Network Development Engineers and Managers: Raising the Bar in the Interview Process at Amazon & AWS

Network Development Engineers and Managers: Raising the Bar in the Interview Process at Amazon & AWS

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 Network Development Engineers and Managers: Raising the Bar in the Interview Process at Amazon & AWS

Thank you for checking out my article. If you're reading this, it means you're interested in joining our network team to help us build the network infrastructure that powers Amazon Web Services or Amazon Core Network Engineering.  I am super excited to give you some coaching and advice because I have some super exciting roles currently available. 
Not only are we scaling at an amazing rate, we're also in the midst of continuing to automate our network space and designing new platforms. Not only do we need engineers, but we need leaders.  If you're not a networking professional, you can still use the framework for any Amazon role and do some research on what the technical/job specific competencies are for your role. In many cases your recruiter will be able to provide some guidance. 

Step 1: Getting recruited  

If you're a network engineer or manager with strong experience in Python, Perl or other programming languages, System Design and Large scale deployments and networking fundamentals including BGP, MPLS & IP reach out to me directly and include your resume. My team and I are actively recruiting for Network Development Engineers and Network Development Managers.

If Networking is not up your alley, you can check out our Open Jobs and find a role that aligns with your skills and apply. To increase your chances, referrals are key. Have you worked with someone that is now at Amazon or Amazon Web Services? If the answer is no, then follow some of these folks on LinkedIn Austin Belack or John Marty who are just as passionate as I am on helping you land your dream job.
The phone screen is an opportunity to see if you meet the tech bar and could be a culture fit. There are no trick questions. Our customer obsession drives us to seek the best talent in the planet and we want you to join us as much as you want to join us! 
Check out Phone Interview for general guidance for any role at Amazon. There is even a tech section specific for software engineers. For network engineers what can you expect?  Be prepare to go over Networking Fundamentals and Routing Protocols BGP and/or OSPF. In the On-site Interview section I include some reading resources on the topics covered. 

Be prepared to answer technical and leadership questions using the Star Behavioral question Model. Be confident and do as much homework for your phone screen. Whatever you don't use for the phone screen, can carry over to your On-site Interview.  Write out 10 to 14 STAR examples and have them handy during your phone screen. It's a phone screen and will increase your chances of being invited for an on-site. After you write them out, aligned them to our Leadership Principles.(Please do not surf or look up answers on your computer during the phone interview. Yes people do this, I am telling you from experience.)
Here are my tips on STAR questions:
  1. Is this a rockstar example? Why is this example noteable? What was the big achievement or failure? Is it applicable to the role I am applying for?     
  2. S/T-What is the situation/project     
  3. A- Actions you took (detailed, but to the point. Don't generalized or assuming we know the acronyms you are using.)     
  4. R- Results (think about how is measured, did it improve metrics, reduce velocity, increase efficiency - if so know the baseline and what it is now.)
A great resource to follow on LinkedIn is Katherine Dumanior. You'll find that she writes about her role as a recruiter, encouragement on interviewing at Amazon and AWS and provides great examples questions that we use.  Another great resource for interviewing at Amazon is Gayle Gallagher, former Amazon Senior Manager in Marketing from Europe. Connect with her to get tips and advice as you go through the interview process. 

Congratulations on being invited for an on-site!!! Believe it or not, we are rooting for you and super excited to have you visit us and we want you to succeed. As an experienced hiring manager and job seeker, this is so different than most traditional companies, but we realize whether you join us or not, you're still a customer or potential customer and most importantly our success depends on our people.
What can you expect for when you arrive for an on-site loop? Check out On-site Interview for general guidance. Expect to have 5 rounds of interviews and lunch with a 6th person.  For managers, the interview will consist of leadership questions and you'll cover 4 to 7 examples per round. The rounds will include at least 3 Hiring Managers and/or Peers, Technical Interview or 4th Leadership Interview, Bar Raiser and Lunch Buddy.
For engineers, expect to have 5 rounds of interview and lunch with a 6th person. 3 rounds will be deeply focused on the technical competencies I will cover below, a round with the hiring manager and a round with the Bar Raiser.  Special thanks to Alex Pappas for putting together the following reading material that will help you on your journey through the technical rounds for your phone or on-site interview. 

Networking Fundamentals 

TCP/IP Guide - Chpters 2, 8, 13, 15, 21, 22, 23, All of Part II-8, 80-82

Routing Protocols

Foundations: TCP/IP Guide - Part II-7


Foundations / Intermediate: 



Step 4: Offer Letter  

Check out sites like Blind and Levels to understand levels, total comp and even get bias or unbiased comments depending on employees. I say bias or unbiased because it all depends on what state of marriage we are in. Are we in the honeymoon stage, in a happy marriage or are on the brinks of a divorce? I can say you will Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History and you will be paid very well.  Thank you for reading. I hope this helps you on your journey. If you've studied up and are ready for the ride of your life as a networking professional on our team, contact me directly.

The Author: Carlos Giraldo

 I am a multi-disciplined Executive Leader with 20 years leading teams for Global Fortune 15 companies in the cloud, telecommunications and technology industry. Experience serving on profit and non-profit boards. People focused leader who leverages team to foster and build relationships with customers, business leaders, internal and external partners and team members around the globe to deliver results. 
I've overseen small and large diverse teams in Project Management, Engineering, Operations, and Customer Facing Network Support Organizations leading projects and initiatives accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in annual spending. Leverage automation and process efficiency frameworks like Lean, Agile, Kaizen and other project management frameworks to increase the speed of delivery and drive out human error via iterative processes. My favorite part of being a people leader is developing, mentoring and molding the next generation of leaders. Mentoring: Internal to Amazon, Speed Mentoring, Women In Tech,  LinkedIn, Brown Brunch, and other diversity focus groups. 

Areas of Leadership and Expertise: 
Project and Consultant Management, Budget and Financial Cost Transformation, Sourcing and Vendor Management, Program Operations and Management, Design/Construction - Large Scale Facilities, Network Design, Automation, Cloud, SDN, NFV, Problem Solving, Corrective Action & Resolution, Risk, Security & Compliance Management, Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery, LEAN, Six Sigma & Agile Business Operations, Mentoring and Team Building and Non-Profit Leadership.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”  ― Jack Welch, Winning  Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History. - If you're interesting in learning more about Network Engineer and leadership roles, check out my article to learn more

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