Moving with the Big Dogs
Today is May 12, 2010. On this day in history… I found out when my interview with Amazon would be.
Yes, that’s right. The mecha of the online world finally saw fit to contact me after I called my recruiter.
I’m not upset about it, though. It’ll be good to get away for a while and see the sights of the city I’ll be visiting overnight. They were gracious enough to book a hotel for me for the night before my interview, and I’ll be able to appear fresh and relaxed on the day of. That’s always a plus in my book, especially considering I’m going out of state for this particular interview.
So what are some of the more interesting things I’ve learned about Amazon since I jump-started my thinking about the company again this afternoon?
Well, first of all, I learned that, like any large company, Amazon has its fiercely loyal consumers and its angry detractors. For example, this woman on Associated Content explains her problems dealing with Amazon’s outsourced customer service department in an article written in 2007. Outsourcing has created a wealth of problems for similarly oversized corporations, and apparently even the giant Amazon isn’t immune to the issues in communicating with customer service agents located in India.
I could write all day long about posts like this that describe the horrors of customer service and the ways people battle them, but really, hasn’t it been done? On the bright side, that particular page does list Amazon’s customer service number as well as a whole host of other phone numbers for various companies.
As a business major, problems with customer service are always going to be a headache that no one wants to tackle, and I am the last person who would want to say whether a company was doing good or bad at handling customer service issues. Right now I can say with honesty that I’ve never had a problem in my dealings with Amazon, and I really like the company. (As a matter of fact, I’m considering ordering a book we were selling in the store for $4.99 from Amazon because I found a listing for it that would cost me less than that amount including shipping.)
That said, there was one other thing that I researched today on Amazon. And that is their corporate website. It’s something I look up for all companies I’ve ever interviewed with. The corporate website is generally where I find the information I arm myself with about the company in case interviewers ask me pointed questions about my knowledge of the company. But it also gives me a jumping off point for questions of my own.
A typical corporate website will include such basics as the company’s mission and vision statements, form of business (corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation), governing board, history, and other tidbits that are all essentials for the interviewee. But then there are other things that I look for. For example, is Amazon public? Yes, it’s traded on NASDAQ under the hash AMZN and is currently priced at $133.87. When did Amazon go public? May 15, 1997.
Another interesting point to make about corporate websites is that they are typically where one finds the links to pages on careers, including information about benefits offered to employees. Now that’s something anyone wants to read about but interviewees especially need to be aware of what they’re going to be offered. The great thing about a company’s career pages is that it allows you to get a quick look at some of the items you might hear about in the interview and provides you a starting point for more personal questions (i.e. the ever-present ‘how much will I be paid’).
I would, however, suggest not asking directly how much money you’ll be paid until you get a job offer. 😉 That’s just good business sense if you ask me.
With that said, I’ve got quite a bit of research to do on Amazon as I prepare for my interview. I’m getting nervous already, and it’s a little overwhelming to consider going to an interview with a company that’s willing to pay to put me up in a hotel overnight, but I think it’ll be worth it. I’ll do my best and put my best foot forward as I make my attempt to break into the world of online booksellers.
And if you’re hoping to do something interesting and new (like me with all my crazy ideas), I wish you luck on your road to success, too!