Don’t Interview Before You’re Ready
Good preparation acts like a “secret weapon,” giving you a massive advantage over your competition during your interview. Always remember â hiring managers want enthusiastic and proactive people in their team who are genuinely interested in working for them.
If you’re new to the role of engineering and have no real-world experience, you need to build some experience solving real-world problems first. During the interview, you would have to demonstrate that you not only know things but can apply them to solve problems you have never seen before.
Your Amazon interview preparation should involve doing some online challenges or contributing to open source projects to practice what you can do and demonstrate that you have the passion and initiative to seek opportunities.
How To Nail Amazons Behavioral Interview Questions
It’s no secret that getting a job at the big tech companies is challenging. In a way, interview processes at companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are as famous as the companies themselves.
There are countless books geared at giving their readers a leg up on these interviews, such as and
Amazon does things a little differently. Applicants can expect to be asked a set of questions commonly referred to as behavioral interview questions. Amazon puts an enormous emphasis on these questions as they strive to find candidates that will fit in with the company culture – much more so than other FAANG companies like Apple or Facebook, where technical skills are generally assessed more heavily.
“I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder and Former CEO, Amazon
Behavioral questions are difficult to improvise on the spot, so it’d be wise to prepare for them ahead of time. This article will allow you to do just that. We’ve included:
- A quick introduction to behavioral interview questions and what they assess.
- The STAR method: A framework for answering behavioral questions effectively.
- A deep-dive into each of the 16 leadership principles Amazon uses to assess candidates.
- 50+ recently-asked Amazon interview questions to practice, and example answer including several mock interview videos.
Before we get down to it, we should probably explain what exactly a behavioral interview question is.
Strive To Be Earth’s Best Employer
Leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, higher performing, more diverse, and more just work environment. They lead with empathy, have fun at work, and make it easy for others to have fun. Leaders ask themselves: Are my fellow employees growing? Are they empowered? Are they ready for what’s next? Leaders have a vision for and commitment to their employees’ personal success, whether that be at Amazon or elsewhere.
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Bar Raiser Questions With Sample Answers
This is a trick section. There are no specific questions that the bar raiser will ask you. They will focus on one or two principles, but that is what the other interviewers will do too because the interviewers divide them up.
People ask me all the time What are the Bar Raiser questions? Other interview coaches write articles and make videos about bar raiser questions. They just do this because its a way to get you to read their blog or watch their video. There are NO specific questions that the bar raiser asks. I know I keep saying this over and over, but I keep seeing more and more videos made with these titles.
There is no secret list of bar raiser questions. There isnt.
Should You Use Their Words In The Answers
What do I mean by this? If you get asked, “Tell me about a time you showed customer obsession” should your answer use the exact words “customer obsession”? Not necessarily. You can say you “value customers” or “pay attention to customers” or “are customer oriented.” Or if you want to use their words you can say you are “obsessed” with customers.
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How To Interview At Amazon Using The Amazon Leadership Principles
I keep this post up to date it’s a good place to start learning about Amazon interviews
You’re interviewing at Amazon soon, and you know you need to do well in your interview to get the job.
You’ve practiced answers to common interview questions and read the job description and everything you can find about the company. You think you’re ready. Are you?
You might be ready for the interview IF you’ve practiced answering questions using the in your answers.
Interview Process At Amazon
Amazon usually takes a five-step approach to hiring new employees. Were going to break down the process, so you know what to expect when you get approached by a recruiter. Keep in mind that the process may be different depending on which job youre applying for.
Technical positions like engineers or software developers might need to take technical tests to prove their skills at some point in the process, but other candidates might not need to take any assessments.
First, a quick note on how to apply for a job at Amazon: while the company does list open positions on their website, Amazon recruiters tend to prefer reaching out to you through networks like .
You might want to do some digging and connect with recruiters on networking sites when applying for a job with Amazon. Often, people who get hired by Amazon are actually approached by the company first, so make sure youre active on professional sites.
Apply or get contacted. The first step in Amazons process is to get in touch with the company. Whether that means you apply for a job posting on their site, or a recruiter reaches out to you, you need to establish contact with the company.
Be sure to have your ready for this step since youll need it to apply or send over to the recruiter.
Looking for a job at Amazon? These position are hiring now:
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How Many Different Stories Will I Need For One Interview
You will usually get asked between 2 and 6 behavioral questions in a one hour interview.
Because you cant know exactly how many youll get asked, you should prepare for as many as possible. Also, even if you get asked only one, you dont know which one it will be. You need to prepare more answers than just one in order to make sure you have one that will work for that particular question.
Good Questions To Ask Atthe End Of An Amazon Interview
As your Amazon interview starts to wrap up, youll get a chance to ask the hiring manager some questions. Being ready for this moment is critical, as it allows you to assert your interest and learn valuable tidbits that can help you decide if the job is right for you. If you dont know what to ask, here are a few questions that can work in nearly any situation:
If you want some more examples, check out our article: questions you can ask during your interview.
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Why Does Amazon Use Competency
Amazon is a data-driven business by their admission. They saw evidence suggesting that this method of interviewing is the most effective to assess whether a candidate will be successful in the long term.
The general premise of competency-based interviewing is that past behaviour predicts future performance. The story-telling format of a competency-based interview allows Amazon to establish whether the candidate has demonstrated the required behaviours in the past.
Note technically speaking, the world of HR and Social Science do not agree on which type of interview is the most predictive of org fit and candidate’s success in the business. So every business picks their dojo some do it intuitively, some look for evidence. Amazon decided to stick to competency interviewing, and this format is not going away any time soon.
Tips For Amazon Interview Preparation
Now that we know about the rich heritage of Amazon, its work culture, and Leadership Principles, I am sure that you are tempted to interview at Amazon and take a job! Here are a few tips which you can use to crack Amazon’s interview and get a job
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Answer Given By A Vp Of Maintenance And Operations
I was working for a company that built and leased cell towers to the big cell phone providers. We were responsible for the maintenance and operation of the towers, and I headed up the maintenance team for all North American towers. You might be surprised to hear this, but our biggest cost was the on-site inspections, which were required as a part of the leasing terms. Honestly, I thought monthly inspections were unnecessary, but I had to abide by the terms, and so every month for every tower, we sent someone on site for a full inspection. I should add that these inspections were dangerous. While we had had just a few injuries , the thought of an equipment failure that led to someone on my team falling from the top of one of those towers kept me up at night.
Our company had a goal to go public within two years, and ahead of that, I was eager to reduce costs and increase safety without cutting corners on the inspections. After some research and analysis with the team, we determined that we could begin using drones to meet the terms of the license, and we were comfortable that we could check everything else from the ground. Twice a year, wed still have to send someone up the tower for a closer inspection, but for the rest, the drones would cover it. This approach would cut the time for an inspection by a third, and of course, much safer all around. Win-win, right? I couldnt wait to present this plan to the higher-ups.
Heres A Distilled List Of Rosemans Rules:
Dont forget to introduce yourself to help work out everyones nerves.
Tell me about your background is not a useful question for a tech interview.
Pick specifics out of a resume to determine what the candidate actually did. Remember, you want people who get stuff done. Period.
Probe when you see a resume with a long list of skills. Separate the truth from filler.
Dont try out new questions on candidates. Know what a good answer sounds like.
Make sure you have them write code! This is too often skipped.
Dig into algorithms, data structures, code organization, simplicity.
Use some questions that are vague and open-ended. See if they ask you questions to find out more.
Ask a design question. See how people think about a bigger picture problem.
Create core competences for your company. Make sure candidates measure up well.
Make it tough but fun. Good developers want to know theyre talking to smart folks.
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Answer By A Business Development Manager
I worked in BizDev for X, a SaaS company, focused primarily on market opportunities for expansion. Our product had broad appeal across a number of markets and customer segments. The problem was that some of the most attractive markets were difficult to penetrate, and our standard way of selling into those markets wouldnt work. I was specifically interested in the government sector, which is highly regulated as you can imagine. We lacked the relationships, the regulatory compliance, and the experience to sell into government agencies, but as I said, our product was highly desirable to the customers there. My solution was to partner with resellers.
To my surprise, they were still hesitant and felt like they needed to run it by the board. Fortunately, the board included members who had seen deals like the one I was proposing bear fruit, and we received approval to work with resellers. From there, it was just a matter of finding the right reseller for us. Within one year from the time I submitted my proposal, we had made our first sale to a government agency through our reseller. That deal was small, just five figures, but as I had hoped, it opened the door for us and over the course of the next two years, the government became a multimillion dollar revenue stream for the organization. I went on to use the same reseller framework to expand into other markets, such as the higher ed academic space.
Understanding The Why Amazon Question
Many software engineers want to work at Amazon for its competitive salaries and benefits. But when Amazon recruiters or hiring managers ask Why Amazon?, they are looking to see what else compels you to join their teams.
At this point in the hiring process, interviewers already know about your work experience. Instead, this is a chance for them to assess if you are a fit for their culture and if you will stick around for the long-haul.
In other words, the Why Amazon interview question is assessing your motivations.
Thats why it is better to answer this question emotionally. With an emotional answer, you have the chance to discuss your goals and values and goals as they pertain to Amazons principles. According to the recruitment slogans and goals set forth by Jeff Bezos , Amazon is looking for people who have an investment in the company beyond just a paycheck.
So, what makes a good response to this question? While there is no one right answer, a good response should be as specific as possible to Amazon and your experiences. You could touch on these topics:
Note: Your response should not be interchangeable with other companies. For example, if you are also interviewing at Microsoft, your Why Microsoft answer should be about Microsofts values, missions, and products. This job interview question is not a one-size-fits-all situation, unlike many other behavioral questions.
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Amazon Financial Analyst Excel Test
Want to become a financial analyst at Amazon? First, you must pass the Excel assessment. This assessment will be sent to you after the initial resume screening or during the interview phase. You will need to show your skills and prove your competency on different features of excel. These include:
- Document properties
As well as the excel exam, you will also need to do some behavioral and case study interviews. These can be either virtual or in person. The case study interview involves being presented with a hypothetical, realistic workplace dilemma or task. You will need to think about and suggest a solution while explaining the thought process behind your answer.
How do you prepare for the excel exam? It is a good idea to study features and areas of excel listed above. Make sure you are well versed in formulas and formatting as well as the layout of the program. You can also get specific practice questions and study guides for the Excel assessment for financial analysts with Job Test Preps PrepPack.
Amazon Interview Process Timeline
I have seen this entire process, beginning with sending an application to getting an offer, take anywhere from three weeks to three months. Usually the more senior the position, the longer the process takes, due to the number of interviews to schedule. It all depends on the role. After the loop interview, everyone that you met in the process has to convene in one room and debate your candidacy. This is referred to as the hiring meeting. Once they decide, they will be able to give you either a verbal offer or give you feedback on why it didnât work out. Depending on everyoneâs schedule this can take a while to book. Typically the hiring meeting is scheduled within a week, however for more senior positions, it takes longer, since it is challenging to get VPs and directors in the same room at the same time.
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What Is An Amazon Case Study Interview
Amazon case study interviews, also known as Amazon case interviews, are 20- to 30-minute exercises in which you are placed in a hypothetical business situation and are asked to find a solution or make a recommendation.
First, youll create a framework that shows the approach you would take to solve the case. Then, youll collaborate with the interviewer, answering a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions that will give you the information and data needed to develop an answer. Finally, youll deliver your recommendation at the end of the case.
Case interviews have traditionally been used by consulting firms to assess a candidates potential to become a successful consultant. However, now a days, many companies with ex-consultants use case studies to assess a candidates capabilities. Since Amazon has so many former consultants in its business roles, youll likely encounter at least one case study interview.
The business problems that youll be given in an Amazon case study interview will likely be real challenges that Amazon faces today:
- How can Amazon improve customer retention for their Amazon Prime subscription service?
- How can Amazon improve its digital streaming service?
- How can Amazon increase ad revenues from merchant sellers?
- How should Amazon deal with fake products among its product listings?
- How can Amazon Web Services outcompete Microsoft Azure?