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How To Prepare For An Interview At Amazon

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Good Questions To Ask Atthe End Of An Amazon Interview

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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:

  • What qualities do your most successful employees have in common?
  • Can you describe a typical day in this role?
  • What defines success in this position?
  • What is the biggest challenge Amazon is facing today? How does this role help solve it?
  • What do you enjoy most about working for Amazon?
  • If you want some more examples, check out our article: questions you can ask during your interview.

    Understand The Company Culture

    Amazon’s culture is largely based upon their 14 leadership principles, which interns and senior leaders alike are expected to live and breathe. The paramount principle is “customer centricity”, which essentially means that every product, service, and evolution of Amazon technology is done for the customers.

    Each of the 14 principles will apply to your role, so it’s important to know them all. However, be sure to pick a couple of favorites, both in terms of principle and applicability to your career path. Learn about each of the principles here.

    Another cultural element Amazon relishes is “peculiarity”. They consider themselves a unique company with nontraditional processes, and they want to hire people who stand out. Therefore, be prepared to answer the question “What is peculiar about you?” In other words, what do you bring to the table that other people don’t?

    Focus On The Important Stuff

    While starting, narrow your focus to the important stuff only. Coding interviews involve solving problems around a set bunch of topics and seldom digress from this pattern. The level of difficulty of questions changes with positions however, the core areas of interest for technical interviews remain pretty much constant across a wide range of technical positions.

    For interviews at most tier-1 and FAANG companies, tech interview questions revolve around data structures, system design, and algorithms. This means that thereâs a slim chance youâll be asked questions around your domain.

    Remember, this is true only for technical or coding interviews. For behavioral interviews, although the questions wonât be strictly technical, theyâll be heavily based on your technical experience gained from your previous roles.

    So as a thumb rule, quit focusing on the unimportant stuff and stick to whatâs important.

    Below is the list of technical topics to cover for the Amazon interview:

    Data Structures and Algorithms

    • Scalable Systems

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    Find The Right Opportunity

    Amazon interns work on a variety of teams, from Amazon Web Services to devices to digital entertainment. If you’re more interested in team-specific opportunities, learn about what each team does and search for internships within that realm.

    If you have your eye on a specific role, like software development or operations, you’re probably in luck. Amazon offers summer internships in dozens of fields. They generally differentiate between technical and non technical roles, with a variety of options in each category. Popular programs include…

    • Software Development Engineer Internship
    • Amazon Operations Finance Rotational Program
    • Data Engineer Internship

    …and many more.

    Before applying, take a deep dive into and learn about all of the opportunities available. Select one program to target. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the job description, requirements, and application due date so you can adequately prepare for the process.

    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.

    How To Prepare For The Amazon Interview

    To prepare for the interview, spend an hour on warm up questions such as Why Amazon? And Tell Me About Yourself?

    Next, familiarize yourself with the 14 principles and develop work-related stories for each sample question, using .

    • I wish I had found this article before my interview at amazon. 🙁

    • OUTSIDER May 16, 2018

      When I was at Amazon Lab126 in Sunnyvale, CA, I taught the class on Making Great Hiring Decisions where we trained employees how to interview based on behavioral techniques. STAR format for stories works well and easy to remember: Situation, Task, Action, Results. We told everybody to peel the onion and listen for inconsistencies or points for a follow up question. Try to keep the answer short and leave out unnecessary background information . If the position is technical, prepare for domain knowledge questions as well, perhaps writing code or explaining on a whiteboard your approach to problem solving. Good luck!

    • Brandon W May 16, 2018

      I work for Amazon and this article is a very good base of what you will encounter in a leadership role opportunity. It has helped me obtain two separate jobs. Use this tool during interview stage and while you work. It will only help you be more effective Amazonian! Good luck!

      Work Hard! Have Fun! Make History!

    • Manjeet Kaur February 11, 2018

      I want to work with amazon I am very impressed with this company I love it ??

    • Thank you for such an informative post.

    Read Also: How To Prepare For Amazon Coding Interview

    What’s The Status Of My Application

    We follow federal requirements when we review resumes and only contact candidates we’d like to learn more about. Unfortunately, we’re not able to make personal contact with everyone who submits a resume. To check your status, log in to your application profile and review the roles for which youve applied.

    Candidates for warehouse and Amazon Fulfillment Center positions can check the status of their applications here.

    Tips For Amazon Interview Preparation

    Amazon Interview Tips – How to prepare for Level 6 Job Interview at Amazon (Q& A)

    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

  • Understand the Leadership Principles Well – As mentioned before, Amazonians take great pride as far as their Leadership Principles are concerned. Therefore, knowing about these principles and citing an instance or two where the candidate has applied them in real life will have a positive impact on the interviewers. This leaves an impression that the candidate is genuinely interested in working with the company.
  • Be Thorough with Data Structures and Algorithms – At Amazon, there is always an appreciation for great problem solvers. If you want to have a good impression of the interviewers, the best way is to prove that you have worked a lot on developing your logic structures and solving algorithmic problems. A good understanding of Data Structures and Algorithms and having one or two good projects always earn you brownie points with Amazon.
  • Recommended Reading: What Are Questions That Are Asked In Interviews

    Have Backbone Disagree And Commit

    Amazon Interview Questions on Have Backbone Disagree and Commit

    • Tell me about a time when you did not accept the status quo
    • Tell me about an unpopular decision of yours.
    • Tell me about a time when you had to step up and disagree with a team member’s approach.
    • If your direct manager was instructing you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?

    Study The Role Youre Applying For

    Given Amazon’s notoriously high standards for their hiring process, you should also do as much research as you can about the role you’re applying for along with the work that the role’s department/team actually does. Your interviewer is bound to ask questions aimed at evaluating if you’re a culture fit, and your prior research will only help to make the best impression possible.

    Not only that but your research regarding the role you’re applying for can give you a good impression on the behavioral skills necessary for the job. And by extension, it can give you a good idea of the behavioral questions they may ask regarding those skills.

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    Top Amazon Interview Questions For Freshers & Experienced Candidates

    Now, we are through the Amazon interview process. Lets take a look at some of the most important and frequently asked Amazon interview questions for freshers that you can face at any point in their interview process. These questions are ideal for experienced candidates as well. This list of Amazon interview questions for freshers and experienced candidates does not include technical questions.

    Q1. Tell me about yourself.

    Q2. Why do you want to work for Amazon?

    Q3. What are your short and long-term career goals?

    Q4. Who is the CEO of Amazon?

    Q5. Which Amazon leadership principle do you connect with most?

    Q6. Can you describe your most difficult customer experience? How did you handle the customers needs?

    Q7. Explain a time when you faced a crisis at work. How did you handle it?

    Q8. Tell me about a time when you faced criticism and how you responded.

    Q9. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your manager. How did you resolve it?

    Q10. What metrics do you consider important for growth?

    Q11. How do you go about persuading people?

    Q12. Have you ever taken an unfamiliar project that was outside of your expertise or job description? How did you handle it?

    Q13. Can you tell me about a time you had to make a decision without all of the data or options in front of you?

    Q14. What would you do in a situation where you saw your close work colleague stealing?

    Q15. How would you handle the situation if one of your colleagues wasnt contributing their share to your work?

    If One Of Your Closework Colleagues Stole A $1 Item What Would You Do

    How To Prepare For Amazon Interview

    Shrinkage isa major concern for Amazon. As a result, many prospective employees especially those working in Amazon warehouses are going to face behavioralinterview questions that discuss how theyd react to theft.

    Its important to note that the small value of the item in the question is meant to throw candidates off. A dollar may seem meaningless to a retail giants bottom line. But, if every person took a $1 item and turned a blind eye to others doing the same, it would add up quickly. As a result, theres only on correct answer. Luckily, its fairly short and sweet, so its easier to nail.


    Theft, in any amount, is against policy and is illegal, so it needs to be addressed. If I witnessed a colleague stealing, I would report the activity per Amazon corporate procedures.

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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.

    Go Out And Interview Periodically

    Interviewing is like a muscle: you need to practice so that you do not loose yourability to interview. Even if you are at your dream job today, continueto practice to keep it strong. This is very important to keep this ability up andrunning. You can do that in different ways: you can either practice with afriend or just apply to positions to evaluate yourself.

    Remember, interviewing is like dating, you can go interview but do not haveto accept any offer. If you refuse, the other party will contactyou later to check what you are up to. And even if you refuse it, having a nice offer will boost your ego and give your valueon the market .

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    Topics To Prepare For Amazon Software Development Engineer Interview

    Before you dive into the technical topics to prepare for Amazonâs Software Development Engineer interview, you should consult your recruiter about the topics most likely to be discussed in the interview.

    Amazonâs technical interviews typically require candidates to solve coding and system design whiteboarding problems.

    Amazon recommends these topics to prepare for a technical interview:

    • Programming language

    Also, read and for more Amazon interview questions.

    Amazon Behavioral Interview Questions = Typical Behavioral Questions + Amazon Leadership Principles

    Amazon On-site Interview Prep Guide

    Remember the ? If you don’t know what they are and you’re about to interview at Amazon, you need to study them before your interview.

    Amazon interviewers take the leadership principles seriously. One goal of the interview is to see if you’re a good fit with the principles. How do they do this?

    In an Amazon interview, the interviewer will ask a behavioral question. It may or may not be in the exact words of the principles. The question might be “How have you shown customer obsession?” or it might be “Tell me about a time you had to work hard to please a client.” Both of these questions are asking the same question about your focus on client needs.

    A good answer will use a story from one of your jobs, be told clearly using the STAR technique, and show you understand the ideas behind the principles and agree with them.

    I’ve written another article about how to answer the leadership principle questions in case you want more information.

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    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.

    Face To Face Interviews Behavioral Part The Toughest Nut To Crack

    Once they invite you for a in-person interview to Amazon , you still have a lot of work to do.

    The first session with them is a behavioral interview. It is led by a manager who represents the department where you will work . Actually you may get a series of short interviews with up to 8 people!

    In some cases you may also interview in front of a small panel, consisting of different people from the company.

    One way or another, they will ask you about your behavior in various work-related situations, and this is the crucial part of the entire interview process. You can expect to hear some of the following questions:

    • Describe a situation when you had a conflict with a colleague. Tell us who started the conflict, and how you tried to solve it.
    • Give me an example of when you received criticism. How did you respond to the information?
    • Tell us about a time when you missed a deadline or productivity target.
    • Describe a situation when you had to motivate someone in work.
    • Tell me about a time you had to work hard to please a client.
    • Describe a time when you sacrificed short term goals for long term success.
    • Tell me about a failure you experienced in your professional career or in your studies.
    • If you are given two conflicting priorities from two separate managers, how do you figure out how to proceed?
    • .

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    Amazon’s Leadership Principles In Interviews

    What are Amazons leadership principles? They’re a set of 16 concepts that Amazon uses as a mission statement. Why are they important for interviews? After all, most companies have mission statements and they don’t necessarily ask about them in interviews.

    The Amazon leadership principles are important in the interview because your job in the interview is to show that you fit into the Amazon culture, and the principles are the culture. You have to show that you embody the principles, live by the principles, are aligned with the principles, and so will fit into the culture.

    The big reason Amazon interviews are so challenging is that you must convincingly demonstrate that you embrace the principles, in addition to all the other normal interview stuff.

    Stage : How To Practice For Amazons Software Phone Interview

    Amazon Interview Preparation

    The phone interview will be very similar to the online test, with a few difference.

    The first bit & last bit of the interview will most likely be behavioral questions. Behavioral questions are essentially there to see if youre a culture fit at Amazon.

    What the recruiter will be looking for during the behavioral part:

    • Does this person have a positive attitude?
    • Are they passionate about what they do?
    • Do they enjoy problem solving?
    • Do they have experience explaining their thoughts and communicating?

    Basically, most engineers wont want to work with you if they wouldnt want to sit down and have a drink with you.

    Be pleasant, be interested, but most of all, be genuine. Its very obvious to an interviewer when someone pretends to be someone theyre not especially when they do things like give cookie cutter answers to basic personal questions.

    Dont be afraid to be who you are! If they reject you based on your personality, chances are, you wouldnt have enjoyed working there in the first place.

    Also make sure you prepare 1-2 personal questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview when they give you a chance to ask them.

    The technical stage is similar to the online interview in the sense that youll be asked a data structure and algorithm question.

    However, it will feel very different. Theres a huge difference between coding alone in your room on an IDE with Google and coding while a recruiter is watching you asking you to explain every line you right.

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