Wednesday, May 15, 2024

How To Nail Amazon Interview

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Google is famous for being quick to scrap projects that don’t work early on. We celebrated our failures because it was an opportunity to learn and be better.

Instead of feeling discouraged, the best employees are energized and motivated by their failures. So share examples of times when you’ve had to pivot from a passion project and apply what you learned to a new one.

This will be seen as an asset, not a failure.

A Recruiter Will Reach Out Via Email Or Linkedin

Many Amazon hires are headhunted, meaning a recruiter sources candidates via LinkedIn and invites them to apply usually to one specific role. Whether you applied online or were discovered, a recruiter will contact you to set up a 15-30 minute phone screen. At this point, they’ll ask for your resume, so have one prepared.

Which resume outline should you use?Find out here.

What Are The Amazon Leadership Principles

16 Leadership Principles are the DNA of Amazon, the articles of faith, the constitution and, predictably, the frequent ornamentation on the wall. Once you join the business, you’ll start speaking in LPs in 6 months. You’ll be asking your partner to “Disagree and Commit” with you on picking the style for a new couch. You’ll be encouraging your children to Dive Deep into their homework while admonishing them for lack of “Ownership”. You get the idea.

You can find all the info you need about Amazon’s 16 LPs online on their career website, on YouTube, on Quora and everywhere in between.

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Use The Star Technique To Structure Your Stories

So you have a good story to tell. Now how exactly do you tell it so that it’s clear?

Use the STAR technique.

The STAR technique is a common system used to answer behavioral interview questions. It provides a structure for you to remember so that you include the correct data in your answers.

These are the 4 steps:

S Situation – background info

T Task – what you had to do

A Activity – what you did – this should be the longest part of the answer

R Results – positive quantifiable what you learned what you would do differently next time

If you get asked a behavioral question, answer by going through the letters in order.

First give the S part . Then give the T .Then A . Last, give the R .

This is the basic STAR method but here is more information about STAR, including sample answers to some possible questions.

Important Factors To Take Note Of When Answering Interview Questions

How To Nail the Amazon Interview: A Practical Guide

Candidates dont need to have specific interview questions as Ive mentioned before but its important that they know their credentials extremely well. Interviewers ask you questions ranging from asking about your background and how you answer those leadership principles. You can also mention your management experience and talk about the most complex situation youve solved and how you have satisfied your customers needs in the past.

You should also talk about a time that you wish you could go back to and do something differently where you failed. Recruiters are known to ask a lot of questions related to this topic during the screening process.

But the most important thing is that you need to know your background exceptionally well and your achievements and what you have done to impact your former companies. And dont forget about the leadership principles because it is truly the foundation of behavioral questions, no matter if youre tech or non-tech.

Whenever youre asked to tell something about yourself, make sure that you appear very concise and straight to the point and try to keep it to three sentences. If that is not possible then try to make sure that you have answered the question allowing the interviewer to have a look at your career and why they should hire you and what you promise to bring to the table.

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Completing A Writing Sample

Amazon eschews PowerPoint and other slide-deck type presentations, so writing skills are paramount even for a software engineering role. When presenting new ideas, employees are required to write a press release-style memo presented to all team members at the start of the meeting for 20 minutes of silent reading, followed by Q& A with the writer.

Know Why You Want To Work At Amazon

Asking “why Amazon?” is not just a formality for us. We want to understand why you’re exploring an opportunity with the company so we get a better sense of who you are.

“Many candidates say they’re excited about the opportunity to work for a large-scale, innovative company,” said Liberty. “What I really want to know is why Amazon fits into your specific career path. We want to know that you’re a person who’s thinking about how to give back to the organization with what you bring, but we’re also looking at what you want to learn while working here.”

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Amazon Behavioral Questions: Earn Trust

Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their teams body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

The key part of this principle that candidates often miss is the vocally self-critical detail. Amazon wants its employees to focus on fixing mistakes instead of figuring out who to blame. Youll want to show that you take action when something is wrong and acknowledge your own faults before resorting to blaming others.

Example behavioral questions asked by Amazon: Earn trust

  • Tell me a piece of difficult feedback you received and how you handled it
  • How do you earn trust with a team?
  • A co-worker constantly arrives late to a recurring meeting. What would you do?

Tip : Explicitly Show Amazon Traits

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To prepare your stories, compare your past experiences with Amazon traits, along with personal values youre most proud of, and select the stories best reflecting those traits and values. You want to show that your values and experiences perfectly match what recruiters look for.

So what are these famous Amazon traits? Amazon is famously known for its 14 Leadership Principles a set of values that every Amazon employee is expected to live and breath by. To determine whether you exhibit these traits, Amazon primarily uses behavioural questions during interviews. Below are the 4 most important principles:

Amazon looks at leadership in terms of people who know when to challenge decisions, state their convictions, and escalate problems to senior leadership when necessary. You are also expected to know when to move forward despite disagreement.

E.g. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with your team but decided to go ahead with their proposal.

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The Top Amazon Interview Questions

For behavioral questions, the interviewers are free to choose their own question, regardless of the role. Every role at Amazon usually has 3 or 4 leadership principles that are key to the role. You need to find out what those are and then you can tailor your answers to make sure youâre hitting those principles. For a data analyst role, the most important principles are likely 1) dive deep, 2) learn and be curious 3) insist on highest standards 4) invent and simplify. Or, if youâre interviewing for a sales leadership role, âhire and develop the bestâ is probably going to be one of those.

A good way to find out what the most important principles are is simply to ask the internal recruiter, or the hiring manager when you meet/speak to them in the first call. âWhat leadership principles are most important for this role?â

To prepare for the behavioral interviews, you should have answers ready to all those questions in the master list, and your focus on the top principles which are relevant to the analyst role.

An example of behavioral questions theyâll ask you:

  • Describe a difficult interaction you had with a customer. How did you deal with it? What was the outcome? How would you handle it differently?
  • Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. Why did you do it? How did the customer respond? What was the outcome?
  • Faqs On Amazon Interview Preparation

    Q1. Are Amazon interviews hard to crack?

    Amazon interviews can be rigorous, but itâs not difficult to crack with the right preparation. Know the interview process beforehand and practice some tech and behavioral mock questions suited to your role.

    Q2. What is the Amazon interview process?

    The complete Amazon interview process involves eight steps viz. HR email or call, online assessment, phone screening, video interviews, final âLoopâ Interview, hiring meeting, reference check and lastly, offer rollout. The Amazon interview process can last anywhere between three weeks and three months. The timeline is determined by a variety of factors, including the position’s level, everyone’s schedule, and so on.

    Q3. How to prepare for an Amazon interview?

    The lengthy interview process at Amazon can make it exhaustive, but with proper preparation, you can nail the interview. Be thorough with the interview process. Practice mock interviews on system design and behavioral skills. Learn to use the STAR method to provide solutions to the problems asked in the interview.

    Q4. Which questions are asked in the Amazon interview?

    The most common Amazon interview questions asked are of system design and behavioral skills. Make sure to practice some mock interview questions on these topics.

    Q5. How much do software engineers make at Amazon?

    A software engineer salary at Amazon is approximately $163k. That’s a $125k base salary with an average bonus of $16k and stock bonus of $22k.

    Read Also: How To Prepare System Design Interview

    Secrets To Answering Right

    Many recruiters will recommend you use the STAR method to tackle the Amazon leadership principles based questions. This is what Amazon hiring managers expect and one of the top interview tips given for the onsite interview. This method is just a framework to help you stay organized, but I view it as overly- complex:


    Describe the situation/task you faced and the context of the story. This should answer the Where/When/Why. . ACTION

    Describe the actions that you took. Answering the What/How/Who. . RESULT

    Describe the results you achieved. Answering how you measure this success. It is important to note that specific results are better received answers.

    How Long Does The Amazon Interview Process Take

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    The Amazon interview process can take anywhere from three weeks to three months. The timeline depends on various factors such as the level of the position, everyoneâs schedule, etc. This is why itâs important to have a solid Amazon interview preparation strategy in hand that will help you get through the lengthy interview process.

    For example, the more senior the position, the longer the process due to the number of interview rounds. Also, it is sometimes challenging to get all hiring managers, VPs, and directors in the same room at the same time to make a decision.

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    How The Leadership Principles Are Used In The Behavioral Questions

  • You may be asked a question like this,“Tell me about a time when you demonstrated customer obsession.” This is the most straightforward way to ask about the principles, by using the principle’s exact words.
  • You may also be asked a question like this about a principle, “How do you build client relationships.” This second type of question doesn’t use the words “customer obsession” or “ownership” or the other exact words in the principles so you might not realize it’s one of the principle questions. This question has the word “client” so it might have given you a clue that it’s a customer obsession question, but what if they ask you “When have you gone above and beyond?” Do you know what that principle is? Most people know this is a principle question but can’t remember what principle it is.
  • You may also be asked, “How do you resonate with the principle, ‘Are right, a lot’?” This is an opinion and culture question. Some people find these easy to answer and some find them more difficult. If you haven’t thought about this principle beforehand and how it fits in with the Amazon culture and how you fit in with the Amazon culture will you be able to answer the question? This may seem easy to you but I personally wouldn’t be able to answer this without preparing.
  • Dress For The Job You Want Not The Job Youre Applying For

    Youve probably heard this before, but I cant stress it enough.

    Dress for not just the job youre applying for, but the ideal job youd like to have. In fact, maybe its a job youve put on your goals spreadsheet! Dress for that job!

    Applying for a cashiers job at Costco? Awesome! Wear a suit.

    Going in for an interview for a construction job? Great! Wear a suit.

    Feel like youre overdressed for an interview? Perfect! Youre doing it right!

    The employer wants to see that youre taking the job interview seriously and that you really want it. The more effort you put into showing them how badly you want the job, the more youll grasp their intention.

    For example, if youre going into an interview dressed in a suit and all the candidates they interviewed that week were dressed in jeans and a nice top, you will stand out. You will catch their eye. They will want to hire the person that put in the extra time to over-dress for the job.

    It shows them that youre detail-oriented and truly care about landing the job youre applying for.

    The rule here is: When in doubt, over-dress.

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    Coaching That Works For All Roles

    Academy members have secured jobs from L4-L7 level in Tech and Non Tech teams.

    They’ve started careers in business units such as AWS, Retail, Prime Video, Amazon Games, Operations and Amazon Care.

    It’s global. Members have found roles in Japan, India, North America, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, United Arab Emirates to name a few.

    Until You’ve Mastered These 50 Questions

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    Preparing for any interview requires some work, and this is more so for a company the size of Amazon, where competition is very high. More preparation is always better, but whats more important is the quality of preparation. After reading this post, you can rest assured that you will have greatly enhanced your chances of passing the interview!

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    Amazon Interviews Question Types And Examples

    Amazon Interview Questions comprises three main types: fit questions, technical questions, and brain-teaser questions. Fit questions may appear in technical interviews, but are mostly asked during fit interviews. Technical questions are strictly limited to technical interviews, and brain-teaser questions may appear in all types of interviews.

    Below, I will walk you through what each question type contains and how you can approach each type. Ill also include some sample questions so youll have a rough idea on how to apply the recommended approach.

    How To Nail The Amazon Interview: A Practical Guide

    Amazon is one of the top tech companies in the world. According to a , Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the United States and stands globally with an employee headcount of 566,000 as of 2018.

    Working for a global company that serves millions of customers every day is an exhilarating prospect. Knowing that the code you write could have such a large impact can be quite enticing for many developers.

    On top of that, Amazon enjoys many of the same perks that the big tech companies, including Google, Facebook, etc., enjoy. Numerous company benefits including the ability to work remotely and competitive salaries, among others are some of the reasons that may compel you to throw your hat into the ring.

    If you are intrigued by what Amazon is offering, then youll need to be able to jump the Amazon Interview hurdle. Mastering this interview is the barrier that stands before you and working for one of the largest and most prestigious tech companies.

    In this post, we are going to be outlining how to prepare for the Amazon technical interview. We will be highlighting some of the key differentiating factors for Amazon and how these compare to other, more standard technical interviews.

    In this post, I will cover:

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    Top Aws Interview Questions

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    The cloud computing field is booming. dominates the market with a thirty-three percent market share as of the fourth quarter of 2021, which is more than Microsoft Azure and combined.

    The offerings, support, and pricing are among the best in the market, so enterprises like Netflix, Adobe, and others have their workloads running on Amazon’s cloud platform.

    If you’re preparing for a cloud engineering interview, its a matter of when, not if, you get questions related to AWS. This article will go through some of the most commonly asked interview questions. With these questions in mind, you’ll be better prepared to land that dream job.

    Prepare For Behavioral Interview Questions Even If You’re Applying For A Technical Role

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    Don’t assume that you’ll only get asked behavioral questions if you’re applying for a role with managerial responsibilities.

    I just heard from a client who was applying for a Network Engineering job at Amazon, and he told me that they only asked him technical questions . But I’ve also heard the opposite. I had a client who was also applying for a technical job there, and he said that his second phone interview was 1.5 hours of detailed behavioral questions, where they asked him the question and then asked for further details after he’d given his answer.

    It pays to prepare for behavioral questions even if your job is technical.

    But if your job is technical they’ll ask you different types of behavioral questions than they would ask a manager candidate. For instance, if you write code all day they probably won’t ask you about your leadership abilities but they may ask you about your ability to meet deadlines and take ownership of problems.

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