Top 37+ Amazon Interview Questions and Answers
Worrying about your Amazon interview? Be more positive. With our best interview questions and answer samples, you will feel more sure of success.
Worrying about your Amazon interview? Be more positive. With our best interview questions and answer samples, you will feel more sure of success.
Amazon is a top tier company. Working here is a great success for many specialists. Even though the company employs 798,000 full- and part-time employees, they all had to pass a rigorous recruitment and selection process. That is why we have prepared the most useful information for you, including typical Amazon interview questions and valuable tips for the preparation stage.
Amazon is a giant corporation that sells and supplies goods and services via the Internet. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore. Today, Amazon sells 34 product categories.
Amazon is a leading online retailer in the United States, with 2019 net sales close to $280.5 billion. Most of the company’s revenues come from electronics and other e-retail sales, followed by third-party revenues, subscription services, and AWS activities. Amazon is also the most valuable brand in the world. Its estimated value is around $221 billion. In comparison, Google, the second on the list, has a brand value of about $160 billion.
A position in such a world-famous, prestigious company like Amazon is the dream for many people. We can help you prepare for Amazon job interview questions to make your dreams come true.
How to Prepare for Amazon Job Interview: Step-By-Step
When preparing for the Amazon interview, we recommend you use this step-by-step guide.
1. Look Into the Company
Spend some time researching Amazon. Talk to people working in the company, read the latest news, check the website and LinkedIn page. Moreover, try to find out what others can say about the company. After examining all the available information (including negative reviews), you will get an objective picture.
2. Check Amazon Leadership Principles
Amazon’s VP of Workforce Development, Ardine Williams, shared with Business Insider what she views as the essential factor in getting hired:
- Customer Obsession
- Invent and Simplify
- Are Right, A Lot
- Learn and Be Curious
- Hire and Develop the Best
- Insist on the Highest Standards
- Think Big
- Bias for Action
- Earn Trust
- Dive Deep
- Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
- Deliver Results
It’s important to understand these basic principles and tune in to them because they will be touched on during the interview. Many companies have a similar list of values. Still, only a few managed to transform them into a real working system, not just a beautiful declaration written on the site and repeated continuously by managers. Amazon did it.
3. Think About Your Interview Attire
The first meeting with an employer is an excellent opportunity to show yourself and make a good impression. Use this opportunity to increase your chances of getting a job.
Amazon doesn’t have a strict dress code policy. The casual style is preferred. It means that there is no need to choose only business attire for your interview. Something close to it will also work. Not too formal, but not too creative. It can be knee-length skirts, jackets, blouses, cardigans, trousers for women, and classic dark-colored jeans, shirts, casual suits (without a tie) for men. But if you’ve applied for a senior position, you should look a little bit more conservative.
And don’t forget about the generally accepted factors when choosing your interview attire: cleanliness, neatness, modesty, neutral colors, comfort.
4. Work on Your Body Language
Think of the position of your arms or legs and what it might tell your interviewer. For instance, arms crossed on your chest mean that you are closed to communication, which does not contribute to a productive conversation.
Try to relax the day before your interview as much as possible. Get enough sleep, at least 7 hours. And don’t worry about potential failure during an interview. Win or lose; it is a useful experience.
If you feel too nervous in stressful situations, or are afraid of failing with the first simple question, write an opening speech and learn it in advance. Include four main points:
How to Answer Amazon Interview Questions With Examples
There are many different techniques for answering interview questions. We recommend three that are best for Amazon.
1. Feel When to Tell a Story and When Not to
Don’t tell a story for yes/no questions. Don’t waste the recruiter’s time. You will have a chance to show your powerful storytelling skills, but you need to feel the right moment.
If asked behavioral questions, that’s your chance. These questions are about specific situations from the past. Usually, they start with:
- “Tell me about a time when...”
- “Give me examples of...”
- “Have you ever...”
That’s when you can tell a story showing your experience and skills. But you have to smart about your delivery.
Here’s an example:
“Tell me about a time when you have achieved better results than needed.”
“I created a new system for monthly KPI reporting.”
This strategy is wrong because it doesn’t show what skills and knowledge you have applied to solve the task. Thus, your recruiter cannot project your behavior into this new position.
For such questions, we recommend you use the STAR method. It stands for:
Situation: “Last year, my manager put me in charge of implementing the new monthly KPI reports.”
Task: “I needed to collect, analyze, and verify all the data and find tools and resources to automate and simplify data collection and entry.”
Action: “I talked to my manager and colleagues to find out what needed to be in the new reports, and what was already outdated and ineffective. I went through all the information on modern spreadsheet creation techniques to make improvements, including automating some of the processes.”
Result: “When I presented the new and improved reporting to my manager, he couldn’t believe I had done it all myself so quickly. I also received high praise from senior management.”
2. Share Facts to Impress the Recruiter
Facts, data, and statistics make your answers more impressive. Think about your previous achievement so that you can talk about them during the interview.
Here’s an example:
What achievements are you most proud of?
“I am now one of the best salespeople in my company.”
“I am one of the top 3 salespeople in our 30+ group, and last year I achieved 200% annual sales targets.”
3. Make Your Answers About Amazon
Sometimes, jobseekers think that interviews are all about them. That’s where they are wrong. You should think about the company’s concerns and needs. It will increase your chances of getting a job offer and make you stand out from other candidates.
Here’s an example:
“What are your best skills?”
“I have great communication skills and am a perfect result-oriented team player.”
Instead, show how you’ll put your skills to use in this specific Amazon role so that the company will benefit from hiring you.
“I am attentive to detail and understand how important it is for Amazon to keep mistakes to a minimum. Moreover, I have extensive skills in dealing with clients, even when they are upset. Amazon’s exceptional customer service resonates with me. I am great at understanding situations and find a way to make the client happy. I managed to increase the customer satisfaction rate by 10% at my previous job.”
The Most Popular Amazon Interview Questions and Answers
The interview process consists of two main steps: phone/video screening, and, if successful, in-person interview, including technical and behavioral parts. Let’s discuss them in detail and check out the most common questions asked during the Amazon interview at each stage.
The first round is to get an idea of your experience and expertise. It usually lasts 60–90 minutes and is most often carried out through a phone call or video conference.
Here are some typical interview questions for an Amazon job and our examples of answers to help you understand what to expect at this stage and how to react.
- “What can you tell us about yourself?”
“I’m a positive and self-motivated person who wants to join a team that works to achieve the same goal. I’m hard-working in completing challenging tasks. As a team-player, I’m supportive of others and responsible. I’ve been watching Amazon’s growth, and I would like to be a part of it.”
- “What are your reasons to work for Amazon?”
“I want to work for Amazon because it is one of the world’s most advanced and successful companies. Your Leadership Principles inspire me, and I follow them in my work and live these values; Customer obsession, Invent and Simplify, Learn and Be Curious. I want my skills to help you deliver and promote them.”
- “What are your skills and qualities that match this Amazon role?”
“First of all, my focus on clients. As a competent communicator, I can deliver great customer service and care. I can make the right decisions in the best interests of the company, work in a team, and under pressure. I am loyal and trustworthy.”
- “How would you deal with the complaining customer?”
“I will follow company training regarding customer complaints. I will listen to the client carefully to figure out the problem. If the company did something wrong, I would apologize and quickly find a successful solution. If there is no company fault, I would still listen to the client’s concerns and use my effective communication skills to explain what happened. I find it important that the client feels listened to. It will be my priority in handling any complaints.”
- “Why should we choose you for this position?”
“I have been working as a manager for over the last five years. I passed a lot of leadership training. My specialization is emotional intelligence. I know that motivating and rewarding employees helps them exceed company goals and increases their overall job satisfaction. I can help team members reach their potential and reduce employee turnover by creating an open and transparent workplace.”
- “Why do you think you are unique?”
“Because I worked with customers personally and dealt with their questions, reviews, and complaints. I know how to create a positive customer experience.”
- “Why are you leaving your current job?”
“I have learned a lot from my developer position. However, I am looking for a job that creates more challenges for me to continue developing my skills and abilities.”
- “How do you see yourself in the future?”
“In three years, I would like to become a real expert in the testing industry with successful project management experience. Amazingly, Amazon gives much attention to practical experience and continuous learning opportunities.”
- “What inspires you about your job?”
“I always worked directly with clients and their problems. I enjoyed solving problems and helping people. Sometimes it’s not easy, but when a client is happy with the result, I feel satisfaction. That’s what motivates me.”
- “What are your weaknesses?”
“Sometimes, I find it difficult to delegate tasks when I see that I can do everything faster and better myself. However, my career went up, and I got promoted to Deputy Manager. So, I needed to learn how to delegate tasks. I passed training and managed to implement a project management system to monitor the project status. It allowed me to improve my effective delegation skills.”
- “What are two personal qualities that characterize you the most?”
“Operational mindset. I can assess risks and make informed decisions in difficult situations. Empathy. I support employees in difficult periods and never refuse to help others. I initiate a relationship based on trust.”
- “What are your salary expectations?”
“I’m more interested in finding a position that is ideal for my skills and competencies. I am sure that you offer a decent salary that is competitive in the labor market.”
- “What kind of work environment do you prefer to work in?”
“I prefer a team where everyone is equal, where people are ready for a constructive conversation and maintain friendly relations.” Here are six more questions that may be asked during the phone/video interview:
- What projects look appealing to you?
- What did you like most and least about your last position?
- How do you deal with stress?
- What can you add to the company?
- Who was your favorite manager? Why?
- Can you explain gaps in your resume?
- “Give us an example when you did everything possible to help the customer.”
“Once I talked to the customer on the phone about one of the items she ordered from our website. I found out that the product had arrived damaged. The problem was that she needed to use it the next day. So, I quickly found a delivery company that managed to deliver a new replacement in 24 hours.”
- “Tell about your most difficult client.”
“Once I met a very frustrated customer, complaining about an item he wanted to return. However, he didn’t have a receipt. I listened carefully and apologized. I also explained that I couldn’t give him a refund without the receipt. I offered the same amount as a store credit. Although it was a difficult situation, I turned in into a win-win for everyone.”
- “Do you remember a situation when you failed in your job?”
“Our team was creating a product for an important client. We started with a brief given by our Project Manager. I remember that it wasn’t clear enough for the specification required by the client. But I said nothing. Later, it turned out that we had missed one important specification that led to a two-week delay in the project release. Although the client gave us this time, I consider that I failed when I said nothing during the brief. But Amazon ownership leading principle resonates with me. If I make a mistake, I try to put things right and view it as an opportunity to grow. ”
- “Describe a situation when you took responsibility for a task that was beyond your responsibilities.”
“Even though we always fulfilled the sales plan, I knew that our company could do much more. I proposed to create a new direction for working with corporate clients. I started a project to restructure the sales sector and redirect it towards corporate sales. This project included changes in the current organizational structure and the creation of a new department working with existing corporate clients. We have signed 15 contracts with key clients in the market.”
- “Give us an example when you invented a simple solution to a complex problem.”
“The Sales Manager told me that the level of profitability was not as good as it should be due to the marketing expenses. I talked to the Marketing Manager, who explained that they had high costs of social media ads. I did a little research and noted that marketers weren’t using Facebook tracking pixels, designed to measure the performance of the ads. I informed the team, and they canceled ads with low performance. It helped to increase profitability.”
- “How do you identify the client’s needs?”
“As a Product Manager, I use quantitative and qualitative approaches. I analyze data to obtain information. Sometimes I use web analytics. I also ask them about their needs regarding the product. Moreover, I try to dive into their problem and understand how the product fits into their daily life.”
- “What will you achieve in 6 months if you get a job offer?”
“During the first six months, I am planning to complete the integration program for new employees. I am confident that I will reach the basic competence level for my position following the proposed development plan. Moreover, I will focus on all the internal processes and standards of the company.”
- “Give an example when you earned someone’s trust.”
“When I started a new job as a virtual assistant, and I felt that my new boss wasn’t sure about me yet. She was also recently hired as a new Director of Marketing. I needed to earn her trust and respect. First, I clarified what she expected from me and by when. Second, I tried to be consistent so that she could count on me. And it worked. Our relations became more stable and trust-based.”
- “Give us an example when you coached someone.”
“The Manager told me that one of the testers is rude in his emails and phone calls. I talked to him and explained that it was not what he said, but how he did it. He agreed and promised to be more careful in the future. In a year, he completely changed the situation and became one of the rising stars on my team.”
- “How would you handle finishing multiple tasks?”
“In this case, I create a checklist that helps me prioritize, and I start with the most urgent and important task.”
- “Tell about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation.”
“At my last job, I was unexpectedly assigned to a team lead position, and there were two employees who hated working with each other. So I organized a project planning meeting for the three of us. We discussed the best ways to approach a project together. The results were excellent as we completed the project on time.”
- “Give us an example when you motivated someone.”
“Our sales team had to fulfill a huge sales target in 3 months. Everything was fine at first, but by the middle of the second month, the results deteriorated. The problem lay in the lack of motivation. As a Manager, I decided to find a way out. First, I talked to the employees and tried to inspire them by saying that half-way was successfully passed, and the goal was very close. I wanted them to imagine themselves at the finish line and try to feel a sense of pride. But I didn’t stop there. I also managed to arrange a wage premium of 5% of personal sales made for each team member. That helped. The team’s morale went up.” Consider some more questions you should be ready to answer during the Amazon interview:
- Was there a situation when your boss was wrong. What did you do?
- Describe a time when you saw your colleague stealing. How did you react?
- How would you fire someone?
- Do you think you could have worked better in your last position?
- Give an example when your work was criticized?
- What software are you using?
- How well do you understand the technology you will be working with? (HTML/CSS, IOS, Android, Java, C++, etc.)
- Do you have additional skills? (3D, animation, illustration, etc.)
- Are you familiar with Scrum/Agile/Kanban/Waterfall/other methodologies?
- What is the most prominent IT problem you faced, and how did you solve it?
- How do you update your professional expertise?
- Name two or three trends that are relevant to the IT industry. How can they influence your profession?
- What is the hardest part of programming for you?
- What tools do you use to find bugs? (Bugzilla, HP ALM, JIRA, Mantis, Trac)
- What development environment do you prefer? (local/virtual/cloud)
Based on the phone/video interview results, the candidate can be invited to the second round (personal interview) or rejected.
Most of these behavioral questions will be related to the Leadership Principles. We’ve done the research and can conclude that these Amazon Leadership Principles interview questions and answers can help you get an idea of what to tell the recruiter.
Apart from being a retailer, Amazon is a technology-driven company. That’s why the technical interview is an essential part of the employment procedure for any technical position: from experienced data engineer, software engineer, tech support representative to those applying for programming internship.At this stage, recruiters may ask questions such as:
What Good Questions to Ask at the End of an Amazon Interview
Interviewing isn’t just about quoting well-rehearsed answers. It is a conversation. It’s your chance not only to make contact and impress the interviewer but also finally collect the information you need.
- We’ve made a list of top 10 questions to ask at an Amazon interview.
- Can you describe my typical day?
- Is there an opportunity to move up the career ladder?
- What impact does this position have on the company’s success?
- What kind of training will I have?
- How will my performance be measured?
- What qualities do I need to achieve maximum success in this position?
- What do you like about working for Amazon?
- What do you find the most challenging about this position?
- How long does the selection process last?
- When will I get your feedback?
How Not to Ruin Your Interview: Best Tips for Candidate
Along with psyching yourself up mentally and preparing answers to possible questions, five “Don’ts” should not be ignored.
1. Don’t 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. Don’t be late.
Think out your route in advance, but if you feel you might be late, inform the recruiter.
3. Don’t 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. Don’t 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. Don’t 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.
The Final Words
Interviews are always stressful, especially in big companies like Amazon, where the recruitment process consists of several stages and tricky questions. But proper preparation can help you do your best. We hope that our selection of Amazon interview questions for experienced and entry-level candidates will help you in landing your dream job.
Use our tips, interview yourself, and practice answering briefly and factually. But most importantly, don’t worry about a possible refusal to hire you. Analyze the situation and remember that you can always try again after six months.
Best of Luck!