Mistake #1 Failing To Add An Introductory Paragraph
I understand that it may seem tempting to follow the PAR structure and just jump right in with an explanation of the problem. However, your answer will be stronger if you take the time to include an introductory paragraph. In an essay this paragraph is called an introduction, but in business writing its whats called the executive summary.
A common mistake that inexperienced writers make is that they bury the lede. Maybe youve heard this phrase before. It means that the writer fails to state up front the most important part of the story. When a writer buries the lede, the reader has to put in more effort to discern the main point of the story. Your introduction is an opportunity to orient the reader . Whats important about your story? Whats the main point?
Lets look at an example. Notice how straightforward and to the point this writer is in the first paragraph:
I recently had to make a very difficult judgement call about whether to release code to production that had not been tested with our typical rigor. I took a shortcut, and to be honest, I hacked together a solution so quickly I surprised even myself. But in my gut, I knew it would fix the problem, so I made the judgement call to deploy the code. My new code worked even though we didnt have time to test it.
This is a short, clear intro. With the introductory paragraph in place, the writer can transition into the PAR structure for the rest of the essay.
Mistake #2 Failing To Provide Context
Here is an example of the situation/problem step from the written exercise innovation question:
A few months ago, I took part in a company meeting about an internal product, which I was using for consulting services. I was a user of the product, but I didnt have any formal role in this team and I had little knowledge of its inner workings.
The discussion at the meeting was about how to properly roll out the product to the customers. The tech lead proposal was to release it as a downloadable and runnable application with a license server in the cloud. As I listened in on the teams conversation, they went into detail about installation instructions and how to implement the licensing process.
I didnt like their plan. It seemed difficult for the customer in his buyer journey with potential issues on installation, monitoring, and debugging while simultaneously introducing new customer support issues. Also, with this approach, we were losing opportunities to scale and provide valuable services to our customers.
My comments on this problem section:
There are some things that could be done better here. First of all, there is no background. Where was he working? What was his role? What is the internal product? Also, why was he in the meeting if he wasnt on the team?
Lets rewrite the beginning of that problem section in a way that provides clearer context and helps the reader really see that problem from your unique point of view:
My comments on this answer:
System Design Interview Questions
Amazon builds scalable, reliable, cost-optimal, and performant systems, and system design is an integral aspect of them all. Millions use Amazonâs distributed systems and platforms. Hence, Amazon focuses more on system design questions.
Candidates with at least three or four years of software engineering experience must prepare for system design questions if they want to land a job at Amazon. To nail the Amazon interview preparation for these questions, practice web-based components, such as the design of an online store or a URL shortener.
Read to get an idea of what questions you can expect.
Also Check: Questions To Ask A Cfo
Sample Questions For Area Manager/project Manager Roles
- Amazon is a peculiar company. What is peculiar about you?
- Would you oppose a supervisor who made a decision that goes against corporate policy and is a potential safety issue for one of your employees?
- Tell me about a time you had to overstep management to get your point of view across.
- Tell me about a time when you were leading a group, were assigned a goal, and did not reach it.
- Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict how did you overcome this conflict?
- How did your actions in a leadership role increase productivity?
- Tell me about a time when you dealt with an employee with poor performance.
- What is your take on leadership?
- What kinds of roles have you had that were leadership roles?
View and practice recent interview questions with Candor.Follow this link
The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation of any security by Candor, its employees and affiliates, or any third-party. Any expressions of opinion or assumptions are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results and the opinions presented herein should not be viewed as an indicator of future performance. Investing in securities involves risk. Loss of principal is possible.
Prepare In Advance For The Stages Of The Hiring Process You Can Prepare For Answers To Tricky Behavioral Questions
For the other three stages, however, you can prepare.
If you are running out of time, or feel anxious, or overwhelmed with the information, or have no idea how to answer the questions, have a look at a new eBook I wrote for you, the.
Multiple brilliant answers to 50 Amazon interview questions, including all tricky behavioral questions, will help you stand out , impress the interviewers , and sign an employment agreement with Amazon. You will find some questions & answers directly on the eBook page, so it makes sense to check it out even if you do not want to purchase anything
Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you good luck in this difficult interview!
Also Check: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
Read Also: Interview Questions For A Cfo
Tell Me About A Time You Were 75 Percent Through A Project And Had To Pivot Quickly How Did You Handle It
Life happens when we are in the middle of projects, and Amazon leadership will want to know how you handle these types of situations when they occur. You could encounter this question for many different types of roles, including technical and management positions. Your answer should speak to your agility, leadership, and problem-solving skills:
At my last job, I was leading a project that was near completion. Everything was moving smoothly and on-target for timely completion. Then, one of our partners providing one of the software upgrades that were to occur at the 90 percent mark encountered a breach of their systems and was estimated to delay the project by two to four weeks.
I had to review our plans and come up with options to keep the project on target as much as possible. Going with another software provider wasn’t a viable option, as the groundwork had been laid to go live with the current provider, and starting over would have delayed the project even more. Instead, we were able to allocate two resources to support the provider in recovering from the breach in less than half of the time that was projected.
As a result, we were able to complete the project only two days after the originally scheduled completion date. Fortunately, since we had built in a cushion for contingencies, we were able to go live on schedule.
Mistake #4 Failing To Detail Your Action
As I wrote above, the action section is the most important section. The Action section is your place to shine. You must describe what action you took to address the problem.
Here is an example of an action step from the innovation question:
I contacted each carrier to re-sign the contract with a new billing cycle and set up the account management portals to enable the report downloading features. Then I summarized the cost analysis table and had a weekly meeting with the DevOps team to fine-tune the load-balancing algorithms to improve the cost. Finally, I worked with the customer support team to monitor complaint ticket counts to ensure no impact on customer experiences. We enacted a throttle policy adjustment weekly to balance between the overage and user experience. I also adjusted the carriers data plan to ensure balance of demand and supply based on the device usage trend.
While this section is a bit short , I like that she gives herself credit for the actions she took. So often I see candidates write we did this and my team did that. This section is about actions that you personally took to effect change and fix the problem. Its not a time to talk about your team.
However, as I mentioned, I recommend that this candidate build out the section further. For example, how did she work with the customer support team? What did she do? Did she meet with them? How did she monitor the case count?
You May Like: Questions To Ask Cfo During Interview
What Is The Amazon Bar Raiser
The Bar Raiser is an interviewer whose job is to examine your answers and see how they relate to the Leadership Principles. The Bar Raiser will dive deep into your answers and ask lots of follow-up questions. The purpose behind that is to shortlist the most suitable candidates that could fit Amazons unique culture.
|Other Amazon Positions|
How Not To Ruin Your Interview: Best Tips For Candidate
Along with psyching yourself up mentally and preparing answers to possible questions, five Donts should not be ignored.
1. Dont forget to take your resume and cover letter.Better, bring five copies because you may have interviews with at least five different people:
- a Hiring Manager
- two people in the same position, your future colleagues
- a representative of the department you will interact with during your work
- a Bar Raiser, the person who makes sure the selected candidate is better than half of the existing employees in the chosen position.
2. Dont be late.Think out your route in advance, but if you feel you might be late, inform the recruiter.
3. Dont talk too much.The recruiter wants you to answer in detail, but you should not speak in a roundabout way, starting from your career path. Usually, you need 1-2 minutes to answer an interview question.
4. Dont speak ill of your former employer.This can make your recruiter wonder how you will talk about this particular company after leaving it. Do not talk about the downsides of the past job. Instead, describe your future role expectations.
5. Dont lie.Never lie about your experience, qualifications, professionalism. Sooner or later, everything will be revealed. Remember one of Amazon leadership principles – Earn Trust. Try not to lose it.
Also Check: Best Interview Attire For A Woman
Choose Your Amazon Assessment
- – Get to know one of the trickiest Amazon assessments that are used for screening numerous Amazon candidates
- – Thorough prep, critical tips, and inside info to help you pass the Amazon coding and behavioral assessments
- – Learn about Amazon’s most common personality test
- – Learn more about the AWS online assessment that’s sent to candidates for Solution Architect, Cloud Support, Cloud Architect, and many other AWS roles
- – Exclusive prep for the major screening step that any Area Manager and Operations manager candidate must pass
- – Get info & prep for the initial online assessment that any Amazon MBA candidate has to pass
- – Thorough prep for the toughest part of the Amazon maintenance tech’s hiring process
Hi, I’m David, JobTestPrep’s expert for the Amazon Assessment Tests. Have a question? Feel free to contact me at
Getting hired by Amazon is a dream that many job seekers share.
Whether its the generous benefits, the top-notch technology, or the career development paths it offers Amazon is indeed a prestigious place to work for.
But getting in is not a walk in the park. To receive a job offer, you first must ace the initial Amazon online assessment.
Amazons assessments are often tricky. Their structure is unique, and what they test for behind the scenes is not found in other companies hiring processes.
Thats why thorough preparation becomes invaluable and can give you an edge over your competitors.
What Is The Amazon Verbal Reasoning Test
The Amazon Verbal Reasoning Test evaluates your ability to understand and respond to questions about information provided in a text. You will be asked to read a given passage before considering statements corresponding to the passage.
Your task will then be to decide whether each statement is true, false, or unspecified as either true or false in the text.
The difficulty of the Amazon Verbal Reasoning Test lies in extracting the sense of the passage and answering the questions based ONLY on what you have read, rather than making inferences about the answers from your own experience or knowledge. If you can master this skill, you will stand out as a promising candidate!
This test examines a candidates ability to accurately extract relevant information from a previously unseen passage of text it involves critically analyzing statements and deciding which of them are true, false or whether this is impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.
Verbal reasoning tests tend to be more difficult for non-native English speakers, but what we would recommend is that everyone practices verbal reasoning test questions as much as possible, as this allows them to understand the specific ways in which texts are structured and precisely what the questions are asking for.
In the real assessment, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following:
Amazon-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example
Learn more about verbal reasoning tests.
Recommended Reading: Prepare For System Design Interview
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:
Amazon’s 16 Leadership Principles: An Overview
- Customer Obsession
- Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer
- Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility
Naturally, your interviewer will be listening closely to the examples of past performance you give in response to their behavioral questions, and how you’ve demonstrated these leadership principles. As we mentioned before, behavioral questions at Amazon interview may hold more weight than at other companies.
Which is even more reason to prepare for them ahead of time.
Let’s review each in-depth.
Below, you’ll find the short explanation of each leadership principle given by Amazon on their careers page. Read each explanation thoroughly, as you’ll pick up clues as to how your answers to behavioral questions will be scored. When you’re ready, watch the expert mock interviews linked and then try your hand at a few sample behavioral interview questions compiled from past interviews.
Read Also: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
Amazon Aws Job Description Skills And Qualities
There are numerous Amazon AWS job roles available, including but not limited to:
- AWS DevOps
- AWS Software Engineer
- AWS Distribution Program Manager.
Working in any Amazon AWS role requires you to set up, maintain, monitor and develop cloud-based web applications and infrastructure. To be effective in the role, you will need to have a thorough understanding of Amazon Web Services and follow best proactive policies and procedures in all of your work. Amazon AWS is rapidly evolving and developing, and on that basis, you will need a wide array of skills, qualities and technical capabilities including competence in Amazon S3, Instances, Subnets, AMI, and also AWS CloudTrail amongst others. It is also important you are able to meet the demands of the 14 Amazon Leadership principles within your AWS role.
Tip : Prepare Stories Not Questions
For any interview, especially fit interviews, it is best toprepare 3-4 detailed, all-round, refined stories exhibiting all the required attributes . This way, you can tune the stories according to the interviewers questions in a flexible, consistent manner.
Many candidatesmake the mistake of preparing on a per-question basis, i.e listing out the possible questions and the corresponding answers/stories. Wrapping your head around inflexible answers can throw you off-balance when an unexpected question comes up. The resulting storytelling style is also somewhat robotic.
Instead, in theCase Interview End-to-End Secrets Program, I teach a story-based approach: select a few stories reflecting your best, all-round self, and develop them in detail.
Also Check: What Should Females Wear To A Job Interview