations. If you happen to be on a team with high operational burden, it can really suck and eat into your personal life. However, if you have a good manager, you will have opportunity to address your biggest operational pain points so you might find some satisfaction in that. Too bad the company doesn't always reward "fixing broken stuff" as much as "building cool new stuff that makes a lot of money."

Overall, Amazon is a great place to work and a great boost to your resume. Most don't stay for more than a couple of years because it is a great stepping stone to your next job.

Last edited by RVD90277; 05-17-2014 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:06 AM
 
2,064 posts, read 4,433,377 times
Reputation: 1468
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzourah2006 View Post
I checked glassdoor, but they don't have anything for the position I was contacted about

here: Amazon.com: Program Manager, Global Assessment & Evaluation

I have all of the min and preferred quals. I guess jobs like this that are one-offs are a little harder to get a gauge on than your traditional software engineer positions.

Just kind of curious as to what the compensation would look like for this type of position.

This thread has been very helpful though. Thank you everyone.
The closest job to Program Manager would be Technical Program Manager. I don't know what the offset is in salary but I would guess that PM makes a bit less than TPM so you can sort of take it from there...
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:37 AM
 
1 posts, read 35,793 times
Reputation: 11
I want to share my rather unique interview experience with Amazon so there is more data out there. I submitted my resume through Amazon's website for a Games Business Development position few months ago. Then on Tuesday, 5/6, I received a call from Amazon's Recruiting Coordinator asking if I had received an e-mail from her. I said no and asked when and where she sent the e-mail. Turned out she had sent an e-mail to my junk e-mail address a week prior requesting for a phone interview. I thought that was odd as I listed my Gmail address on my resume... She asked if I was still interested in the position and if I have any questions about the job description. Confirmed my interest level and let her know that I am familiar with the job descriptions for the role. At which point she informed me that I can move on to the phone interview with the Hiring Manager as he had already reviewed my resume.

The phone interview was scheduled for that Friday, 5/9. The interview itself lasted roughly 45 minutes with the Hiring Manager going through my relevant work experiences and two behavioral questions. The following Monday morning, 5/12, the Recruiting Coordinator invites me to an on site interview via e-mail. Odd... everything I have read seemed to indicate at least 2 phone interviews? But I went along with it.

They asked for a few dates that I could be available for the on site interview. The earliest date was Monday 5/19, and that was the date they went with. For the rest of the week, there were few more e-mails from the Recruiter, asking me for my salary history, expected compensation, my start date if offered the position, etc. There was also a writing exercise, to be submitted 2 business days prior to the interview.

I flew up to Seattle on Sunday, 5/18 and had my on site the following morning. I was interviewed by 6 individuals plus a 15 minute session with the Lead Recruiter. I felt the session with the Lead Recruiter, which took place after my first interview was a bit odd. She went over the compensation structure with me, asked if I was actively interviewing (yes, but would definitely go with Amazon if given an offer), and asked me again when my earliest start date would be if offered the position (3 weeks from acceptance date. Need to give my 2 weeks notice and then relocate from CA). Just seemed out of place when most of these topics were covered a week ago in e-mails and then to go over them again during the early phase of the on site when an offer wasn't assured at that point.

Went through the rest of my on site. Mostly behavioral questions that I have read on glassdoor. Except for the last interviewer which I felt was a bit cold and distant, I thought I connected with all the other interviewers and adequately answered their questions. Was informed that they would get together on Wednesday, 5/21 to cast their votes and that the Lead Recruiter would get back to me by end of the week, regardless of outcome.

Flew back to California the following morning and by end of day, there was an e-mail from the Lead Recruiter. It was a short message that informed me she had a chance to get with the team that interviewed with me (I thought the vote wasn't being cast until Wednesday?) and that while they enjoyed speaking with me, they have decided to move forward with some other candidates at this time.

I read many examples that Amazon tries to get back to the candidate within a week and that if it is an offer, it would come sooner rather than later. But to get back to the candidate the day after the on site seems to be a first? Also, I thought proactively calling me after not getting a response from me initially and there being only one phone interview were all rather unconventional.

Really wanted the position and thought I would be a great fit. Oh well, I suppose it is hard to figure out Amazon and life moves on. At least I can now say I went through the Amazon on site.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:13 AM
 
723 posts, read 2,193,052 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellrot View Post
Went through the rest of my on site. Mostly behavioral questions that I have read on glassdoor. Except for the last interviewer which I felt was a bit cold and distant, I thought I connected with all the other interviewers and adequately answered their questions. Was informed that they would get together on Wednesday, 5/21 to cast their votes and that the Lead Recruiter would get back to me by end of the week, regardless of outcome.

Flew back to California the following morning and by end of day, there was an e-mail from the Lead Recruiter. It was a short message that informed me she had a chance to get with the team that interviewed with me (I thought the vote wasn't being cast until Wednesday?) and that while they enjoyed speaking with me, they have decided to move forward with some other candidates at this time.
It seems like in order to land an interview with Amazon you have to be in the top 1% of whatever it is you do, so that in and of itself is an achievement, but in order to make it past 6 interviewers you have to be the best at some undetermined set of qualities as determined and known only by them. i.e. One guy may not have liked the shirt you wore so you're out.
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