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My Amazon Interview Horror Story (igorkromin.net)
351 points by ikromin 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 292 comments

I had similar experience with Uber last month. My recruiter scheduled an introductory phone call with me and then she forgot about it. The call was rescheduled and then she forgot again. On the third time she did call me but never apologized or anything. Then she scheduled a technical phone screen for me a few days later. On that day my interviewer called me two hours earlier than the scheduled time - no time zone difference, just that recruiter communicated wrong time to him. As it happened, I was in the middle of my lunch and caught off guard. The interviewer wasn't happy, so I guessed I didn't pass that phone screen, but the recruiter didn't even bother telling that to me - she just ignored my emails and she never even gave me her phone number. P.S. I was invited to 6 onsite interviews in other companies and in the end I've got all 6 very good offers. So, good riddance, Uber.

It’s things like this, and the open optimizing for low false positives over low false negatives that makes me totally unsympathetic to claims that high tech companies can’t find sufficient workers and need a legislative solution. Reveled preferences don’t show a desperation for qualified workers.

Absolutely. And I think your notion of "optimizing for low false positives" is generous. I think most bad interviewers are optimized for a) employer convenience and b) feelings of power on the part of interviewers.

Part A is understandable in that the standard hiring process is optimized for the common case: scarce jobs and abundant, interchangeable workers. That gets you bulk resume submission, minimal human interaction, and indifferent, slipshod processes. Part B is just jackassery, but it gets you things like brainteaser interview questions, high-stress interviews, and a lot of biases smuggled in under things like "culture fit".

That makes very little sense for software jobs, where it's the workers that are scarce. A few years back, I said, "Wait, we spend all this time optimizing our software for user experience; why don't we do the same for job applications?" I ended up with a significantly different process, one that was a little more work for us, but a way better applicant experience. I also shifted focus from finding flaws to looking to see people at their best, which is not only a better experience, but I think gets better people. I encourage everybody to apply their design thinking and user empathy skills to their own hiring process. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

> That makes very little sense for software jobs, where it's the workers that are scarce.

The thing that is not scarce from the recruiters' view is applicants or maybe even resumes. This is because anyone looking for a job can easily, due to the magic of the internet, apply at dozens or even hundreds of jobs. And applicants don't even have to apply for jobs any more. If you're on LinkedIn, they can come looking for you, and again, due to the magic of the internet, there are plenty of possible people to consider for a job.

So instead of artificial scarcity we have artificial abundance.

This problem seems to be analogous to the online dating problem. Technology has made one part of the problem far too easy and this causes big problems in other parts of the pipeline.

That’s fine for the first stage of the funnel. I send in a resume and hear nothing back no harm, no foul.

But by the time a candidate is past a phone screen that’s a validated lead. A company that was really desperate to hire wouldn’t treat validated leads so poorly. That they do means that they aren’t and we should disregard self-serving claims to the contrary.

> But by the time a candidate is passed a phone screen that’s a validated lead. A company that was really desperate to hire wouldn’t treat validated leads so poorly.

They certainly shouldn't treat validated leads poorly, but we've seen ample evidence that they often do. Part of the problem may be (I'm less sure about this part) is that it is essentially the same people -- and same organization -- managing the overall hiring process through all stages of the funnel. They start with a shotgun process and they keep using a shotgun process in later stages when they absolutely shouldn't be.

It's better if you've got a prospective hiring manager inside the company that wants to hire you and is keeping an eye on the overall process -- this is what often happens whey you're recruited by employee referral. However, this just isn't an option at places like Google (and I think Facebook and Amazon as well) where you get hired into a global pool rather than hired into a specific team.

Yes, exactly. Ease of applying is one of the things sustaining the problem. It makes companies feel overwhelmed with resume spam.

A few years back when I was hiring at Code for America, I redid things so that it was harder for the lazy applicant but easier for the serious one. I asked people to send me something resume-like (LinkedIn was fine), but to skip the cover letter and instead write a short answer to 1 of 5 questions: http://williampietri.com/writing/2015/slightly-less-awful-hi...

It was great. Anybody who did that got a call back from me, usually within 24 hours, just to chat a bit about what we each were looking for. Starting from that made it much easier for me to treat each person like an actual person.

> ... to claims that high tech companies can’t find sufficient workers ...

Does anyone claim that? I thought "high tech companies" have just enough candidates even with this kind of bad practices.

Yes, their executives often testify before Congress about how there’s a shortage of STEM workers for them to hire and Something Needs to Be Done.

I got an appointment with Goldman Sachs for a 30 minute screening interview with one of their analysts. The guy called me 25 minutes late and without introducing himself proceeded to give me a highly specific question about how options work and immediately tell me he only has 5 minutes because he has to go to another meeting.

And thats not even the top reason why you should avoid goldman sachs like the cancer.

Why, then? Curious.. I'm about to accept an offer next week...

> Why?

Goldman's seems to have become the pantomime villain of Wall Street. Some of it's justified, most of it's not.

> I'm about to accept an offer next week

Speaking as someone who has never worked at GS, congratulations.

Not OP, but * Does the phrase 'vampire squid' ring a bell?

* How about MDB1?


They have a special term for staff that haven't spent their entire career at GS: "lateral hire". A friend joined as a lateral hire, and was only really accepted as an equal when he voluntarily gave up his five days paternity leave for his first born to bail out a project in crisis. Work life balance doesn't exist at GS. If you're happy to give your whole self to GS, work evenings and weekends and socialise with colleagues, you can do very well in terms of career progression and pay. If you want a life outside work, GS may not be for you.

Actually could I reach out to you about the Goldman interview process?

Wow, that should not have happened. Can you let me know the name of the recruiter? You can email me at keith [dot] posehn [at] gmail

Sorry you had a bad experience and I'm bummed we lost you :(

It kind of sounds like you're from Uber, but you're not giving an @uber.com address?

A quick google of the name and you can see he is; however I agree: anyone could have that email address. If he's legit from Uber and wants correspondence about an Uber interaction he should be listing his @uber.com address.

I tend to not give out my Uber email as I get a ton of solicitations every day. Forum/web email scraping is still very much a real thing unfortunately.

> keith [dot] posehn [at] gmail

Off-topic side question - is web robots scraping forums for parseable email addresses still a thing? I'm pretty free with my gmail address, and I haven't had a problem with spam making it to my inbox, but maybe I'm an edge case...

Large-scale spam is pretty well filtered these days. But smaller-scale (especially B2B) cold inquiries to curated lists of interested parties are still very much a thing. And sites like https://hunter.io/ absolutely do use publicly available search results (including forums) to find which of many permutations might be someone's email address. They may not be sophisticated enough yet to use [dot] as part of those permutations, but it's only a matter of time.

François from Hunter here.

Hunter does indeed search the entire public web for professional email addresses, following search engines specifications like robots.txt.

However, we do not try to reverse obfuscations as it is a clear sign the owner doesn't want the email address to be collected by automatic means. So even basic obfuscations like [dot] are enough to prevent the collection.

We also let the email addresses owners modify or delete the data we index about them: https://hunter.io/claim.

I doubt there’s an email scraper that hasn’t added logic to replace [at] with @ etc. - so most of these obfuscations are absolutely useless too.

I put a unique email address in my hn profile at one point and got spam sent to it after a few months

I had my unobfuscated email in my HN profile for no more than 2 weeks, and received a couple of cold mails in turn (to this date, actually).

I imagine it's still a thing, but spam filters have solved most of the problem.

Sadly yes - for major company emails at least.

Just an aside, you can ignore the dot on your email, or add as many as you like. Google ignores periods on email addresses. Just google it... :D

Another fun feature with Gmail is that you can add arbitrary text to the end of your email addresses.

This can be helpful if you're interested in tracking the origins of where your received emails come from. For instance, if you sign up your address at a website and start recieving sketchy emails with a destination for myemail+thatwebsite[at]gmail, you can easily find out where the leakage occurred.

Hem it's not a GMail specific feature but a common one (sub-addressing/plus addressing, RFC 5233) that skip inbox and drop messages in the +$name/tag dir/label...

The GMail specific feature is adding dots as you want in your mail localpart so (foobar, f.oo.bar, f.o.o.b.a.r etc @gmail are the very same mailbox).

Ok, that I did not know. Thanks!

Unless the spammer knows about this too and trims any +suffixes from the addresses.

FastMail thought of this and lets you use subdomains instead. So user@tag.domain gets delivered to your mailbox as user+tag@domain.

Aren’t both of those things relatively standard for email in general

Plus-based subaddresses are relatively common (sendmail supports them, Sieve has RFC 5233, etc), but dot-insensitivity is/was unique to gmail as far as I'm aware.

Yep - I just default to it generally, but I know I can just get rid of it. Force of habit :P

Ahem. There's someone with whom I apparently share both first name, last name and, against our will, the gmail email address.

So apparently my email address is lastname.firstname@gmail.com (firstname.lastname@gmail.com was already taken) and this guy has lastnamefirstname@gmail.com.

How cool that GMail ignores dots in the middle, right ?

Sometimes I wonder if he is receiving my emails, because I often receive his emails. I tried and forwarded him his email, GMail was stupid enough to deliver them back to my inbox.

The "ignore the dots in the middle" is truly a major google brain fart.

This is to say... Like, Just, be aware of this.

That is not correct, likely this other person incorrectly gave out your email accidentally.

Indeed this must be the case. I share the same given and family name with several folks in the US and I get their mistaken emails all the time.

I have a similar email address, and I get emails for three or four people with the same name as me. I get wedding invitations, tax documents, job application responses, even a grad school application response once!

I can only assume there are small differences in the actual addresses and the senders are careless when typing in the "to" field.

Downvoting this comment, wich usually pops up whenever somebody talks about the dots in hn, won't make the problem disappear. I too receive emails for someone who created an account with my namesurname but with a dot.

That's not possible. As has already been discussed in this thread, you cannot create another email that is the same but with dots. Google will consider it a duplicate and tell you the address is already taken.

Wait, what ? How could that not have triggered a test somewhere at Google ? Did they just implement the dot thing after they already created both addresses ?

I'm going to chime in here since everyone downvoted the OP. My guess is he got the Gmail account early. This was a known bug early with Gmail. They fixed the signups, but it seems there were some issues that continued if you had already gotten an email address that collided prior to the"fix".

I created an account for my daughter that had this issue and it was really messed up; we can see emails sent and received by another person which included a bunch of personal information; job application conversations, flight details, etc...

We ended up just switching our daughter to a new address, but if we had a more malicious nature; this is a big security issue.

Indeed, I created my account when it was invite-based. That must be like more than ten years ago.

Thanks you for understanding.

Apparently there is an individual that has a similar name to me. I recently received an email involving a Swiss bank transfer of 750 million dollars.

Hei, it's me, your friendly and personal Nigerian prince!

I thought the dots didn’t make a difference for gmail

You should be able to receive emails at last.nam.e.fir.stn.ame@gmail.com too

Try it

No, you're just experiencing this: https://xkcd.com/1279/

My girlfriend had the same experience with Uber. They scheduled and forgot 3 times in a row. By the 4th she wasn't interested.

I had a friend (super sharp guy, very very good in programming) long time ago - whenever he is bored, he'll schedule an interview with some company, clear the interview, and start negotiating the salary, just to see how much he could get. Once he gets an offer, he'll use that offer to drive up the offer from some other company that he interviewed with. Mind you, he had no intention of joining any of these companies, it was just a hobby/time-pass for him.

I used think he is a jerk for doing this, wasting everyone's time. After reading how companies treat the candidates, I am not so sure ...

Only the guys at the top are allowed to operate things like a business. For the people in the business itself, they are not allowed to operate like that silly

FYI sometime's its not the company itself (I have no idea with Uber) but rather a third party's ineptitude. I just had a series of phone interviews scheduled with candidates through an external vendor and multiple times they forgot to provide the candidate's contact information before the interview. I'm sure that's not what they told the candidate when I wasn't able to call them.

Given the company's history of misogyny, I'd say she lucked out.

Similar for me with Nest/Google. Got invited to an onsite and my recruiter went dark. This was after the screw ups with scheduling the for the multiple phone screens and online coding tests. What ended up happening was that I never got to the onsite because after I was invited and asked for times days and what city I would be flying out of for tickets I never got another reply and I tried to contact the recruiter multiple times after. Got nothing.

Don't Google fly remote candidates to the office? I assumed that was standard procedure at BigCorps (it is at mine).

Yes, after you pass online screens and pair/coding exercises.

I had a member from the Uber team contact me directly via email by using a template they had prepared for everyone they contact. I knew because they used the wrong name. I declined to do anything with Uber, not just because they couldn’t put in a little effort to write directly to me on our first contact, but in part because of all the terrible media talk about Uber culture and treatment of employees.

Yikes, couple of people I know interviewed recently at Uber also. They seemed to have good experiences and were surprised about quality of questions and culture. Offers, if true, seemed competitive, beating all others (2 out of 3 took the offer). But I guess if something goes bad, it goes really bad...

I was headhunted by someone for Uber's ATG. After reaching out she whiffed our web meeting and turned standoffish when I politely asked if she wanted to reschedule. Maybe I was part of the bycatch? Seemed like a very meat market kind of attitude to building a team.

I had a screen with Uber last month and had the opposite experience.

You dodged a bullet there. Fate.

no time zone difference, just that recruiter communicated wrong time to him. As it happened, I was in the middle of my lunch and caught off guard. The interviewer wasn't happy

That's a red flag too - a professional interviewer, once you had explained that you weren't expecting the call until the agreed time, would have apologised and called you back later. Done it a bunch of times myself. Everyone in the industry who's been around the block knows that recruiters are generally pretty flaky and wouldn't have held it against you. You probably wouldn't have enjoyed working with that individual anyway.

Even when I’m calling a phone candidate at the scheduled time, I make sure to ask if it’s still a good time, are they ready and in an environment where they’re comfortable doing the interview. At phone interview stage, candidates Are about to get their first real experience of interacting with your company, and if they’re any good you will be one of many phone interviews they are juggling to fit in around their current work and normal life. It is an appropriate time to be accommodating and understanding.

What's interesting about these practices is that the _best_ candidates will have no patience for this and say "no thankyou" so they're not getting the cream of the crop. Everyone, even an obvious bad fit, should be treated respectfully and the interviewee's time and schedule should be honored.

I was able to read the article before it got hugged to death by HN.

That said, like many similar interview/hiring stories shared here, it reeks of single-sidedness. Specifically, there is not enough detail regarding your interactions with the interviewers to warrant calling this a horror story. The only points of interest in this piece, in my opinion, were that the interviewers were late and there was a clear communication issue (particularly when it came to scheduling the interviews).

Other than that, all we know is that you tripped up during some of your interviews. In those situations, based on your post, it was never really your fault, which is not the best attitude to have.

Finally, them saying that your engineering skills needed more work shouldn’t be insulting. Amazon hires tons of engineers and they are generally very technically competent. However good you think you are, there are millions who are just as good, and there are thousands who are better. Amazon can only hire so many people and this was likely their way of saying they simply had more candidates with more experience.

I know it is frustrating. I can say this because I have absolutely been in your shoes. (Dream job, all the way to the last stage, then no offer.) At the end of the day, we have to acknowledge the competitiveness of our field and use that to drive us to become better.

My understanding is that a lot of this abrasiveness on interview day (third interview for me as well) is mainly about judging response and culture fit. I found out a lot more a few months after my own similar experience with Amazon. I think MS's lot drops are far more egregious though.

The keys are not to let it phase you, stay positive and ask clarifying questions to give clear answers. It's often far more about personality than you may think.

Why would I have reason to be abrasive? Am I expecting people in the company to act like that on a daily basis?

Honestly, I just need to know that they can code to the level expected, work together, and aren’t completely looney.

"Why would I have reason to be abrasive?"

Interviews are mostly (~80%) about evaluating the candidate for fit. They almost always have a time limit. The interviewers job is sometimes made harder by a candidate who answers a question different from the one asked, or who rambles unnecessarily, or who continues talking after the interviewer is satisfied with the answer to a particular question.

In these situations, the interviewer needs to quickly cut off the candidate and move to a different line of enquiry in order to collect enough useful signal during the allotted time.

This can come across as abrasive to some people, particularly if it happens multiple times during a single interview. And the impression can be compounded if they feel the interviewer cut them off as they were saying something which would have increased their odds of success.

"Interviews are mostly (~80%) about evaluating the candidate for fit."

Interviews in our industry are the chaotic mutant hybrid of "Guess what I'm thinking!" and fraternal hazing rituals.

I've been interviewed a few times by self-declared bar raisers. Not impressed.

One raiser dismissed outright all my work on grammars, saying the tool (ANTLR) did all the work. Awkward pause. Has he never written a parser? Is he making a joke? Oh. He's serious. Unfortunately, I eventually sarcastically replied "Ya, and the compiler writes all my code for me."

I'm not a CS researcher. Our pithy jobs are client/server CRUD apps with some glue. Cut a string from here, paste it over there. Do some validation. Make sure the concurrency scales.

Not rocket science. Stop treating me like an initiate. I've been doing this longer than most.

I don't know if you are referring to Amazon bar raisers but most of them are Dev Managers who don't write code on day-to-day basis. And this is a common problem where they don't understand the technical depth of the problem a candidate has worked but still have most weightage in debrief even on technical strengths.

LOL, I'm not saying I agree with the practice. That said, many of the most impressive programmers I've met were less than typical in terms of personality. Being able to work with all types, including when a person is having a bad or rough day is important. There are times when you've been working 16-18 hour days for a few days and can get cranky.

I've worked with all types of personalities. The only ones that ever really bugged me were the excessively arrogant. Some types just grate on you. It's how you deal with and interact that is important. Can you get along with people that are different? Different backgrounds, personalities, cold, super-warm, etc. The culture fit is incredibly important for good or bad. One person can make a team very toxic very quickly.

> Being able to work with all types, including when a person is having a bad or rough day is important.

Inability to work with all types here is primary displayed by the "less than typical" personalities through. Not by someone who decides that he does not want to answer insults with "please may I have another one, sir". I understand importance of not being overly sensitive, but so should be valued ability to control yourself and not be abrasive in the first place.

Otherwise being asshole becomes competitive advantage in that company.

I don't mean to say that less then pleasant people should not be in team, but that criticising them and refusing to accept that behavior should be standard and accepted responses by other people. Including leaving the room or directly defending themselves.

> There are times when you've been working 16-18 hour days for a few days and can get cranky.

That is planning and organizational failure. Also self-awarness failure. No one is effective at 18 hours a day and demanding that collegues tiptoe around you or and spend effort on your crankiness instead of work is a.) unfair b.) ineffective.

If others can't tell you about you mistakes or question you or just have to deal with abrasiveness because you are cranky after sleep deprivation, then it is your fault and you are slowing others down.

>working 16-18 hour days

I hope not. If so management need to be replaced

If that is regular, yeah. I took it as that happens for a few days in a row irregularly. If once or twice a year, one finds oneself (and, presumably their team) in an unusual crunch or fighting fires for a couple of days, that does not strike me as unreasonable.

“Culture fit”. I’m sorry, isn’t this just a term for whether they like or dislike you personally? Sounds like a form of discrimination.

The term “culture fit” sounds very vague, but at many companies there are clearly defined criteria, you just don’t know them.

For example, a company may practice test driven development (TDD), and may evaluate for a candidates ability and desire to use TDD as part of their engineering culture fit. TDD is not necessarily better than alternatives, and a candidate may not necessarily be better because they can do it. It might mean passing on better candidates who don’t prefer TDD.

Culture fit can cover many different aspects, and most are not about being past a “good enough” bar, but rather valuing the same things as the company. To “fail” a culture fit interview is arguably a good thing as otherwise the candidate may have found working at the company unfulfilling, uninteresting or difficult.

The company should be training employees to use their process, not expecting to hire people who already prefer their process. TDD is not some magical thing that requires years of study and practice and apprenticeship to do correctly. It's an approach, you apply it, it might be a little weird for a few weeks if you're not used to it, and then it's fine. What next, will they reject people for preferring trunk-based development over git-flow?

TDD is really one of those things you either like or don't. I for one hate working that way and would be happy to know about it as early as possible. No amount of training will change that.

Some engineers are happy to use the process that works in the company, if that means going with TDD then they do that, but they have no strong feelings either way. That could be a good culture fit!

Some engineers have strong feelings and would prefer not to work in some ways. There are ways to do great engineering without TDD, they may be great engineers, but for a company that practices TDD they may be a poor fit.

To take it to a bit more of an extreme: I like code review. I believe it's a good thing. I want to have my code reviewed and to learn from that, and I want to be able to review my colleagues' code and know that they will take the feedback seriously. I would not work somewhere that did not do code review as I believe it correlates with good engineering practices. In this way, I would be a poor culture fit at somewhere that did not do code review, as I would be pushing to have code reviewed, or wanting to.

My favorite cultural fit failure was trying to opt out of the weekly mandatory surfing lessons, barely got my wet suit off before I was called to a Friday morning meeting with the founders and told to grab my stuff and leave quietly.

No more startups for me, thank you very much.

I think that's a particularly bad example, and I'm sorry you had such a bad experience of startups.

If you had been asked a bunch of questions in your interview that boiled down to "do you like surfing", then you may have "failed" that interview, but that would have been good for you and the company as you ultimately did not have the culture fit they were looking for.

Obviously desire and ability to surf does not correlate with software engineering ability (I assume that's what you applied for?) but things like communication, learning practices, candour, empathy, etc, can correlate highly.

It was worse than that, I relocated to another country for the job and they had just helped me setup a four month apartment contract.

I was informed that they liked to go surfing together during the interviews. It just turned out that bobbing around in freezing water with surfboards shooting at me from every angle just wasn't my thing at all.

Of course that's not the real why, my team lead was an arrogant and ignorant asshole who liked to throw developers under the bus to cover his own ass. Which doesn't work that well on people with a tiny bit of experience and integrity.

But cultural fit, like codes of conduct is a fine tool when you want to get rid of someone.

It is a tern for wheter they like or dislike you personally, but I certainely wouldn't call it discrimination. Plus, it's critically important that employees enjoy working together.

>Sounds like a form of discrimination

Yes, it is, because no one wants to work with jerks and weirdos. It is jerk and weirdo discrimination, which is fine.

Yes. How else but to discriminate would you discern to hire one employee over another?

Assuming they have roughly equivalent experience and backgrounds. It comes down to how well you might get along working with someone. Every office has a culture, and working where you and the company are a bad fit sucks a lot. It usually means sticking it out for a few months just to see if it settles down, or that things get better. Then starting the whole interview process all over again. I'd much rather self-eliminate or be eliminated quickly. Hell it's often after several interviews that you just get a bad feeling, or are dropped from the other side.

It's ALL descrimination. That doesn't mean they are descriminating by a protected class (gender, sexuality, race, etc). If everyone in the office went out for drinks every night at the end of the day, working into the evening, I wouldn't be comfortable with that. Once in a while, sure. It really depends on specifics, that doesn't mean it's inherently bad.

If you ran a company wouldn't you enjoy to work with people you personally liked?

yes, like ability to code in nodejs is also a form of discrimination.

I completely agree with your assessment. At least once a week I deal with people being late for meetings / interviews / whatever. Heck, sometimes it's me running late. That's just how life happens sometimes. Yes, in an interview situation, we all want to be treated well and for the interviewers to be prompt and positive. When they fall short, however, it's a far cry from a "horror story". Just my opinion.

If it happens once, sure. If the entire process is people forgetting, rescheduling and changing things, it isn’t really isolated any more.

As Mr. Fleming put it:

> Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.

For anyone who knows their stuff, this field is a golden ticket, and you don't need to work for some asshole like Bezos to cash it in.

The whole process outlined in the post was needlessly disrespectful of the candidate and his time.

I wouldn't excuse a Godless megacorp like Amazon with this awful scarcity mindset. It is poison.

This HN thread is a shocking reminder of how many people view corporate sadism as normal or even good. That kind of nonsense is what engineers should be shielded from, not the other way around. I prefer to keep my dignity, thanks.

Yep. Sometimes I don't know why I bother to comment on these things.

Cosmic justice would probably be better served if we just kept our mouths shut, and let them make their own beds.

Hey, at least it was Amazon. I had a similar experience interviewing for an _airline_ company a few years back. A recruiter contacted me, mentioned a job opening they had. You know how job postings list 20 different “requirements” but they don’t expect you to actually have all of them? I actually did have expert-level experience at every single item on their list. They phone-screened me, brought me onsite for three in-person back-to-back interviews (during normal working hours, so I had to take time off of my then-current job to go interview). They called back a few days later and said they wanted to bring me back onsite AGAIN for a full day of back-to-back interviews. So I took another PTO day, showed up and interviewed for 6 hours (9 different interviwers) - only to never get another call back.

I have to agree... I feel the lot-drop approach from many large companies is FAR worse than at least some feedback.

In the end, I do feel it's often more about personality and culture than anything technical, once you get past the pre-screen technical interviews.

Lot drop?

Reference to a car salesman leaving you in the lot... not returning.

Many companies just drop all contact at any given point.

I'm working on a way to track and report metrics on this "lot dropping," which I had labeled "ghosting," but I'm not sure if it'll go anywhere.

How would you track that? From gathering anecdotes on HN?

Same happened here. I was junior so I blamed myself at first.

Why would you apply for a job where you have expert level knowledge of everything? Seems you’d be overqualified if the job was not challenging.

A friend suggested a position at Github for an Elasticsearch Manager.

A couple weeks go by and I'm in the interview. It's all MySQL questions. And really specific questions too.

I ask them flat out what the position was for and they said "MySQL Engineer" ...

I replied with "I'm actually more of an Elasticsearch guy" and was told that they're ditching Elasticsearch.

So not only did they decide it was a good idea to slot me into a position from ES to MySQL but they also decided to bring me down from Engineering Manager to individual contributor...

This seems to happen quite a bit. Though not often.

Over the summer I interviewed for a large bank and was told they were modernizing their apps from HTML5 PhoneGap/Cordova to native code, maybe React Native. I was told point-blank by the recruiting company exclusively contracted to fill roles for this project that my profile would be a perfect fit, and I agreed.

Then I get into the interview, and it turns out I would be working on middleware to connect one set of APIs to another, entirely backend, and in a completely siloed department structure.. The interviewers were not sure how any of my front-end skills would be applicable. It was a waste of time on both sides.

I have to wonder why more places, when scheduling interviews, don't email prospective candidates directly before the interview and repeat again, verbatim, what job positions they're looking for and the titles of those positions and descriptions/expectations.

I mean, I might be unusual, but if I were to see a job posting before such an interview which very clearly doesn't match what I thought I was applying for, I'd reply and either cancel the interview or see if there were other positions available.

After all, not only am I wasting their time, but I could have been more productively interviewing at other companies during that time! :)

I went for an interview for Senior .NET Developer role at NineMSN in Australia once. Had full on 2 hour technical interview of .NET and SQL Server. Thought I didn pretty well cos the interview lasted so Long and they were happy with me. Towards the end I asked some questions. The last question was “so what would I be working on?”

Basically they said: “oh well our api is already written so you should be doing all the website integration work with the api” I asked on top of that meant I’ll be doing the .net work of the apis? “No just the HTML/css/JavaScript”... I didn’t accept the offer.

> bring me down from Engineering Manager to individual contributor

That happens all the time. Chances are if they aren't reaching out to you it's a bait and switch opening.

Easy way to discriminate is whether you'll have your budget or not.

Easy way to discriminate is whether you'll have your budget or not.

Yep. Though it's usually easier for them to just go with the bullshit line, "We can't afford to pay someone with your level of experience."

Translation: We don't hire people over 30, but we don't want to get hit with a federal lawsuit.

On the other hand, I've certainly interviewed people that wanted a leadership position, but didn't do well with leadership questions. But, they did do well technically.

Offering a position lower than the one advertised, in that situation, seems okay to me, provided it's not a step down from where they are now.

That's a better situation, a leader is not a manager and there's more overlap between a lead and a dev position.

excuse me? down from?

I interviewed recently with Citadel in London, they're one of them market maker financial companies with a bunch of tech and shiny offices. I was told we'd have a few interviews, and lunch in the middle (we started at 1pm). Apparently I didn't do well enough in the second interview (writing random Python algorithms on a laptop - in fairness, not a whiteboard), so after a while the guy doing the second interview walked out, left me alone for about 10 minutes (it's okay, their conference rooms have a nice view over the river!), and then my first interviewer came back and told me that unfortunately my next interviewer wasn't available. I asked what would happen next and they said they'd have to rearrange the whole thing and walked me out the building. It was obvious it didn't go well but I found it so pathetic that they didn't even tell me, lied about the next interviewer and then even pretended they were going to be back in touch to rearrange things.

I find it a useful experience though. Next time I'm talking with a recruiter and they mention Citadel I'll know they don't do their homework on checking how candidates are treated and I won't work with them.

I know nothing about Citadel, but it may be unfair to generalize from one experience. For example, that particular group may be bad but other groups may be fine and don't know about the bad group.

If you're feeling particularly bold, the ideal is to report that bad group to Citadel. Then, after sufficient time for an internal review, follow up and ask if anything has been done, and if not, then conclude your generalization.

With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if our bayesian priors about the morality of financial institutions are correct, but it helps to empirically validate this and publish findings so that, over time, these institutions are validly, publicly shamed.

Is it common for employers to leave you sitting alone in a conference room during an interview with no explanation or instructions? This happened to me straight out of college and I didn't handle it well admittedly during a poor interview on my part, I was already incredibly anxious and frustrated from my poor performance and I just walked out and never looked back.

I feel like this is an actual interview tactic in some book somewhere although I can't imagine why.

That's the only time it's happened to me. It's fun to think that it was a tactic and I was supposed to either leave or do that one magic trick to wow them and change their mind :) but more likely I think the second guy just decided it was a no but was too awkward to say, so panicked and went to find the first guy to ask him to tell me.

It's unlikely to be tactic, in general. If it's in a normal working day (as against a specific hiring event), it's likely to be a minor failure of logistics.

In your case, it's probably not that. It's more likely that the second interviewer thought that it wasn't worth their time carrying on with the interview. For example, if their expectations of your experience/knowledge were way off reality. Very rude of them not to just say so if that is the case though.

This happened to me I think every time I was interviewed. But this was only being left for a short time between interviews (but maybe I was told that some next step would happen in a few minutes). Waiting time depends from place to place. Eg at a small company in a glass walled room where whoever was to interview me next could see me from their desk, the waiting times were shorter.

I sympathise with feeling anxious about it but I suppose the only thing to do about that is to hope you won’t get long waiting times or to go to a lot of interviews and come to expect it.

I doubt it is a tactic as it doesn’t reflect well on the company. Are they looking for someone who won’t mind if their colleagues are late for a meeting?

Being dishonest is the way out of tricky situations where one's feelings get hurt. This is okay, if the interviewee doesn't have right skills. What if the interviewee is extremely good and yet can't perform in that interview? Then, one can follow your foot steps.

> Lunch break. I was given a "lunch buddy" and told this was not an interview. I am not sure whether it was taken into account or not.

Ha! At least you got a lunch. Here is my experience with AWS:

* They forgot to call for the 1st phone interview. I stood around like an idiot for 45 minutes waiting. Had to call them eventually. They apologized and rescheduled. Ok whatever, bigco, mistakes happen.

* Rescheduled phone interview goes awesome. I was excited. Was told about the Leadership Principles and to make sure learn and parrot them back during the onsite interview. Ok, a little strange. Got the "I think might be joining a cult" thought in the back of my head.

* Interview day. Show up. Turns out future manager, that is the main person I should have been talking to, wasn't even there.

* Got questions like "what was the worst thing that happened to you?". They probably wanted me to parrot the leadership principles back at them. But of course, what better question to make the person feel terrible than making them remember all the bad experiences in their life.

* Nobody asked much about my resume. I had successfully shipped products, could talk in detail about Linux kernel internals, distributed systems. But instead I was live-compiling "invert the binary tree" type problems at the whiteboard.

* Lunch comes. I am thinking, well at least I'll get to meet some of the future team members. But nobody shows up. After 30 min I started to walk around the hallways hoping someone would stop me and ask me what am I doing there. I even had a snarky reply ready to go.

* After that I did get a bit snarky and refused to parrot back the leadership principles. Was that the bar-raiser who I was talking back to? Could be. Were they the ones that failed my interview or was it the manager that never showed up that vetoed me? I'll never know.

* But that's not all. There is more. The HR person I talked to before the interview was swearing they'd get back to me within 3 days. They didn't. Three weeks later I called them back, not because I was curious about the result much, I had accepted an offer by then, I just wanted to see what the excuse would be.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Then it seemed like a terrible waste of time then but now it's a story I really enjoy sharing. It's just so fun. It's incredible the amount of dysfunction and awfulness that resulted from interfacing with that company.

Wow. That "what's the worst thing that ever happened to you" question should make their legal team's skin crawl.

What if the answer was about being bullied for sexual orientation (and in the process disclosing information that could bias an interview) or about dealing with a medical condition?

That's such a stupid question for an interview.

I'm sure they mean "What's a bad work situation you were in, and how did you deal with it"

Being at work doesn't preclude bullying, harassment, assault, etc.

I also thought this is what they meant. It sounds like someone was trying to ask something from a behavioral question bank and just didn't have the wording memorized well enough.

I wonder what the smart way to refuse to reply would be. Is there any way you could and not negatively impact your chances?

I think they want stories of overcoming adversity and how the leadership principles apply there. "Well let's see I was about to be stabbed and a good samaritan jumped in and helped me escape from the thugs. Let's see what's the don't get stabbed principle..."

What I've heard is that if you are asked an uncomfortable or illegal question in an interview, convert it to the closest legal or comfortable version in your head, and answer that. Like:

"What's the worst thing that ever happened to you?" -> Auto-convert to "What's the worst situation that you had to handle at work?" -> Forget the "I got in a bar fight on the weekend" story, tell the "I had to convince the stubborn holdout on my team to go along with the rest of the team's consensus on how to solve a problem" story.

> Interview day. Show up. Turns out future manager, that is the main person I should have been talking to, wasn't even there.

What do people recommend doing in this situation? Walk away? Reschedule? Insist on explanation? Or is it feasible they would make a decision without the manager interview.

Interviews are a two way street and you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

Should you ever have a truly terrible experience in interview, first tell them that you are going to have to call a halt so as to not waste any more time.

Then inform them that you are very sorry, but unfortunately they have managed to fail the interview process and should the chance to employ you come around again, could they please not reapply.

Then walk away.

I have only done this once, while being told about the extra unpaid hours I would have to put in because of 'culture'.

It was more than worth it though, as I got to see a shade of maroon that I was previously unaware was even within the gamut of normal human skin tones.


I tend to take the view that I employ employers to find me interesting or useful stuff to do and to provide any structure and organisation required for said stuff. If they aren't doing it properly, I can fire them.

This is the view every should have - then there would be less of the sort of treatment that leaves people feeling like shit. This is why I love consulting. I get to interview who I’m going to work with and I’m the one who gets to decide if we are going to proceed. I’ve done the interview “firing” a few times and boy are they surprised to hear it.

Keep in mind that there could be a very good explanation for such a no-show, like death of a family member.

But if the company has no second thought about wasting time of candidates then I would stop asking myself how to "get in" and instead ask myself if they really need me.

Call me spoiled, but I'm not going to jump through hoops (like more than three interviews) and accept abuse just for the honour to serve. I am not a slave, and if my skills have some value then I will eventually find a company that actually needs them.

Keep in mind that there could be a very good explanation for such a no-show, like death of a family member.

In a company the size of Amazon, there is always someone else who can step in. If not, it has serious management issues.

This must be the norm for Amazon. I interviewed for a position a couple of years ago in their networking division, and was interviewed by an individual in Dublin (I was applying for a position in Seattle) who was not only not the hiring manager, but didn't seem to care for interviewing me at all. Obviously, it went nowhere.

I've also had the no-show no-call phone interview. They did that to me once and I never called them back or responded to their I'm sorry emails.

My experience with Facebook. I've been referred by a friend and got a fast response from US. Since I am not in US they told me they are going to switch to EMEA dept. for the rest of interview. Then guy emails me from EMEA saying that he got my case and if he's not in touch soon I should remind myself to him... Actually the first one said that too.

WHAT? I should send him an email in case he forgot about me?

Anyway, he forgot. Obviously. After some time (2 weeks or so) I send him an email. Auto-response comes back "I am on vacation, contact Alice instead." Well, so I'm emailing Alice and asking what's going on, etc. Another auto-response "I am on vacation, contact Bob instead." I got really irritated by that point. So I contact Bob, and auto-response comes back "I have too many meetings today, I can't respond today." And that was it.

Now, the funny part. After couple of weeks I got an automated email asking me to participate in interview survey to share my experience. Oh, boy! I'm glad you've asked, guys! So I describe the situation, ask them did they got a bad day or they treat all their candidates like that, and was it a joke or they just disregard people on a daily basis? After I submitted, the next day email comes. "Sorry, we've already have someone else for the job, bla bla bla."


Facebook in Seattle has an open head count. Which means lots of recruiting attempts. I finally got them to blacklist me locally, because I was getting 3-4 recruitment contacts a month, and had been for ages and was getting somewhat tired of it. I have absolutely zero interest in working at Facebook, for a number of reasons.

Some of their recruiters were beyond ridiculous when it comes to persistent. My "favourite" interaction with them, only marginally paraphrased:

Recruiter: "Hi, I saw your impressive work history on LinkedIn and would like to talk to you about a job opportunity at Facebook" (probably the only thing "impressive" in my work history at the time was AWS?)

Me: "Thank you for contacting me, but I'm not interested in working at Facebook"

Note: This was sent direct to my personal email address, not through LinkedIn. It happens to be an email address associated with both my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, presumably something Facebook recruiters could get at? Most of their recruitment attempts have come via email instead of LinkedIn, and reference my work history on LinkedIn.

< a few days pass >

R: "Hi, just reaching out to you again to see if you've had a chance to rethink about the role at Facebook"

M: "I'm not changing my mind. I'm not interested in working at Facebook"

< a few days pass >

R: "Hi, we have a recruitment open day coming up on $date, there will be food and drinks and a chance to speak with people who already work at Facebook. It's an ideal chance to see if there is any work you might find interesting here"

M: "I'm really, really not interested. Stop contacting me"

< $day-2 >

R: "Just thought I'd send a quick reminder that the open day is coming up in a couple of days. Hope to see you there"

M: "No, you won't. I'm not attending. Please stop contacting me"

< $day >

R: "Hi, I'm looking forward to meeting you today at the open day" By this stage I'm half tempted to turn up just so I could punch the recruiter.

M: "You won't. I'm not attending. STOP CONTACTING ME"

< $day+1 >

R: "I'm sorry, I appear to have missed you at the open day. I was wondering if maybe I could schedule a time to speak to you about engineering opportunities here at Facebook"


At which point I went through my email backlog, marked every email as spam, and put in an auto-junk rule for any further communication from that recruiter.

A bit late to the party, but a lot of things that this post mentions are very similar to my own Amazon experience.

- They asked me to write a four page essay before I was allowed to have an on-site interview. Exactly four pages.

- The interview process was more exhausting than any company I'd interviewed at. They make almost no accommodations to make you feel comfortable.

- I asked for a Macbook. They gave me an old Dell laptop.

- I remember that the VC in the room we were initially in just didn't work. The recruiter spent a good amount of time trying to make it work before giving up and getting another room. I believe they had just switched the office over to Chime, which was not reassuring.

- The editor they had me code in didn't actually run my code, nor did it have syntax highlighting. A big chunk of the top of the screen was covered by a banner ad, because apparently they weren't paying for it.

- The recruiter and first interviewer were both late. I sat in an empty lobby waiting for someone to show up to tell me what to do while the receptionists yelled song requests to the Echo across the room.

- The position was for "special projects," aka "top secret". All of my interviewers made sure to impress upon me how important the project was, but even after I got an offer, they wouldn't tell me what it entailed. I literally wouldn't find out what the project was until I signed the offer.

- The title they offered me was "better" than the other two offers I got. But the compensation (including equity) was the worst: double digit percentage less than the next best offer.

I've had an interview process that included 2 phone screens, 1 virtual coding exercise, 7 on-sites with a grand total of 4 white board interviews. There's something profoundly stupid about having that many whiteboards. The whiteboards were not testing different skills - they were literally just different problems. I always think back to this: https://twitter.com/dhh/status/834146806594433025?lang=en.

I've gotten old enough to not want to re-learn how to put things in order.

It’s appalling how one-sided many orgs see the interview process. Instead of treating the candidate as a partner - someone to work together in making a decision - the candidate might as well be a box of staplers to them.

The candidate is barely a human being to these mega corps. They freely dispose of the candidates time without any consideration beyond what the hiring team needs.

An interview CAN be as much about helping the candidate find what’s best for them. Heck where I work we actively talk and promote other options where someone might be happier. We make referrals for people. When it’s not a good fit we try to give them feedback and genuinely want them to succeed.


> It’s appalling how one-sided many orgs see the interview process. Instead of treating the candidate as a partner - someone to work together in making a decision - the candidate might as well be a box of staplers to them

With maybe 1 in 5 on-site interview candidates making it, and the amount of interviewing individuals at Amazon do, it can often get to the point where it's really hard to see interviewees as people. I tried really hard, especially as one of the more limited-pool of systems engineers (I specifically put myself out there for other teams to leverage, so that systems engineers didn't end up with a full dev loop). The number of interview loops done is only exasperated by Amazon's inability to hold on to engineers for more than a few years. One team I dealt with regularly would lose a sizeable chunk of their syseng staff every 9 months or so.

I can't even begin to imagine how hard it gets for the bar-raisers, who might interview 4-5 candidates a week or more.

The candidate is barely a human being to these mega corps. They freely dispose of the candidates time without any consideration

There is a reason companies refer to employees as “resources” these days. Well at least they’re honest.

They have started to call people "resources" at my company since the last one or two years. It feels so dehumanizing.

That's the entire point. My suggestion is move on.

And for every dignified refusal to take that abuse of an interview, 100 spineless moluscs will happily suck up to it.

You can't beat the corporate system because the corporations are not the cause, only the effect of the slime that gets in and raises to the top.

I've found it actually works to throw a little temper tantrum, Go right to the most senior person and just lay into them in a manner they cannot defend, because they are clearly treating people unfairly, taking advantage of the unbalanced recruiting situation. That's how I got my first C-Suite (reporting to the board, not the CEO) Senior Director position.

Any company that interviews as much as these do is going to have a process that resembles sausage making, and the candidates are the ingredients. It's all about volume, not quality.

speaking as someone not in tech (im an engine mechanic by trade) and who has had to hire people in the past

sometimes the recruiter is miles off. its an indication of serious communications problems, for example i had a job posted for a senior level (ASE type) certified mechanic with trade school completed. Because HR gets in a rush, and because newspapers cost money per character printed, half of the requirements got cut off.

So imagine my surprise when I get a junior level tech walking in on monday morning and I sit down with an hour long interview that starts out with me asking her to diagram the one-thousand pound diesel engine in my office. half an hour in im throwing questions about yanbar piston rings, fluid dynamics in the compression cycle and asking for six fault conditions on a HINO engine during warmup and takeoff. I was getting stonewalled in the interview, and getting a little pissed off that this "senior" level mechanic was blowing smoke up my ass, wasting my company time, or so i thought.

I asked her to "cut the bullshit." She nearly had a panic attack. She was nearly in tears, trying desparately to explain how she was working as best she could to finish school, but that she hadnt any experience with "the bigger" engines yet. Confused, I asked her more about the job offer and she conspicuously forgot half of it. Fetching the newspaper from the waiting room and checking it myself, I saw the problem. I'd spent 30 minutes roasting a trade school kid and felt awful about it.

Anyhow i guess what im saying is, its not always you. Sometimes Shirley doesnt double-check the article before she goes on her margaritaville cruise off the coast of south carolina.

So where you work, requirements are actual requirements?

In software, it's often the opposite. You see a fuckton of "requirements" that aren't requirements at all (or the company is looking for unicorns but inevitably end up having to hire a totally average human being), so people just apply whether they have the required skills or not.

This gave me a big laugh, especially that ending. You sound like a decent sort, and I’m sure that woman you interviewed will do fine.

> I asked her to "cut the bullshit."


I had a recent fun experience where I did a code screen for a company. It involved writing a very basic key value store API in Ruby. However, the challenge was extremely unspecified. There were no specification for persistence (database? file? none?), the precise semantics of the requests (should PUT-ing the same object multiple times overwrite it? According to the HTTP definition of PUT, yes, but who knows for sure?), or even how the code was being run (rackup? Separate script?). Note that there wasn't a clear way to ask questions either. Even better, the code was to be tested via an automated script. Yeah...automated scripts and unclear specifications are not a good combo.

I wrote the code to the best of my ability, then submitted it. I got a rejection a few weeks later and when I asked the person who sent it for feedback (I will say, that the company at least had a real, very nice person contact me), they cited a policy of no response.

Granted, I messed up in that I refused to use Rails, since, c'mon, it's a key value store. Instead I decided to just write it in pure Ruby with Rack and the SQLite gem. But I suppose that could have been a mistake since A. Rails is a lot more robust when it comes to input space and B. the testing harness is probably designed for Rails. Second, it's quite likely my code was just not good. But I'd at least like some feedback then, or even a printout of test failures.

This is a company I hold in extremely high regard, so I sincerely hope that this is just a fluke.

I'm thinking that in this case, knowing to ask all these questions and getting further specifications was part of the challenge..

I’d be inclined to agree, except there was no way to contact anybody technical. I was only put in contact with HR and was sent the challenge via an automated email from an address that didn’t respond when I emailed it. Not really sure where else I could have gone to get a response. Unless this was some kind of CTF where I had to find a hidden email.

If it was CTF you'd probably try to get the official solution from their recruiter's computer. I wonder if it would give them pause if it was verbatim the same.

Did they not give you the automated script? Or let you run your code against it?

It sounds like the test script itself was the spec for it.

Nope. As far as I could tell there wasn’t any way to test. I think they encouraged writing your own tests, which I did, but that’s still guesswork on my part.

I've been a lunch buddy before.

I don't remember there being anywhere on the interview app for me to put in feedback. I see lunch buddy's responsibility being to make sure you're well fed and caffeinated, and ready for the afternoon interviews/excited about the team/org.

Depends on the company. OP is quite correct, often the lunch buddy is another interview, sometimes it's just a way to give junior employees some exposure to the process, sometimes it's it really is just lunch.

I interviewed once with a finance company that recorded the entire day, openly, including the break room. I interviewed with another company, where the ride from/and to the airport was part of the interview - I was a little suspicious at the time due to the nature of the "conversation" and had it confirmed through a contact later.

Human creativity exists on both side of the hiring table.

Need more details! Was it the cab driver, or did they send an employee to meet you at the airport?

I've heard old stories of interviews where you park the candidate somewhere, and get the janitor to come by and drop something, or ask for a hand - and they see how you respond. Was it like that?

They used a pick up from the airport service, and apparently the owner/driver was a relative of one of the senior managers. It was somewhat blatant, in the kind of questions he slipped in weren't quite in the zone for your typical taxi driver.

I've never experienced anything like the janitor stories, although I can well believe them, but I did once work for a company in LA, where I struck up some really interesting friendships with a couple of the janitors who were unemployed script writers. They had some stories to tell...

Problem is, tech is the easiest thing to get started talking about with a candidate. It's the one guaranteed thing you have in common.

It’s really not - lunch is part of the interview. Maybe less technically oriented, but it’s still part of the interview.

[edit: Wow, so much down votes.

I have interviewed and been interviewed at multiple big tech companies. In all cases the lunch has been part of the interview process, in most I’ve even been given an explicit “this is X, they’ll be talking about Y over lunch”, or it’s been called “lunch interview”.

If the company isn’t treating the lunch period as an interview you’re wasting your engineer’s (or whatever) time, and the candidates. ]

That's not accurate. The lunch buddy is there to give the candidate some relaxing time off of interviewing, allow them to get a good lunch, and to ask questions "off the record" to a potential colleague. Informally it is the job of the lunch buddy to make a pitch for why the candidate should consider working for the company, and if relocation is on the table, what's neat about the area and why the candidate should consider moving.

The lunch buddy doesn't get the option to enter feedback for a candidate and often doesn't even get invited to the interview debrief. They really are there just for lunch.

Source: have been a lunch buddy several times.

I have been a lunch buddy too, sure they can told u that it was not an interview but nothing in this world is ever black and white. The person I'm having lunch is probably will be my future coworker so if this person doing something stupid or something I don't like during the lunch, there is no guarantee I will not hinted it to the hiring manager later on.


Currently an Amazon employee. 40+ interviews + debriefs. Not once has "what did the lunch buddy think?" ever been uttered.

I've been a lunch buddy myself a handful of times. My goal is to have a good time, answer any questions the candidate has, and squeeze as nice of a meal (+ coffee) outta the process as I can. I've never been asked for feedback

When I was younger and dumber, I did two full day interviews at Amazon, 9am till 4-5pm. No lunch, no bathroom breaks, wall to wall interviews completely unrelated to the initial reasons for my contact. Actually rude to the recruiter after the first day, I was convinced to return for a 2nd round of interviews. I never bothered to return any contacts after that incredibly poor and redundant treatment. The exact same thing happened on the 2nd day: no lunch, no bathroom breaks, tons of waiting, and unrelated interviewers.

Same here.

That sounds like amazon is wasting employees time then. That runs counter to my experience with other large tech companies.

It benefits neither the company nor the candidate to have the candidate be overly stressed out all day. Lunch also gives the candidate the chance to chat informally to a potential colleague and for that potential colleague to make a pitch for why it's cool to work at the company and live in the area. If the lunch buddy does their job well the candidate should leave excited to work for the company and in good spirits for the last half of the interview. On top of that both people get a free lunch. Definitely not a waste of time.

Agreed. About half the candidates I take out to lunch in some way ask "is working here as stressful as the rumors say?"

I think it is worth it to the company for me to spend the 5 extra minutes of my time (since I'm going to eat lunch anyway) and $25 on lunch to defuse those concerns and sell them on the team. With the phone screen, the interviews, the feedback forms and the debrief, the company is spending a ton of time on each candidate brought on site. Loosing a candidate you make an offer to is the worst waste of time.

> half the candidates I take out to lunch in some way ask "is working here as stressful as the rumors say?"

And what do you tell them / what do you think?

Yup, just like letting your employees eat during work hours is "wasting employees' time"... They have to eat anyway!

This is incorrect. At least for tech companies, when you are explicitly told that it's not an interview, you can take it at face value (but as always, exercise judgement, and don't be a dick).

Usually they will tell you whether lunch is also an interview or if it's just lunch. From my own experiences, Microsoft typically does a more touchy-feely interview (still a real interview) over lunch, but Google typically doesn't. With the tech giants, you can take this at face value.

That doesn't mean your lunch buddy will be a good conversationalist though. Mine mostly were not (including at AirBnB, but I only point that out for the irony against their stated cultural values). I would sometimes just ask for the last 20 minutes to meditate.

Also that's not an insult or a judgement. Being a good conversationalist in professional settings is hard, and interviews doubly so because interviewees are nervous for good reasons. So I don't judge engineers or even PM's by how good at bantering they are during interviews, because it's not their job to be good at it.

People who only have lunch with the candidate are not invited to submit a scorecard and not present at the debrief, at least at my large employer.

At my last gig at Stripe we had a candidate fail the lunch interview because he spent much of the time bad mouthing his current co-workers. Not a good look. Unless there is a red flag though, the lunch interviewer doesn't have to show up for the post-interview discussions.

Literally every tech interview I’ve ever had treats lunch as part of the interview. Every candidate I’ve talked to at lunch was aware that it was part of the interview.

At Google the lunch is not scored. It's a chance for the candidate to decompress a bit (the rest of the day is back-to-back) and also to sell Google culture a bit, but it's not about getting feedback.

Another Amazon employee here. It's just lunch. We're there to give candidates a moment to relax after their morning interviews. Lunch buddies are never asked for feedback.



Anyone else find this reading a bit over dramatic. I don't find any horror here though I agree its not the best candidate experience and that is sad. However, horror story is just being dramatic because OP is salty he didn't get hired when he feels he is of the calibre to be hired at Amazon. Recruiters are non-tech and Google and Facebook have had timezone problems during my recruiting and this was only in US timezone so I imagine international this is even more horrendous.

It's just an interesting story. You don't have to worked up about it.

Sorry if my post came off as worked up, I was merely trying to reduce the narrative to what it was which isn't all that interesting or unique.

You missed the Halloween references then

No I got them, I just think OP is being over dramatic because he didn't get hired. Then feels offended because some recruiter from a company with hundreds of thousands of employees reached out to him 2 years after he said to never contact him again.

And if he felt so strongly about not working for them, why not just delete the email? You’re not obligated to apply when a recruiter spams you.

That said, I do think the big tech companies have abysmal hiring processes. It’s not horrifying, but it’s a bit depressing.

I don't work at Amazon, however my experience has been similar working at a large F10.

Our internal 'recruitment services' dept is all outsourced/contracted. They mask this internally through cheap tricks (don't present the staff in exactly the same manner as contractors in our internal system, etc), but do a little research and you'll figure out what's going on. I'm guessing they have hundreds, possibly thousands of contractors on the payroll running the operation.

They literally don't give a shit how it all goes down. I've escalated situations up the chain multiple hops and get nothing back, just silence. No acknowledgement, nothing. Talk to other Director/VP level friends in HR and they don't even know who to talk to.

I run a small to mid size department (think around 50 FTEs and some contract/consultant staff) and when we get openings posted, we run the recruiting ourselves and just instruct the internal recruitment team when we're ready to write/extend offers. They are usually still working on the initial candidate screen doing who knows what, dicking people around with video interviews and stupid phone screens.

Corporate HR and recruiting is totally broken - avoid at all costs.

This rings very true from my perspective as well from both sides of the fence.

  Our internal 'recruitment services' dept is all outsourced/contracted
That would make me immediately rule out working for such a company.

This. Ignore corporate HR. Speak directly to your potential manager about the specific needs and tasks to be accomplished by you. Present as the solver of those specific needs. That is all they want or need. The rest is pointless bureaucratic growth, just like any fiefdom, and is to be avoided. This manager avoids corporate HR too, because he/she is a problem solver and needs more peers. Be that peer.

Looking at this account from a meta-perspective I feel reminiscent of fraternity pledgings. A certain percentage of applicants suffering through a similar experience while getting for whatever reason an offer in the end will feel by principle of cognitive dissonance especially grateful and devoted to Amazon. You want to be a part of this shiny company? Here you go - take a sip from the puke bucket! And they do it thinking that place must be awesome because why else would you endure that bullshit ceremony? Finally you're the one passing on your trauma on fresh aspirants.

Recently I had such a bad experience with a Google recruiter who was looking for an Engineering Manager. He set up an initial call but canceled 8 minutes before due to another meeting he had at the same time.

So we rescheduled for two days later. I had the video chat link and was waiting for him to appear. As he didn't appear, of course, I sent an email asking if anything was wrong. This was 3 months ago and I never received any feedback or another reply.

Just a heads up that any kind of a "manager" position in FAANG that goes through a "recruiter" and not directly through your network is very likely a bait-and-switch for a regular SDE.

That's extremely insightful: a manager position in FAANG occurs through promotion or networking in. Would love to hear all stories of networking, people within or external to the FAANG organizations.. (getting hired vs. helping hire)

Amazon recruiters are some of the least organized. There have been times when I got contacted by 3 recruiters during same week but none of them knew about others. There have also been times when Amazon recruiter calls me and I tell them I was contacted before and they have no ability to verify or look up what happened before! Many of these recruiters also look like one-off vendors working on some twisted reward scheme so they often don't care about candidate experience or long term maintenance of information. There is simply no organizational memory of some very basic things like candidate profiles, pipelines, leads etc. Compared to this Google has invested enormously in maintaining beautiful detailed profiles of anyone who ever contacted them.

Perhaps one reason for this Amazon chaos is also that they really don't care about employee turnover. Attrition is the way to weed out less productive folks so you just keep hiring en-mass and keep firing en-mass. Someone might say this would create huge voids in project memory and continuity but its perhaps good because it forces to create documentation and other artifacts with assumption that others won't be around soon. This is very different than Google culture and it seems to have worked at least to some extent.

There's one specific problem with tech hiring that generally doesn't get a mention and maybe should: HR hiring staff apparently has a really high rate of turnover, especially among contract sourcers and recruiters (and it seems like many of these people are contractors).

One really easy way to get ghosted during the recruiting process is if your primary handler quits, gets fired, or just doesn't get their contract renewed.

I don't think this is the primary problem with tech hiring, but it might be a quite significant secondary problem.

>>The interviewer was one of those typical impossible to please/thinks he is smarter than everyone, long haired programmer guys.

>>The questions were impossibly difficult without prior exposure

>>I couldn't answer many of the coding questions during this interview because they were focused on specific algorithms that no amount of preparation would be enough

These questions are just becoming very common these days. There are thousands of programmers spending hours every day on online judge sites, and other associated competitive programming contests scattered over the internets. As these things increase there is growing question bank of impossible to answer interview questions. It also turns out most people who hop jobs often are the same people putting in these efforts into competitive programming contests, and these people justify their investments in time to ask these questions and to keep it as an edge over others.

The questions are just impossible to answer unless you spend hours every day on these competitive programming sites for years.

It also turns out these people move companies in an year always. If your greatest skill is interviewing, working for one company for years seems like a waste of your skills.

I interviewed at Amazon and was rejected, main reason is that I was totally unprepared(don't even know its 10 principles or something, not to mention the freshman style algorithm stuff preparation).

All I want to say is that, after the hiring experience and learned how their R&D was running afterwards a bit, I'm not going to hold its high flying stocks.

The hiring process sucks, the bar raiser is a joke.

Of course I'm negative after having been spurned by Amazon and Google, but I worry about the continued success of these companies after seeing their hiring processes. Then again, they only have to be less stupid than their competitors in order to continue being successful.

I think one of the weak spots is the recruiting team. I feel like the recruiters, often contractors, get paid based on hiring rates alone. There's nothing disincentivizing them from sending unqualified recruits through the pipeline.

In the end, I landed a nice position with a 'tier-2' valley company(not FANG, but close), so I can go back to not giving a shit about the broken hiring process. Hopefully the industry wises up, but I suspect that the big companies will be staffed by people who survived the modern interview process and therefore nothing will change.

I passed the phone screen at Mozilla but the interviewer didn't show for the first actual interview.

I emailed the recruiter and the interviewer to ask what's up and eventually they apologized and they said they'd reschedule. Except they didn't.

I sent a few followup emails where I suggested some times that might work, asked if there was an alternate time that might work better, etc. Never heard another word from them.

I think our entire industry is terrible at recruiting.

Judging the programming performance of an engineer based on how they fare at an interview is like determining the looks of someone by how they appear in a single snapshot.

Both seem often pretty accurate.

I interviewed with Amazon a little over a year ago and my experience was quite the opposite of what was described in the article.

Amazon recruiters approached me first on LinkedIn and invited to one of their off-site hiring events in Europe. I didn't feel like interviewing with them back then as I wasn't sure I could pass but still decided to try.

Communication with the recruitment team was surprisingly flawless - I didn't have any issues with timezones (I was based in Europe, they were from Seattle/Bay Area), there were some last-minute changes that didn't affect anything/caused any trouble. HR provided me with tips on how to pass the interview and shared some online/offline resources on how to get prepared - they also put a lot of stress on their company principles.

After the initial tech screening and a Skype call with one of the recruiters, I was invited to the hiring event. Amazon rented the whole floor on one of the top hotels in the city, all the candidates were assigned a room and the interviewers came to you - 3 interviews for algorithms/data structures, 1 for system design. The organization was really superb, interviewers were very positive and eager to share their experience.

In the end, I didn't get an offer, but I'd say I'd definitely try to interview with Amazon again.

PS. From what I read here, maybe I was just plain lucky to have a positive experience interviewing with them :-)

I had basically the same experience except it was in Toronto instead of Europe.

For recruiters we are literally just a product they try to sell to their internal teams. Once you understand this everything else starts making sense.

It helps to think of it as my work is just a product being sold.

It's also a more accurate model of what's going on.

I don’t think that’s true for our interactions with the recruiter. At least the ones I have talked to, couldn’t care less about my work. They only care about the odds of me clearing the interview. Their behavior is linearly related to that.

Rereading, I realize we're talking about slightly different things.

I'm talking about the labor market in general, and my point is that your value is not $X/year, your work's value is, and it's good for your mental health to make that distinction, whether X happens to be high or low.

You're talking about understanding the recruiter's incentives, and you're right that, like any sales people, they've focused on making the sale and getting their commission.

But that doens't fit in line with the model of dystopian slavery and recruiting that people _like_ to imagine happens at large companies.

Depends on the recruiting team. For in-house recruiting teams they at lease have a stake in maintaining the company's image and reputation. The recruiters at my company go out of their way to emphasize that we want to give every candidate a good (or at least not-bad) experience, regardless of whether they get an offer. If an interviewer covers for someone who went out sick, or if otherwise goes beyond reasonable interviewing responsibilities the recruiting team tries to recognize it. I remember when I arranged for a candidate to meet a member of an ERG they expressed interest in, even though the candidate had unambiguously failed the interview. Someone on the recruiting team dropped off cookies at my desk the next day, it was sweet - pun somewhat intended.

ERG? Google (and similar) didn’t disambiguate for me.

Interviewing is broken beyond belief, but it's just a reflection of all the opinions people hold on interviewing.

Most people's ideas on hiring are plain wrong, so of course when a company assigns these people hiring duties the process will be broken.

Also, apart from people posting stories like this on Glassdoor it seems like HR isn't generally accountable for anything as there's no way for candidates to flag bad behaviour.

I'm not sure how to fix the first problem, but management should force HR to collect unfiltered anonymous feedback from candidates in order to review their performance, to avoid having you company mentioned in such a conversation.

Engineers are, as a rule, broken. We cultivate these twisted dwarves, masters of their 2-inch domain but alienated to all else. We need to keep them in insulated cells and handle them like plutonium. But instead we treat them like normal people and let their insanity corrupt everything around them.

I have such low expectation of recruiters these days that nothing they do bothers me.

The impression he gave off was that his field of IT was the only one that mattered and if you haven't heard some very specific terms from that field that you were a pathetic excuse for a human being

What really annoys me are those interviewers who are hell bent on proving they are smarter than the interviewee. The point of an interview is to find what the candidate knows and where she can fit in the organization. Even if the interviewer is the god of coding, there is absolutely no need to belittle or make the interviewee nervous. They are simply wasting everyone's time when they do it, not to mention the bad publicity, like this article.

The interviewers are developers themselves, I can't understand why/how they can treat fellow devs this badly.

Simple. It's bullying. Put others down to feel better about yourself. And thanks to the power dynamic there's no way to push back other then to never work at the company - which might even be a good company with a couple bad apples.

Sorry to hear that OP had such a bad experience. I guess as so often, it really depends on which team / division you are interacting with.

I was interviewing for Amazon a while back and my experience was mostly positive.

I had applied myself and they got in touch via email a few weeks later. After a brief email exchange, I got invited for a phone interview. All very straight forward - the interviewer was really friendly and professional. At the end of the interview, he also gave me some pointers about what he thinks is important in interviews.

A week later or so, I got an invitation for on-site interviews. I think it was 5 interviews in total. The hiring manager and his team were all really nice. (Interesting site note: I did mention some interesting and for the interview relevant HN article at some point and the interviewer told me that I should not believe everything that is said on HN haha.) I think the "bad cop" role was given to the two off-site interviewers. They asked some tough questions, one of which was something along the line of "Tell me about a time when you were right about something but could not convince others/management." Of course, I had experienced such situations in the past, but I struggled to give a clear narrative. I didn't want to look like someone who doesn't care; nor like someone who doesn't get their point across, nor like a push-over. In the end, I left it at something like "I still think I was right, but for other, non-content-related reasons, management went for a different decision." They didn't seem happy about my answer. The last interview was a bit weird and I probably asked a stupid question that put the interviewer off.

I think that was my inner obstructionist. I was living in Belgium at the time and I really love BE (but didn't like my job there). The Amazon job looked better, but I didn't really feel like moving to the UK, where the job was located. Also, the team indicated that they are doing more than 9-5. Here, too, my inner obstructionist was telling me 'meh'.

You can see where this is going: I didn't get the offer. Still, I thought the process was pretty decent and fair in my case. Of course, this is also just a personal experience, but I thought I'd share a nicer one.

Pretty much all developer jobs are salaried in the UK aka no fixed hours so presenting as some one who only wants to work 9-5 rigidly is going to not go down well.

What I find interesting is that, on one end, there's a "developers" shortage, but on the other, all companies are funneling potentially good engineers through processes designed for the "interview" experts. Also, that AMZ or Google do open public positions is weird. I'm pretty sure they could have the best referring programs.

on one end, there's a "developers" shortage, but on the other, all companies are funneling potentially good engineers through processes designed for the "interview" experts.

If there genuinely was a shortage could any company get away with these ridiculous practices? It only makes sense if there is both a glut of candidates and of existing employees with lots of free time on their hands.

During the dotcom boom when there was a genuine shortage an interview was a phone screen, a couple of hours onsite then “when can you start?”. Companies couldn’t shovel workers in the door fast enough!

The big companies that do this have no shortage. They can afford to be as picky as they want and people are still drooling for a job at these places.

There's still genuine shortage around, but it's by no means universal. Smaller companies are affected more, but they can't afford to shovel workers in like the big companies once could. And it's pretty likely that they are the ones that get hurt the most if they get a bad hire, so they are in a dire situation. The likes of google, facebook and amazon can easily soak up a bunch of bad hires until they realize the problem and show them the door.

Plenty of smaller companies cargo-cult those kinds of practices, and the matter wasn't helped by hyperbole from the likes of Spolskey saying one bad hire can destroy your company (while noone wondered why the top developers in the world would be flocking to work on his dumb project management tool). No other industry makes such a song-and-dance of hiring as tech, insists that people do the job as a hobby in their spare time too, etc etc

Actually there's a lot of "did three months <put language or framework here> course and now I am a ninja programmer!" candidates. So those interview processes are designed to understand if you belong to that category, but they are far from perfection.

In my personal experience, referral programs are the best.

What other realistic option is there besides interviewing?

The Thunderdome.

It's about good interviewing and bad interviewing. I dream of a day when the skills tested are close to those needed for a role and a willingness to parrot "Leadership Principles" is seen as a red flag rather than a badge of merit.

The internal recruiter usually knows very little about the actual role and exists only to sell you to other teams. They are usually contractors, and could not care less about how candidates actually do as they themselves have no job incentives that align properly. They'll line you up with positions that make no sense, they'll ignore any advice or opinions you might have, and are not technically skilled at all. If the interview goes south at any point, the candidate is to blame for not hitting the bar. Your happiness is not a factor, they have literally hundreds of resumes with your same skill set.

I once had a recruiter try to line me up with a javascript position when I had java experience, not understanding the difference.

You have to really police their behavior and almost babysit them, otherwise you get situations like this.

I had an off-site interview experience with Amazon a few years ago, they came over from the US/Canada to London and held a hiring event in a hotel.

You got put in a room and went through 4 face to face interviews which were very gruelling, but the interviewers were nice and positive (although to my British sensibility, maybe _too_ positive!)

I didn't get an offer, I don't think I have the chops to pass the interviews really, I found the preceding 2-3 weeks of interview prep very stressful and time consuming. It's not just the algorithms and data structures bit you have to revise on, you need to think up many anecdotes that align to The Leadership Principles. They're all over that stuff, you cannot be a follower you must demonstrate Leadership.

All in all though I appreciated the experience, I don't think I would apply again though.

>think up many anecdotes that align to The Leadership Principles. They're all over that stuff, you cannot be a follower you must demonstrate Leadership.

If the principle they set is that you must be a leader and not a follower, then you should presumably refuse to follow any leadership principles they dictate to you, purely out of principle.

But then you would be following their principles and not leading! Oh the paradox!

Am now tempted to apply to Amazon, just to wind them up with this in interview. Knowing my luck though, they would offer me the job.

As someone who is soon to graduate in CS from an university, these seemingly reoccurring stories of terrible interviews really scare me.

Is it normal for the interviewing process to take up all the candidates day? Is it always expected to spend 3 weeks brushing up on algorithms for an interview?

How important are the coding interviews in the decision process? I consider myself a decent programmer, and I have passed and even enjoyed all the algorithmics courses at my university. However, asking me to implement, lets say, the Minimum Cut algorithm on a whiteboard in front of multiple interviewers, would totally break me down.

From my limited professional experience, the average day of a developer is the exact opposite of what you have to display at these interviews I read about. When I code, I need my silence and time to think, I need a relaxing and comfortable environment, I need the internet, man-pages, StackOverflow, IRC. I need my own notepad on which I can doodle, and occasionally write down notes for later. I need room to make and learn from my mistakes. And last but not least, I will have bad days where I might underperform. Interviews seem to be the exact opposite of all this.

>Is it normal for the interviewing process to take up all the candidates day? Is it always expected to spend 3 weeks brushing up on algorithms for an interview?

Yes and yes. If you want to work at the best companies with the best engineers and the best workplace culture with the best compensation yes. I even think it’s worth it. Unfortunately having this strict interview style doesn’t guarantee any of the above it is just a prerequisite.

> How important are the coding interviews in the decision process? I consider myself a decent programmer, and I have passed and even enjoyed all the algorithmics courses at my university. However, asking me to implement, lets say, the Minimum Cut algorithm on a whiteboard in front of multiple interviewers, would totally break me down.

It’s important. 90% of the problems are search problems ie bfs and dfs. Sometimes they are a little more difficult.

If you are interested in preparing and studying like crazy I suggest you go to hacker rank, solve the problems in order in python. Look at the solutions when you finish and study the user submitted solutions. They typically take advantage of built in data structures that can make life interviewing very easy

As someone who has been reading the comments and laughing, let me explain how it works where we are

You need a panel of 8 to interview a candidate. One of the 8 must be the hiring manager, but sometimes that does not happen (very rare) so hiring manager interviews on a separate day. 8 people are split into 4 panels of 2 each, and within each panel each interviewer gets 1/2 hours (need not be exact), they want the other person to observe and provide independent feedback when the 1st person is interviewing in a panel. Now that's just the background.

Now does the hiring team have 8 people? Maybe not. Then what do you do? Get people from other groups. Even if hiring team has 8 people, are they all available? Maybe not. Again, get people from other groups. Based on the people who are available, do they have prior experience of interviewing? [ I would consider prior experience valid if they have conducted at least half a dozen interviews. ] Well, maybe not. Do they all work in the same technology area? Maybe not.

Then once the interview scheduled is laid out, usually 2-3 days in advance, you have a production breakdown issue and you can not attend. Or you are sick or working from home due to an emergency. Or there is some other conflict you can't get out of. So you find substitutes. Do those work as well? Sometimes they do, sometimes they do not. We would have done some prep in terms of which individual will focus on what area of expertise, but when you get last minute substitute, oh well how do you manage that.

Now all this is real life. People have priorities, people have life and while an interview is important, dealing with family sickness and production breakdowns is equally important. Shit happens. We / teams of course do their best to work around this, but does it happen all the time. Well, maybe not, but then what is the alternative once you have signed on the corporate / department mandate of 8 people : 4 hours interview mandate. It is usually a bunch of people trying to do their best, and sometimes the best is really bad for the candidate, but not usually.

Finally the 7 people in the panel dont have a 100% stake in the process, the hiring manager does, and he/she needs to make the best judgement based on all the feedback that comes through and if there are sufficient warning signs (2-3 people not happy with the candidate), they just move on as they do not want to take a 'brave' decision and be provided wrong later.

I would say dont worry about the process, it is shitty, but just understand how it works and play your role. The process is the same for everyone, and it is sometimes a game of odds, the odds are low to start with, but the game of odds means that sometimes you come out lucky too.

A good takeaway, most people overestimate their own skills and competence. It's always someone else's fault. If I apply for a company and they don't get back to me, or pull some stunts as described I assume they have better candidates in the pipeline. I'm not their priority.

Maybe changing your own view a bit gets you closer to reality.

> If I apply for a company and they don't get back to me, or pull some stunts as described I assume they have better candidates in the pipeline. I'm not their priority.

This! I'm reading in the thread here about people not arranging the right times, and people responding to recruiters who clearly don't care, and people jumping through all kinds of hoops, and I'm just here kind of in disbelief.

A good way to think about interviewing/being recruited, is in terms of dating. If an attractive woman says she's gonna call you, never does, then when you see her on the street she gives you some "Oh my dad's aunt's cousin's dog was sick" excuse, you're pretty much an idiot for ever thinking she was into you in the first place, and continuing to want her.

Another thing is that these folks have no idea that by continuing to be straddled and dragged along (and basically bullshitted), they're confirming that "Hey, I'm desperate for this job, so sure, I'll let you walk all over me". Which thus reduces their attractiveness as candidates. A recruiter misses a call with me? No reply. A company doesn't follow through on what they said they'd do or bullshits me in the slightest way? No reply. This approach is definitely a gamble, but you have to have confidence in the fact that "Hey, I'm great at what I do and anyone who gets me is lucky to have me".

Again, not that different from dating.

I agree 100% and don’t initiate calls myself until the phone screen is passed at least, not because I’m such a sought after dev but because doing otherwise is generally a waste of my time and mind.

But some people actually are desperate, especially if they need to put a foot in the door with the big players of industry. We all desire basic decency and not being treated as nuisance.

I am convinced all this interview thing is to create a illusion of shortage, like Tinder.

There is apparently a huge shortage of both men and women!

Sounds like most big company interviews. They have tons of candidates so they can just do stuff like that.

My story from 2008: https://medium.com/@simon/2008-how-i-got-hired-by-amazon-com...

Not a horror story, in that case.

I can never tell whose side the recruiters are on. Are they on my side, because if I get hired, the recruiter gets a commission? Or are they on the company's side?

Neither. The recruiter is in it for self, for that commission.

I wonder if anyone can come up with a long lasting score card of recruiters. How do the new hires do after 2 years?

Or maybe even the managers should be graded in how the new hires are hired.

Annoying from another point of view. I was trying to hire someone recently with OPs skillset...(integrations, mix of languages etc) and drew a blank. I can't seem to hire anyone in the UK unless it is for php and C#.NET. It feels like there is something really broken about recruitment.

Where you not offering enough £ or using a poor recruitment agency.

It might be both! Also it might be location. A bit remote here (Welsh borders), another reason I'm relocating.

IMVHO it's modern management problem: today instead of delegate responsibility there is a super-concentration at top of the hierarchy hoping that tech and "modern management model" can make that possible. As a result companies are full of byzantine bureaucracy and essentially no one can work well.

And we see results every day.

I think the origin is the extension of Ford-model idea of easily to find and substitute "dumb" workers that only know to turn a key. That model does not work in the long terms and because of that automotive industry switch to Toyota model. Unfortunately someone in "top positions" thought that Ford model is nice, dumb people are easy to manage, predictable, expendable etc so they push it as mass as they can at all level of our society.

I don't bother with any recruiting or hiring processes anymore. If I can't phone and speak directly with my candidate boss about the specifics of my hire, I tell them to go find some other manipulable smuck. I just give them bad attitude, and guess what? They want me immediately. No one talks to me unless they need a serious, problem solving developer. Recruiters that fish me get an earful. I've found being nice is a failure strategy, and having a nasty attitude turns heads; I get hired. Funny part, I am the most easy going guy around. I just can not tolerate shitheads, and the corporate recruiting process is all shitheads.

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