You get an offer from Amazon (congrats!) but decide not to take it, for whatever reason. It was probably a tough choice.
A few months or years down the line you want to re-apply.
Do you still have a shot at getting in? Is it even worth re-applying?
From my own experiences working and recruiting for Amazon, I have seen them re-offer people positions after those people declined offers in the past.
Even after declining offers twice in the past.
Shocking, I know.
Quite a few times, actually.
This is a big relief for anyone who has the tough decision to make when choosing between two offers.
It means it’s not the end of the world if you go with a different option. You can try again later. Sometimes life is like a video game.
A lot of this will depend on timing, who you spoke with and how you left the conversation.
What I mean specifically:
It’s all about timing
If you decline the offer and then come back 6 months later to the same hiring manager, they will remember you. They’ll probably be sensitive about the situation and think twice before offering you again.
However, if this is 6 months or more down the line, many people forget and let go. I’ve had people come back after 2–3 years with absolutely zero issue and get re-hired.
Internal feedback within Amazon is actually usually vague (I’ve even seen hiring managers and other interviewers write their feedback and sometimes it can be detailed but sometimes it gets lost in the system). It’s usually just not descriptive, so if you come back in a year or two years then the A) the hiring managers probably going to be different B) HR is probably going to be different C) the recruiter is probably going to be different.
They’re not going to have all the context of that feedback. So you have a pretty decent chance to at least get the interview and get another shot.
Make sure it’s a different position
If you interview for the same position several months later then that means that position is still open, which probably means it difficult to find the person — they’re probably desperate and they’ll give you another shot.
If you are interviewing for a different position then realize that you’ll probably have to go through a different Loop of interviewers, and the offer is not 100% guaranteed. You still have to re-interview, so keep that in mind.
Don’t be a jerk
If you verbally accept the offer and then rescind your agreement, that’s not good. That will leave a bad taste in peoples mouths.
But if you don’t accept the offer and tell them that you have other offers, you’re politely explaining your timeline and managing their expectations, then you’re probably fine. They’re not stupid and they realize that the top talent in the market has other choices and therefore they’re not going to get their feelings hurt (unless you have a really emotional hiring manager).
If you are in demand in the market and have a skill set that is difficult for Amazon to find, then they’ll likely care less whether or not you declined a previous offer. They know that the best talent has choices.
Many managers will of course look at the previous offer you rejected and will approach you skeptically, however, they will also use their judgement to gauge whether or not you had a good reason to reject at the time. If you’re just hopping around jobs then they’ll be less excited.
Now if you decline an offer twice, heh, then they will flag you in the system and your chance at a 3rd shot is slimmer.
So, in conclusion, I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal. Google, Facebook and lots of companies operate very similarly. They will give you a second chance…they’re human, after all.
As long as you live things on good terms, be polite, and wait long enough then you’ll likely get a second shot.
Preparing for an interview with Amazon? Check out my book Cracking the Amazon Interview.