Airbnb experience host offers a job interview preparation at Amazon for $ 5300 – Quartz at Work


Most Airbnb experiences are designed to keep people away from work. Not this one.

In Seattle, a host named Nick offers an experience to people who want to work, specifically those who want to work at Amazon.

In the background of Amazon's head office, Nick offers a five-hour workshop, with the opportunity to meet with former Amazon employees who previously held positions and roles similar to those offered by participants. Participants are also promised constructive feedback on how they are conducted during the simulated interviews. The list, titled "Simulate the Interview Loop," costs $ 4,497. Breakfast and lunch are included.

The presenter recommends it only to people who have already completed its "Prepare for the Amazon Interview Loop" session, a separate experience sold on Airbnb for $ 797. It is an eight-hour workshop designed to help candidates write their verbal responses as well as the written elements of the interview. The list promises that the workshops do not count more than 10 people.

But who is Nick? And are the experiences he sells good? Do they actually give away job offers? What does Amazon have to say about them? And could it be worthwhile to spend a total of $ 5,294 for assistance with interviewing techniques?

First, the host

According to his Airbnb biography, Nick co-founded Amazon Game Studios in 2013, the result of "a series of direct throws [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos. Amazon has since invested heavily in games, including the Twitch acquisition in 2014 for $ 970 million.

Nick also said he participated in more than 350 interviews as "Amazon Bar Raiser", a designation for employees who help determine whether the company should hire a candidate or not, and who helped new employees in the process. as a first day orientation host working at Amazon.

Nick makes the comparison with Nick Dimitrov, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, runs a business development team for the games part of the Amazon App gaming store. He left Amazon in 2018 and co-founded Amazon Bound, a service designed to help candidates prepare for their Amazon job interviews.

Dimitrov refused to tell us about his Airbnb lists.

Airbnb, headquartered in San Francisco, claims to control the quality of every "experience" on its site. Hosts must demonstrate their expertise, ability to communicate with customers, and provide customers who buy experiences with "privileged access" to places or things. they could not find them alone. The company, which currently has more than 40,000 experience ads on its site, claims that over 90% of "experiences" have five-star reviews.

Speaking of critics

"In a day, I learned more than in months of searching the Internet," wrote a review of the startup workshop. "More importantly, I've gained practical knowledge in doing all the exercises and case studies." Another critic describes the workshop as "intense".

Although participants in the simulated workshops with Amazon interviews left positive reviews, nothing says they won the coveted position afterwards. To be fair, it does not seem like all candidates are taking the workshop specifically to land a job at Amazon; some just take it for the corporate interview experience, as one critic noted.

Airbnb declined to comment on this particular list, but the company notes that only people who have experienced an "experience" can leave a review.

What does Amazon say about all this?

Quartz contacted Amazon and the company told us that it did not guarantee the validity of the workshops. "This training is not affiliated with Amazon and we do not recommend it to our candidates," said a spokeswoman for Amazon.

The spokesperson added that the Amazon recruitment team provides candidates with a range of resources, all accessible to the public online, on how to prepare and what to expect during interviews, the format meetings on technical topics that will be discussed.

Break the code

The fact that there is even a fictitious list of interviews at Amazon reflects well how much people are obsessed with job offers at tech giants – and how much these employers can to be selective "I would prefer to interview 50 people and not hire anyone," Bonsos said of Amazon to a colleague in his early days.

Tech's most prestigious employers are known to ask tough questions. Some people compare interviews to a standardized test, claiming that candidates 'technical skills (coding, for example) are less important than candidates' ability to navigate interviews.

Google was known for asking puzzle-like questions (which have now been banned), which included issues such as "Why round sewer plates?" Or "Explain the importance of dead beef." type questions during the interviews.

The low chances of getting these wanted jobs, combined with the lucrative wages and benefits offered, help create a market that strives to undo the technological hiring interview. A popular book among programmers and software engineers is Break the coding interview: 150 questions and solutions on programming. Those wishing to make a more substantial investment might be tempted by a four-week boot camp promising to teach the best way to write a letter of offer, or by solving problems for CS technical interview, a course taught at Stanford University.

Given the interest and issues, it was probably only a matter of time before an enterprising Airbnb host entered the game.

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