Thursday, May 9, 2024

How To Prepare For Amazon Behavioral Interview

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If you know the main themes of Amazon’s Leadership Principles, you can easily spot a question that interviewers would never ask in an Amazon interview. The real questions are behavioural. These questions are looking for evidence from your past behaviours as a way to make a judgment on whether you are likely to raise the bar against a particular Leadership Principle. Therefore, a real onsite Amazon interview question will ALWAYS ask you to tell a story about you taking action in a particular situation in the past and will NEVER ask you anything else . You will never be asked hypothetical questions or brain teasers. Instead, all Amazon interview questions will start with something akin to Tell me about a time when you .

Why Do Recruiters Ask Behavioral Questions

At big tech companies, the focus on behavioral interviews has been steadily increasing over the years. Thatâs primarily because these companies have come to acknowledge the importance of having a workforce that reflects diversity, tolerance, integrity, and ownership.

Recruiters ask behavioral questions to understand how you would react to specific situations in a workplace environment. They also evaluate you against the 14 leadership principles to gauge how well youâd satisfy your role. Moreover, these interviews serve as the perfect sieve to identify candidates with the right attitude.

Practice At Least Two Problems A Day

The fact is that you get better at problem-solving only with practice. Before the onsite, make sure to solve at least 250 problems to give yourself a good chance at cracking the interview.

Remember, youâll have to beat stiff competition to come out on top. The more problems you practice, the better your chances of solving them during the actual interviews.

You can use popular coding platforms to give yourself a wider exposure to problems and solution patterns.

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Engineering And Technical Interviews

Interview Preparation Checklist for Technical Interviews

1. Always bring a pen, a backup pen, and paper even though its a programming interview.2. Dont be afraid to restate the question/problem. You might have some time limit , but it makes sense to make sure you fully understand the question, then gure out the best method to solve, and lastly spend a fraction of the time actually executing.3. Understand the properties of data structures and how to use them.4. Understand how your language uses internal structures to manage the codes/objects you write.5. Like all Amazon interviews, being concise is key. This means not talking too much, but not leaving out key points. The interview should never be a monologue.

Highlight Important Past Projects

Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

Make a note of the most important projects youâve worked on throughout your professional career and prepare yourself to answer questions around them.

Recruiters are always keen to learn about your experience and the projects you were a part of â for example, how you went about planning the project, how you handled hiccups that came along the way, and so on.

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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.

Try 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.

I Do Not Recommend You Use The Star Method

I recommend a different framework called CAR:

Context is about describing a situation and setting the scene for a relevant example from your past. The key here is to choose your example well one that clearly demonstrates the quality or skill the employer is asking about.

Action is about explaining what action you took. Be really specific rather than making vague statements and outline your steps and rationale.

Result is about detailing the outcome of your action. Offer specific facts relating to the result. For instance, quote figures and statistics, or feedback from your manager, that back up your assertion.

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Why Amazon How To Answer Amazons Trickiest Interview Question

During the interview process, big tech companies like Amazon want to determine if you are a good fit for the company. This means that recruiters will test your technical prowess with coding challenges, and they will also assess you through behavioral interviews.

One of the most frequently asked behavioral interview questions is Why do you want to work at Amazon?. While it might seem like a straightforward question, a lot of people struggle to answer it, even if they are very eager about a position at Amazon.

In this article, we will discuss how to answer this tricky Amazon interview question. We will discuss how to construct an impressive answer and walk through sample answers based on Amazons leadership principles.

This guide at a glance:

Prepare for your Amazon behavioral interview in one place

In this unique course, youll use Educatives video recording widget to record yourself answering questions. By the end, youll be able to answer any behavioral question.

Grokking the Behavioral Interview

Write The Situations Down & Flesh Them Out

How to Answer Any Behavioral Question During The Amazon Interview

After youve brainstormed relevant work experiences, write them down and flesh them out so that you’re not stumbling to remember some of the details amid the questioning. Make sure to write them down according to the STAR method, as well, to make sure your answers are both concise and fully developed.

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Amazon Behavioral Questions: Customer Obsession

Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

These questions are all about empathy. Interviewers want to see that you understand the consequences that every decision has on customer experience. You need to know who the customer is as well as their underlying needs.

Example behavioral questions asked at Amazon: Customer obsession

  • Tell me about one of your projects where you put the customer first
  • Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer
  • Which company has the best customer service and why?
  • Describe a time when a customer asked you for one thing, but you knew that they needed something else

Can You Tell Me About Atime When You Were More Than Halfway Through A Project And Had To Pivot Quicklydue To An Unexpected Change How Did You Handle It

This is a question that could be applicable to nearly any role, though it may be more common in technical positions. Its focus is on ascertaining your level of agility and ability to make course corrections under pressure when priorities change.


While developing a new system for an employer, a requirement came in late. Since the project was rapidly nearing completion, integrating the feature became a challenge. The point in development where it would have been addressed typically had already passed. To address the new requirement, I first took a step back and reexamined all of the existing work. The goal was to minimize disruption to segments that were complete, and a bit of planning ensured I didnt use a less-than-ideal approach simply because I was under pressure. After identifying a course of action, I implemented the changes methodically. I relied heavily on testing to ensure there were no unexpected ramifications or that issues could be addressed quickly. By using a strategic approach, I was able to limit the negative implications of a last-minute change, expediting the remainder of the process while ensuring the final result met every need.

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How Many Stories Should You Prepare For Each Leadership Principle

In the onsite interview the interviewers will divide the principles up and each take two or three, so in one interview you may have more than two questions about a principle. What will you do if that happens? Most people say that you should have two examples for each Amazon leadership principle. That is a good benchmark, but what if you get asked four Deliver Results questions? Will you have enough stories to answer them all?

I think its a better idea have a group of answers you can tailor for the different principles depending on what you get asked, instead of two answers that will only work for one principle and two that will only work for another principle, and so on.

In other words, I suggest you dont tag a story for only one principle. You will have a better chance of answering any question you get asked if you tag a story for more than one principle and practice adapting it to many different questions.

Examples Of Amazon Behavioral Interview Questions

How to Prepare for Behavioral Interviews
  • Tell me about a time when you raised the bar. Watch answer to this “Insist on the Highest Standards” interview question.
  • Tell me about a time when you influenced a change by only asking questions.
  • Tell me about a time when you invented something.
  • Tell me about a time when you solved a problem through just superior knowledge or observation.
  • Tell me about a time where you came up with a simple solution to a complex problem. Watch expert answer to this question.
  • Give me two examples of when you did more than what was required in any job experience.
  • Tell me about a time where you came up with a simple solution to a complex problem. Watch answer to this “Think Big” interview question.
  • Tell me about a time you had to handle a crisis.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a quick decision that was going to have a significant impact on the business.
  • Tell me about a time when you had a group conflict, and how did you overcome this conflict?
  • Tell me about a situation where you directly impacted customer satisfaction.

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How To Prepare: Amazon Leadership Principles Interview

Candidates should use this four step approach when developing stories to the leadership principle interview questions.

  • What was the big drama behind the situation?
  • What alternatives did you have in addressing the situation?
  • What did you do?
  • What results did you expect?
  • To help organize your interview stories with a minimum amount of time while generating maximum impact, Lewis C. Lin created a .

    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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    Why Is This Answer Good

    • It talks about a skill that will be relevant in the job she is applying for

    • It follows the STAR structure

    • It keeps to the details that are needed but doesn’t add more

    • It references the Amazon principle “insist on the highest standards” although you’ll notice she doesn’t use those words

    Try to do the same things when answering your questions.

    Looking for more help? Visit my page to find all of my best interview tips in one place.

    Amazon Behavioral Questions: Insist On The Highest Standards

    Amazon Interview Tips – How to answer AMAZON behavioral interview questions (Q& A)

    “Leaders have relentlessly high standards many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

    At Amazon, rarely is anything deemed good enough. Theyd like to see how you have pushed yourself to reach standards that were difficult to meet, and how you will continue to do so in the future.

    Example behavioral questions asked by Amazon: Insist on the highest standards

    • Tell me about the most successful project you’ve done
    • Tell me about a project that you wish you had done better and how you would do it differently today
    • Tell me a time that a goal was hard to achieve. What did you learn from that?
    • How would you improve this if you had more time?

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    Tell Me About A Time When You Coached Someone

    The most important thing is to demonstrate that you understand the difference between coaching people, managing them, and bossing them.More than anything else, coaching is about asking the right questions, and letting your subordinates or students to find the answers on their own.

    Its much more effective learning process than telling them directly that they should do this or that in work, or bossing them for their mistakes.

    When you induce creative thinking in your people, when they find the answers on their own, they will remember them, accept them easier, and they will also grow as future leaders.

    Of course, you can talk also about more direct coaching, for example when you helped new hires with orientation in the workplace, or explained some processes to your colleagues. As long as the interviewers see that you can patiently coach your colleagues , they will be satisfied with your answer.

    Star Is A Way To Answer Behavioral Questions

    The STAR method is a structured way of answering behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions usually start with “Tell me a time…” or “Give me an example…”

    Here are some examples of behavioral interview questions, relevant to Amazon:

    • Customer Obsession. Walk us through a time when you helped a customer through a difficult process and what that looked like.
    • Frugality. Tell me a time when you came up with a clever way to save money for the company.

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    Answering The Behavioral Questions

    The STAR framework can be followed to tackle Amazons behavioral questions. This framework is just to help you properly organize your answer so that you dont miss out on any essential information. Heres how it goes:

    • Situation / Task: Talk about the situation you faced – answer the where, why and when.
    • Action: Talk about the actions you took in the said situation. Answer the what, how and who in this stage.
    • Result: Describe the results that your actions gave. For this, use numbers and metrics to talk about your results.

    If the STAR framework doesnt appeal to you, you can use the more succinct, CAR framework. Heres how that goes:

    • Context: Describing the situation and setting the scene for your example. The key is to choose an example that demonstrates the quality being seeked by the interviewer.
    • Action: Explaining the action you took in the context. Dont make vague statements here, be specific in your words.
    • Result: Detailing what outcome your result provided. Talk about numbers, facts, statistics and metrics while talking about the result. You can also quote feedback from your previous managers or teammates while talking about the results.

    Look At The Job Description For Clues About Probable Behavioral Question Topics

    Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers: How to Face ...

    Each interview will be different so I can’t tell you exactly what questions you’ll be asked, but the job description will give you a good idea of the possibilities.

    If you’re applying for a managerial job at Amazon, the questions will ask things like, “Tell me about a time when you had to give someone feedback on their performance” or “Give me an example of when you motivated a team,” because motivating teams and giving performance feedback are two things that managers need to do. Other options might be, Tell me about your most successful hire or When have you helped one of your employees get promoted.

    If you’re applying for a product manager job at Amazon, the questions will ask you things like “Give me an example of a time when you had to give direction to the engineering team” or “When was the last time you used a product you loved?” because these are either tasks that a product manager does or ideas that a product manager thinks about. There are so many other possible product manager questions too because this job type requires so many different skills and an interviewer might ask about any of them.

    There are so many job titles you might be applying for I cant write lists for all of them. Youll have to look at the job description for the job yourself. If you do, you should be able to predict the themes of the questions you’ll be asked by looking at the requirements of the job.

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