What happens when a hiring manager posts a position on LinkedIn


Lucas A. Meyer


June 5, 2021

As of June 2021, I manage a technical team at Amazon, and I have some positions open. And when you have a position open, it’s pretty standard to post it to LinkedIn.

Here’s an overview of the process that job applications go through:

Candidate Pool -> Deduplication -> CV Review -> Technical Phone Screen -> On-site interview -> Offer -> Offer Accepted.

Candidate pool

The candidate pool is intentionally very broad, and as such, it’s easier to describe who is not in the talent pool:

  1. People outside of the position’s geographic area. For large companies, the geographic area can mean a whole country. This also usually means that international candidates can’t be considered. Some positions are more restricted, for example, requiring a specific city.
  2. People without the basic qualifications. In many companies, positions will have both basic and preferred qualifications listed. Read them - if you meet the basic qualifications, you’re fine. If you don’t meet the basic qualifications, you’ll get “desk rejected” and won’t even be considered. The best next step is to consider other positions - this will save you (and everyone) time.
  3. People who are already in an active application process with the company (more details in the “deduplication” step below).

If the exclusions above don’t apply to you, you’re in the candidate pool and should apply to the position using the process posted by the hiring manager or recruiter.

In large companies, it’s usually better to apply rather than ask whether you should apply. Large companies have processes, and if you wait to apply until the hiring manager replies (if they ever do), you may start at a disadvantage.


Also, in large companies, the candidate pool also includes applicants that didn’t get selected to other positions. This will be important in the “CV Review” step.


Once you apply to a position, the first group that sees your position is the recruiting team. You should not be surprised that their goal is the same as the hiring manager’s: they want to get to the “offer accepted” stage.

The first thing they do is to check if you’re not already in an active process with another recruiter. If you are, they’re going to let that process finish first, and you would probably be better served by waiting until that process ends before applying.

Recruiters manage multiple positions and hundreds of candidates, and it’s hard to keep track of complex details for everyone, such as when to contact you back in case you fail one of your 20 attempts. Recruiters do an incredibly good job of keeping track of candidates, and succeed at superhuman levels, but you can help yourself by focusing on one position at a time.

I am not sure whether applying to multiple positions in the same company simultaneously works well. One advantage is that it may get you started early - if two teams have open positions but one is very busy, the other may get started sooner. The other is that in case you fail at one process, you have a clear backup plan communicated to your recruiter through your other applications. However, there are other ways of communicating the same information, such as “just telling them”, or applying to your second choice after you fail the first.

There are also downsides of multiple applications in the same company: I have seen hiring managers (not necessarily from the companies I worked at) complaining to me about candidates with many applications: “they don’t know what they want or what they’re good at”. Another downside is that your first process can be one that you’re particularly poorly-suited to. You can fail so bad that you actually don’t qualify to apply for any positions for a period of time.

In summary, I would personally suggest that you don’t apply to multiple positions in the same company at the same time, unless you really know what you’re doing.

If you are not applying to multiple positions and you have not recently been rejected, we move to the next step.

CV Review

At this point, a recruiter will look into your CV and check it matches the basic qualifications. If it does, the recruiter will likely also “stack rank” your CV against the CVs of other candidates that are already in the process. Remember, the goal is to get a candidate to “offer accepted”.

For example, if you have a really strong CV that exceeds all the basic and preferred qualifications and is also better than all other candidates at this point, you’ll likely move to the phone screen phase right away. On the other hand, if there is already a large number of candidates in further stages and your CV barely meets the basic qualifications, you’ll probably sit in a queue for a while.

If you ask for the hiring manager to review your CV and wait for their response before applying, you may be losing valuable time.


In large companies, there’s no way for the hiring manager to know how your CV stacks compared to all the other applicants, as many applicants are people who didn’t get selected for other positions (those are sometimes called “recycled applications”), or people who applied through channels other than LinkedIn. These are initially seen only by the recruiters.

When you ask for the hiring manager to review your CV, they usually cannot do a better job than the recruiter would have done. It’s better to apply to the position and get to the recruiter faster. This may be different if you actually know the hiring manager (e.g., you worked together). In this case, it can work to your benefit to let the hiring manager know that you’re applying, but I would still apply first and let them know afterwards.

In most companies, the recruiter and hiring manager can see the results of your past applications and details about your past phone screens and on-site interviews at this point. It’s best to be truthful.

Technical Phone Screen

If you got here, you’ve got pretty far.

In many large companies, the recruiter will offer you some coaching on how to succeed at this stage. Don’t be shy about asking for help at this point. You will also find a lot of resources online to interview. For Amazon, it’s important to know the Leadership Principles. You should also check other sites for interview tips, such as Glassdoor and Blind.

In behavioral questions, it’s useful to structure your answer in a way that gives a lot of information to the interviewer in a short amount of time. Amazon prefers a method called STAR, which is described in this web page. I find that method to be useful to when interviewing for other companies as well.

If you’re interviewing for a technical position, besides a behavioral question, at this point you will be asked to solve a technical problem. In most cases, this will usually be something equivalent to a Leetcode “hard easy” or “easy medium”. If the position that you’re interviewing for is a senior position, the question may be considerably harder.

There are a lot of books and sites talking about how to prepare for a phone screen. The most famous one is Cracking the Code Interview. You should prepare the best you can for the phone screen. You should prepare even more if you see that your phone screen is with the hiring manager.

It’s not hard to fail phone screens. I have failed phone screens. I have programmed in SQL for 20+ years, and I have failed SQL phone screens. In a recent phone screen, an interviewer asked about MVC models (Model-View-Controller) and the interviewee answered about NBCs (Naive Bayes’ Classifiers) because the sound quality of the call was not so good. That could have been a disaster, but both interviewer and interviewee realized that something was wrong and recovered.

In most processes, the phone screen is pass/recycle/fail, instead of just pass/fail. If you don’t pass but you got close, you may get recycled to the “CV Review” phase of a similar position. When hiring managers are hiring for multiple positions (for example, SDE I and SDE II), if you fail the “higher” phone screen (e.g., SDE II) you can still be recycled for the “lower” (e.g. SDE I) phone screen and proceed to the next phase.

Finally, hiring managers band together, because hiring managers need a lot of experienced interviewers for the on-site interview. If you barely fail a phone screen with one hiring manager but would have passed the phone screen for a different position with with another hiring manager (that would mean a different position or a lower level position), it’s possible that he will refer you to another hiring manager.

On-Site Interview

If you get here, you’re very close. At this point, the hiring manager and the recruiter will be excited about your prospects. The recruiter is likely to offer you some help and point you to some interview resources. Be sure to pay attention to the recruiter - they are on your side.

In all companies that I have worked for or with, when you get to the on-site interview we are hiring for the company, not for the position. We will bring your potential future internal clients to the loop. We will bring your potential future colleagues to the loop. Your hiring manager will be in the loop. These are likely the people that will work with you day in and day out.

Most technical interview loops are a combination of behavioral and technical interviews. The balance may vary substantially. You should be prepared for at least 40% of technical interviews, although it could be as much as 80%. The remainder will be about behavioral questions. Remember to follow the STAR method to answer questions. This will serve you well even if you’re not interviewing for Amazon.

It is extremely rare for a candidate to ace all interviews in a loop. Don’t be discouraged if you gave less than perfect answers a couple times. The outcome will be decided based on the opinions of all interviewers. In my (long) career, I’ve seen many loops in which the decision to hire was not unanimous and even some cases when the opinion was far from unanimous and the person still got hired and did well. Usually, the opinion of the most senior person in the loop weighs more.

Offer If you got here, congratulations. We think you’re a good fit and want you to be a bigger part of our lives!

Most companies have somewhat strict offer ranges for their positions and levels. That’s less true about very high levels (ranges tend to be broad), but very common for lower levels (ranges tend to be narrow). The vast majority of offers will start in the midpoint of that strict range.

Companies want to make an offer that a candidate will accept, because they want a candidate they liked to start sooner rather than later. I have heard about “low ball” offers inviting negotiation (especially on Blind), but I have never personally seen one.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t negotiate. If you don’t like the offer, you should certainly negotiate. If you don’t like the offer even after the negotiation, it’s time to decline and walk away. I have done this several times in my life and even regretted a few, but in general, it’s for the best.

That also doesn’t mean that you should always negotiate. Companies want you to accept offers and be happy you did, so it’s not uncommon for the first offer to be really good. If you are already happy, there’s some risk in negotiating. It’s important to be careful to not be final when negotiating, especially for small amounts. You don’t want to risk painting yourself in a corner for a very small potential gain.

For example, if you currently have a total compensation of $160k and are offered $199k (which you secretly love), it would be unproductive to go to a position of “it’s either $203k or I walk away”. That small difference may put you out of the range (e.g., the range may be 160k-200k), and even if you receive a counter of $200k (the maximum that can be offered for that position) you may feel like you have to walk away because your demands have not been met. When walking into a negotiation, know what you want, be firm but flexible. And if you love the first offer, take it. Remember that every week you delay your start can cost you approximately 2% of your first year’s salary: a year has 52 weeks.

Offer Accepted

If you got here, you are probably very happy. A lot of other people will also be happy: the hiring manager, the recruiter, your new colleagues, your new internal clients.

Take a break (interviewing is hard) and start preparing to enjoy your new job!

This post reflects my experience interviewing both as a hiring manager and a candidate for several positions in the last couple of decades. It’s not specific about my current or past employers. As of the writing of this post, I work for Amazon.