3 YOE - 5 Offers - Seattle

I’ll lead with this: I’m a straight white guy with a neutral-American accent and US citizenship, so I have a lot of unfair advantages in life that not everyone is lucky enough to get.

Blind was a big part of what inspired me to seek out higher compensation and gave me confidence in my negotiation, so thank you! This is me trying to give a little bit back to the community. I’m not looking for input, per se, as I’ve already accepted an offer to work at IMDb/Amazon.

I spent about 3 months studying in preparation for these interviews. It was about 20 hours a week (0-4 hours per day) and I was pretty consistent in my time investment. 85% of my time was spent on DS/A, either via Leetcode or EPI. 10% of my time was spent on system design, and 5% on rehearsing behavioral questions with friends.

Elements of Programming Interviews - I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough. I credit it as the biggest cause of my success on the algorithm interviews. I read every chapter (not in order) and solved every problem presented as part of those chapters. I did not solve any ‘ninja’ problems at the back of the book.

Leetcode – In addition to the EPI problems, I solved 67 Leetcode problems. I did these problems in parallel with my EPI readings, picking problems based on tags. 6 hard, 23 medium, 38 easy. If I ever failed to solve a problem, I would invest hours ensuring that I fully understood the problem and solutions approach. I did that via Leetcode discussions, YouTube videos, and random articles. Then I would complete that problem before moving on.

System Design – I already do a decent amount of this at my current job, so I didn’t have to invest a lot of time into this. I used the free, YouTube version of “Grokking the system design interview”. And I occasionally followed some ‘related video’ links if there was a technology I wasn’t familiar with.

The Interviews:
As part of my prep phase, I took 2 weeks PTO in August and planned to fill that with back-to-back onsite interviews. This also kept my lazy ass motivated to keep to my study plan, because there was a tangible deadline.
About a month before my on-site block, I starting applying for companies via their website. Simultaneously, I sent a quick message to a Seattle-area recruiter for each company and mentioned that I had just applied online and wanted to reach out to them. This really helped because a lot of companies auto-rejected me due to keyword filters(?), but the recruiters that responded were able to pull my resume out of the trash and move me forward!

I was ghosted by: Lyft, Facebook, Tableau, and Dropbox.
Insta-rejected by: AirBnB, Zillow, Nordstrom, Splunk

Withdrew my application after the phone screen. Their interviewer was really, really bad at interviewing. The questions were too easy, technology-specific, and it felt like the interviewer was making it up as he went along (and this guy was a Principle MTS!!). To their credit, the recruiter seemed to take it seriously when I cited this as my reason for withdrawal.

Fuck Disney. It took 4 weeks from the time of on-site to getting a response from them because their hiring manager was on vacation (why even schedule me…?). Additionally, they contacted my current company before even making an offer!!! WTF. They ended up rejecting me because they got mixed feedback from the toxic team I’m leaving, despite “stellar feedback” from the on-site, according to the recruiter (well before the rejection). Because of that, my team and manager knew I was interviewing after I got back from PTO.

Passed the phone screen. It was a pretty difficult question. I eventually decided I didn’t want to leave Seattle, so I cancelled the on-site.

The interview process was pretty arduous, and I didn’t really like it. 1 hour HR phone screen, 1 hour manager phone screen, 3 hour take home project (more on this later), 1 more hour manager phone screen, all-day on-site. The take-home project seemed pretty big considering a hard 3 hour deadline. I was told I would complete the project, then get on a call with an engineer or manager to discuss my decisions and trade-offs, but that turned out to be a lie. I was rejected (by that team) with the feedback ‘not senior enough.’ The recruiter sent that project around to other teams and eventually found one that liked it. I talked to that new manager and had an on-site. Offer below.

I was surprised with how interesting and competent this team felt. The interview process was pretty standard, and the questions were Leetcode easy. Offer below.

I bombed the online test because I didn’t memorize the syntax for sorting based on two fields. Oh well.

Standard interview process. Team seemed pretty cool. Offer below.

I was initially opposed to Amazon due to WLB issues and overall culture, but I managed to find a team that seems really healthy and interesting (IMDb). Their online editor for the code screen is the worst I’ve ever used. The on-site DS/A questions were somewhat easy, and half of each interview was based on the leadership principles. Offer below.

Fairly standard interview process and I enjoyed meeting the team. Offer below.

I passed the phone screen, but the team I was interviewing for moved to Boulder, CO mid-interview-process and I didn’t want to relocate. I had to withdraw my application due to time constraints with other companies.

Passed phone screen, but they ended up having no headcount available for Seattle, so I can’t move forward unless I want to relocate to the Bay Area.

An arrow “->” denotes negotiation. I just used the standard negotiation tactic of not giving a number first. From there, it was just bidding companies up since I had multiple competing offers.

Zulily: SDE II @ 184k

Salesforce (Bellevue): MTS @ ~170k -> SMTS @ 236k -> SMTS @ 267k

Qualtrics: SDE II @ 198k w/ 20k sign-on

Amazon/IMDb: L5 @ 226k -> L5 @ 261k
[Amazon breakdown]: 160k base, 115 RSUs (212k vests 5/15/40/40), sign-on of 101k year 1 & 78k year 2

Pinterest: SDE II @ 247k

Final Decision:
I accepted the offer to work at Amazon/IMDb. I was really impressed with the team’s enthusiasm during the on-site, and I feel like it’s a super healthy part of Amazon, culture-wise.

My Expedia TC was 140k as an SDE II.
I’m happy to answer any specific questions, but I’ll probably respond slowly.


盲目是激励我寻求更高薪酬的重要因素,让我对谈判充满信心,谢谢!这是我试图回馈社区。我本人并不是在寻找输入,因为我已经接受了在IMDb /亚马逊工作的提议。

我花了大约3个月的时间来准备这些面试。一周大约20个小时(每天0-4个小时),我的投资时间非常一致。我的85%的时间都花在了DS / A上,无论是通过Leetcode还是EPI。我的时间的10%用于系统设计,5%用于与朋友一起排练行为问题。

编程访谈的要素 - 我不能高度推荐这本书。我认为这是我在算法访谈中取得成功的最大原因。我阅读了每一章(不按顺序),并解决了作为这些章节的一部分提出的每一个问题。我没有在书的后面解决任何“忍者”问题。

Leetcode - 除了EPI问题,我解决了67个Leetcode问题。我在EPI读数的同时解决了这些问题,并根据标签选择了问题。 6硬,23中,38容易。如果我没有解决问题,我会投入数小时确保我完全理解问题和解决方案的方法。我通过Leetcode讨论,YouTube视频和随机文章做到了这一点。然后我会在继续之前完成这个问题。

系统设计 - 我已经在我目前的工作中做了相当多的工作,所以我没有花很多时间在这上面。我使用了免费的YouTube版“Grokking the system design interview”。如果有一项我不熟悉的技术,我偶尔会关注一些“​​相关视频”链接。




他妈的迪斯尼。从现场开始需要4个星期才能得到他们的回复,因为他们的招聘经理正在度假(为什么要安排我…?)。此外,他们甚至在提出要约之前联系了我现在的公司! WTF。他们最终拒绝了我,因为他们得到了我要离开的有毒团队的不同反馈,尽管来自现场的“一流反馈”,据招聘人员说(在拒绝之前)。因此,我的团队和经理知道我从PTO回来后正在面试。


面试过程非常艰巨,我并不喜欢它。 1小时人力资源电话屏幕,1小时经理电话屏幕,3小时带回家项目(稍后详细介绍),1小时经理电话屏幕,全天现场。考虑到3个小时的最后期限,带回家的项目似乎相当大。我被告知我会完成这个项目,然后与工程师或经理打电话讨论我的决定和权衡,但事实证明这是一个谎言。我(被那个团队)拒绝了反馈’不够高级’。招聘人员将该项目发送给其他团队并最终找到了喜欢它的人。我和那位新经理谈过并在现场进行了调查。以下优惠。