My Amazon Job Interview Experience As A Person of Color

I received an invitation from an Amazon recruiter for a job opportunity in Oregon in one of their data centers. Although I am currently employed, I was not seeking employment with Amazon or any other company. However, I did not want to shut the door on a good opportunity. I was excited, I replied to the recruiter with an enthusiastic yes! I went through the "Housekeeping" items such as what salary range I am seeking and if I was able to work immediately if I receive an offer. I passed all their screening requirements, an interview with the hiring manager was setup.

I received an email to complete the self-identification survey. These are questions such as your gender and race etc. I was skeptical because The person who will be performing my interview is your typical older white male. I looked his linkedin profile and his main picture is of him holding guns with his buddies. I thought, oh boy, I have no chances after I read a post about him writing a very conservative post about gun rights to his GOP representative. [Comments: Just because someone is wearing camouflage clothes doesn't automatically make them a soldier or veteran. If he is a veteran, I thank all of our American heroes for protecting our rights. I am a veteran also.]

Amazon Manager

I was informed the hiring manager would contact me on the agreed time and date. I waited all week excited and nervous. The time came and I waited but no one called me. After 15 minutes, I received a call from the hiring manager and he apologized for being late. I informed him it was not a big deal, it happens. Needless to say, I was not impressed.

The conversation started with the manager saying that if I don't know the answer to the question to simply say I am not familiar with the topic. {NOTE: this is a trick, do not ever say "I don't know" during an interview. Try you best to answer the question as much as possible and share what you DO know"}} At that moment I knew this was not going to go good for me. Whenever anyone already assumes you do not know the answer without knowing the questions, they already made up their mind. I think when you interview someone, the interview should be a conversation, a natural conversation to get to know the candidate.

As we continue our conversation, he said he wanted to go over the job description to make sure the position aligns with what I am interested. After he said that, I thought to my self, strike 2! When a hiring person begins with such statements, rest assured, this is a way to push you because they want to hear you say you are not interested.This was not a challenge but rather a way of saying "This is not the job for you" -  I wasn't gong to give up.

I felt the interview went well, I had the experience they were looking for and the skills fitted for the job with my data center expirience. I've been working in a data center as a manager for more than 10 years. I was confident I would get an offer.

Later in the week, I received an email saying they will not  be moving forward with me. I was disappointed because I was really excited and I tried very hard. Nonetheless, I knew the odds were against me. I think if Amazon has a better diverse people doing the hiring, minorities would have better chances. I don't think its racism but it sure feels like it when it happens to you. I kept applying and after 7 times, I gave up.

But you don't have to take my word for it, search online and look at their diversity and inclusion statistics, you will see companies like FB, AMAZON and Google don't do well with technical jobs and minorities.

This has motivated me to start my own company and provide a better service than these companies. I have so much passion right now I hope I don't get discourage. Its going to be a challenge but I have some really good ideas on how I can improve our social media crisis and at the same time, project people's privacy without having to compromise on safety and security and make it available for everyone. Watch out facebook, cuz here I come with a better idea! :)