For Nastya Kholodova, a software engineer originally from Ukraine who was working in Washington D.C., the chance to get hired at a big US tech company like Facebook, Uber or Amazon seemed like the best way to know that she’d actually “made it” as a developer.
But she wasn’t sure she’d be competitive. So on a holiday afternoon when she and her husband were stuck at home, she started applying.
“It was Independence Day , and it was a very rainy day in D.C., and we didn’t do anything. And in the evening, I was bored at home, a little disappointed. And I thought, as long as I’m just sitting here, maybe I should look at Amazon.”
Kholodova said searched through Amazon AWS careers and ultimately submitted her resume to “All Available.” She chose her salary requirements simply by looking up on Glassdoor what people said they were being paid, and picking the median salary.
To her surprise, Kholodova heard back right away, and began what she called a “super stressful” interview process that ultimately led to an attractive offer — and then, an even bigger decision.
Here’s the story of what Kholodova’s interview process at Amazon was like, and why she ultimately turned down the offer, while being careful not to burn bridges and potentially have the chance to work with the company sometime in the future.
Read more: 7 recruiters from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and other major companies looked over my resume and offered feedback. Here are 5 things they liked — and what they said I should change.
Born, raised and educated in Ukraine, Kholodova studied math at university but became a software engineer after graduation, working at an ecommerce startup and making the equivalent of about $36,000.
One of her goals was to find a way to come to the United States, so both she and her husband, who was also a software developer, landed jobs together at the World Bank, which meant they could qualify for lesser-known G4 visas, which are for foreign employees of nonprofit international organizations in the U.S.