Amazon Interview Questions & Answers

Amazon Interview Questions & Answers

The Amazon interview process, it’s probably the most intense interview process in the world. The interviews are long, the questions multifaceted and the interviewers sometimes can be quite intimidating. This post will focus on helping you in answering Amazon interview questions. Ranging from Amazon leadership principle questions to the initial telephone interview. As interview specialists, we have extensive amazon interview coaching experience including L4, L5, L6, L7, L8 positions.

Example Amazon Ice breaker Interview questions

  1. Why do you want to work for Amazon?
  2. Why Amazon?
  3. Tell me about yourself?
  4. Why have you applied for this role?
  5. What do you know about Amazon?
  6. What would you say are your biggest strengths?
  7. Tell us about your biggest weakness?

Amazon interview leadership questions

Customer Obsessed – This principle focuses on your dedication to providing the highest possible customer service and doing everything in your ability to support the customer in achieving their goal.

Example Amazon’s ‘Customer Obsessed’ Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about a time where you’ve gone above and beyond for a customer?
  2. What does customer service mean to you?
  3. Provide an example of where you’ve supported a customer through a challenging time, how did you successfully support them in turning things around?
  4. Provide an example where you’ve successfully supported a client in helping them to achieve their vision and goals?

How to answer Amazon ‘Customer Obsessed’ questions?

The answer to this Amazon interview question usually requires two key components, the first demonstrating your research skills in meticulously understanding the customer, this can be showcased through data analysis of performance matrices and competitor analysis. The second part is communication and engaging with customer, understanding their challenges, goals and vision. Then through this process, work with the customer to build a strategy for overcoming barriers and stimulating growth.

OwnershipAmazon is a company that is constantly looking forward, being part of this culture means that taking responsibility of your work and domain is critical, you don’t wait for others to do, you grab the bull by the horns and do it yourself.
Example Amazon’s ‘Ownership’ Interview Questions
  1. Tell us about a time where you’ve taken the initiative on a piece of work or project?
  2. Provide an example where you saw an issue which wasn’t being addressed so stepped in to resolve the issue?
  3. Provide an example of where you’ve taken on a responsibility, a task or an activity and seen it through to the end (or continuously for a longer term basis)?
  4. Tell us about a time when you stepped up when others were unwilling to?

How to answer Amazon ‘Ownership’ question?

In your answer the amazon interviewers are not only interested in what you did, but here they are more focused on why you did it. So why did you feel it was important o take the initiative or taken on the responsibility. So therefore ensure that your answers to be multi-layered with the What/How and the Why. Additionally demonstrate how you stayed on track and focused on your mission during this period, with your sense of ownership, helping you overcome any adversity.

Invent and Simplify – Amazon is dedicated to being lean and efficient and part of this means leaders should always have a mindset of continuous improvement within their role ‘Why do something in three steps when it can be done in two!’.

Example Amazon’s ‘Invent and Simplify’ Interview questions

  1. Tell us about a time where you’ve improved a process?
  2. Provide an example of where you’ve come up with an innovative solution to a problem?
  3. Provide an example where you’ve developed a simpler way of doing something?
  4. Tell me about a time where you’ve had to think of an outside of the box idea?

How to answer Amazon ‘Invent and Simplify’ question?

In this question what the Amazon or AWS interview is looking for in the answer is your thought process behind coming up with a solution, from beginning to end. Like other leadership principles like Ownership being able to explain the why is also of importance. Why you decided to approach solving the problem in the particular way that you did.

Are Right, A Lot – Amazon haven’t become the world’s largest company by fluke, they’ve done it through people being decisive and this means to trust your research, analysis, initiation and experience to be right and due to that are right more often than not.

Example Amazon ‘Are Right, A Lot’ Interview questions

  1. Tell me about a time where you believed you were right, despite your colleagues disagreeing how did you go about justifying your position?
  2. Provide us with an example where you’ve disagreed with manager more senior than you, how did you manage this situation and still make a case for yourself?
  3. Tell us about a time when you’ve been told ‘no’ how did you react and respond to this?
  4. Provide us an example where you challenged the status quo?

How to answer Amazon ‘Are Right, A Lot’ Leadership question?

The most effective way to approach answering this Amazon interview question is to focus on the Why, why you disagreed? Why you thought it was important? Why you decided to take a particular tact in putting your case forward? Also it’s important to also know what your beliefs are and your values, because that will be the anchor your answer in terms of what you thought it was important. If you have demonstrate these elements in your answers you will be in a position to give s strong answer.

Learn and be Curious – Amazon has revolutionised online retail, logistics and cloud storage with AWS (Amazon Web Services), one of the reasons they’ve been able to do this is that they actively encourage curiosity and inquisitiveness, since it’s in these crevasses is where you’ll find great ideas, identify problems and build solutions.

Example Amazon ‘Learn and be Curious’ Interview Questions

  1. What are you currently doing as part of your own professional development?
  2. Tell us about a time when you’ve had to learn something new to help deliver a project or task?
  3. How do you stay motivated?
  4. Tell us about a time your curiosity has resulted in a positive outcome for you?
How to answer Amazon’s ‘Learn and be Curious’ Interview Questions?
This Amazon interview question can come up in two different forms, the first being a competency question where you will need to provide an example, in this type of question you have to demonstrate the source of your curiosity and desire to learn and then how you’re able to apply that learning in to a work setting. The other type is the What and the How questions in this case, you have to make sure that you’re able to highlight at least 2-3 clear points in your answer.

Hire and Develop the Best – To be the best you want to have the best, and Amazon pride themselves in this, hence why virtually ever person whether junior or senior has to go through a rigorous interview process, before being hired.

Example Amazon’s ‘Hire and Develop the Best’ Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about a time where you’ve supported someone in their professional development?
  2. What are the key qualities that you’re looking for when hiring someone?
  3. Tell us about a time when you’ve built a team?
  4. Tell us about a time when you’ve had a talented team member who was under performing how did you help turn around their performance?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Hire and Develop the Best’ Interview Questions?

This Amazon leadership principle tends to come up in management level interviews usually L3 and above, in these questions what’s vital is that you demonstrate your philosophy towards developing staff, what your values are and what strategies you use to ensure you either identify the best talent and develop staff. This is a particularly important amazon principle for managers, this is why we also provide specialist management interview coaching for leaders.

Insist on the Highest Standards – Amazon has always set it’s self the highest standards in working practice whether it’s customer service to working in an Amazon warehouse. This again has played a critical part of Amazon’s successful as they never settle for mediocrity.

Example Amazon’s ‘Insist on the Highest Standards’ Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about a time where you had a colleague who was underperforming, how did you discuss the issue with them and help turnaround their performance?
  2. Provide an example of a key improvement that you have developed?
  3. Provide us an example about a time when you’ve challenged the status quo?
  4. Tell us about a time where you’ve taken the initiative to improve something because you felt something wasn’t quite right?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Insist on the Highest Standards’ Interview Questions?

The way to approach this Amazon leadership interview question really depends on its nature. If it’s regarding an underperforming team member, you have to think about at the specific steps you took to turnaround their performance, ensuring that you include the why. If it’s about an initiative or a project then it’s not only important to talk them through the project itself but importantly the motivations behind the project i.e. that it would improve customer experience etc.

Think Big – Amazon hasn’t become one of the biggest companies in the world by having small ideas. Amazon and AWS encourage staff to have grand ideas to help customers, who can forget when Amazon were considering using drones for delivering customers purchases.

Example Amazon’s ‘Think Big’ Interview Questions

  1. Tell us about a time where you came up with an innovative and unconventional approach to solve a problem?
  2. Tell us about a time where you aimed high and where able to achieve this goal?
  3. Tell us about a time where you aimed high but didn’t achieve it, what did you learn from the experience?
  4. Provide an example of where you’ve seen an opportunity which others didn’t see, how did you go about making it a reality?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Think Big’ Interview Questions?

The way to build your Big Think leadership stories is a very similar approach to other mentioned leadership principles. You talk about what you did and why you did it. Here the focus on the ‘Why’ is around your reasons for thinking on a big scale and the bigger picture. Talking about your Philosophy with be important here, as it will underpin and anchor your thinking big mindset. This is particularly important for senior management and executives to learn how to verbalise their philosophies and integrate them in to their interview responses, for this we provide specialist executive interview coaching, to help achieve a polished and refined interview performance.

Bias for Action – Actions always speak the loudest and at Amazon they don’t like talkers, they like doers’ who take the initiative and get things done. This is why they have become one of the largest and successful corporations in the world. If you are look for some interview support we also provide corporate interview coaching

Example Amazon’s ‘Bias for Action’ Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about a time where you didn’t have the full information yet had to make a decision?
  2. Provide an example where you had to make a quick yet important decision, how did you go about making the right decision?
  3. Provide an example where you made a decision which wasn’t right, how would you go about doing it differently if you had the opportunity to do it again?
  4. Tell me about a time where you’ve had to make a decision under pressure?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Bias for Action’ Interview Questions?

The best way to about answering Bias for Action leadership principle is to focus on providing your your thought process and mindset during that particular situation. Therefore like many other questions, the ‘Why’ becomes incredibly important. In additional to that it’s important to paint the scene clearly providing figures and facts to create, size scale and urgency, this will create that sense of importance to the situation (of the STAR method) which will then make the actions (What, How and Why) more engaging and intriguing . 

FrugalityLike many from an earlier generation, our parents and grandparents were able to make a few pennies go a long way. This quality is one that is fully appreciated at Amazon and AWS. Being able to achieve more with less is something which is expected from all it’s leaders.

Example Amazon’s ‘Frugality’ Interview Questions

  1. Provide an example where you’ve delivered despite limited resources or support?
  2. Tell me about a time where you’ve had to deliver using a tight budget, how did you deliver without compromising on quality?
  3. Provide an example where you’ve been able to stretch out limited resources further than everyone expected?
  4. Tell us about a time when you’ve been resourceful?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Frugality’ Interview Questions?

In previous leadership principles, the ‘Why’ has been emphasised as very important, but with Frugality, the What and particularly the How are equality if not more so important. Here your ability to think outside the box, rise to the situation and be focused on finding a way forward are vital.

Earn Trust – part of Amazon’s success is due to their ability to not only attract partners, customers and staff, but also to keep them. At the heart of that ability, is building trust and that trust is earned through delivering for customers, partners and your team.

Example Amazon’s ‘Earn Trust’ Interview Questions

  1. Providing and example of where you’ve successfully turned around an under performing account?
  2. Tell us about a time where you’ve had to earn the trust of a difficult yet important stakeholder?
  3. Tell us about a time where you successfully gained the trust of your co-workers in a new team?
  4. Provide an example where you’ve re-established a damaged relationship with a key stakeholder?
How to answer Amazon’s ‘Earn Trust’ Interview Questions?
With this particular Amazon interview question type, when running through your example the main focus is on the soft skills that you utilised such as your ability to listen, understand pain points and barriers. In addition to that demonstrating important personal values in the example such as being honest, transparent, saying as to you do and do as you say etc. From this working in partnership with the particular individual or team to deliver a great result. Amazon interview questions UK, particularly like to focus on this leadership principle as it’s still an ever growing market.

Deep Dive – Amazon are world renowned for their expertise in every market and niche they enter in. The ability to conduct in-depth research and analyse data has been critical to their success, as one vital piece of insight can be a game changer in terms of providing exceptional customer service as well as having the edge over the competition.

Example Amazon’s ‘Deep Dive’ Interview Questions

  1. Provide an example of where you decided to research a particular subject area to better understand a clients needs, how did you go about doing it and how did you apply the knowledge you had learnt?
  2. Tell us about a time where you used data and research to help make a strategic decision?
  3. Tell us about a time where you’ve utilised data and analysis to improve quality of service?
  4. Tell us about a time where you’ve utilised a range of data and analytical techniques, why dod you chose a particular approach and how did you successfully apply your learning?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Deep Dive’ Interview Questions?

This leadership principle of Amazon, requires you to show your ability to demonstrate your ability to go beyond a surface level understanding of a particular area, whether it be a client, competitor, your department, strategic objectives etc. Therefore the key in this answers is to include the big three, What you did, How you did it and Why did you you use this approach.

Have backbone; disagree and commit – Like any successfully organisation, you’re going to have a lot of strong personalities who are passionate about their work. Therefore Amazon encourages a healthy and honest dialogue, this means if you don’t believe in something you shouldn’t be afraid to disagree.

Example Amazon’s ‘Have backbone; disagree and commit’ Interview Questions?

  1. Tell us about a time where you’ve had to challenge the status quo?
  2. Tell us about a time where you’ve disagreed with a manager more senior than you, how did you challenge them?
  3. Provide an example of when you’ve had to disagree knowing that it would potentially be at the detriment of yourself?
  4. Tell us about a time where you’ve disagreed with a customer, what was the reason for disagreeing and how did it impact the relationship and what was the outcome?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Have backbone; disagree and commit’ Interview Questions?

Showing principles, morals, bigger picture thinking as well as being able to explain your emotions at that time, such as anxiety, fear, concern etc. and how you overcome them to stand your ground are going to be key in successfully answering this leadership principle. In addition to this, demonstrating how you backed up your point of view will also be important, whether through data, ethics, moral principles or strategic reason will be key.

Deliver Results – Ultimately Amazon are a results driven organisation, therefore all leaders are expected to walk the walk, rise to the challenge and deliver on their objectives.

Example Amazon’s ‘Deliver Results’ Interview Questions?

  1. Tell us about a time where you’ve had to deliver a project to a tight deadline?
  2. Provide an example where a project didn’t go according to plan, how did you successfully manage to turnaround this project?
  3. Provide an example where you’ve had to deliver on a challenging project, what were the challenges, how did you successfully overcome them to deliver?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Deliver Results’ Interview Questions?

With the deliver results answers, there are three key things you need to be able to demonstrate in your answer. The first is how you planned well, secondly how you adapted to any changing circumstances and thirdly how to navigated problems or challenges. In each as aspect what will be critical is also to example the why and the rational behind your decision making. Additionally, ensure that your results are very clear and tangible, and can be supported by facts and figures.

Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer – With big demands of Amazon comes big responsibility from Amazon as an employer. Therefore Amazon recognises that the work place needs to be a place of fun, enjoyment filled, inclusive and a positive atmosphere. Additionally ensuring that support is provided for staff to develop their skills and fulfil their professional ambitions.

Example Amazon’s ‘Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer’ Interview Questions?

  1. Provide an example of where you’ve successfully help develop a positive team culture, how did you go about doing it?
  2. Tell me about a time where you’ve supported a team member in their professional and personal development?
  3. Provide an example of where you’ve lead a diverse team, how did you manage to get the best out of all of them?
  4. How do you ensure that equality and encourage diversity within the work place, provide an example to support?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer’ Interview Questions?

To be the best employer leadership principle require you to think about a number of key areas when answering a question. 1) Is around your philosophy towards running a team and managing people. 2) The techniques you use to get the best out of your team 3) How you’re able to build a strong relationship with your team and your colleagues.

Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility – Amazon recognise that they have fast become the worlds largest company, with that comes a large footprint whether it’s the way they impact the local economy, businesses, consumer habits and the environment. An Amazon leaders takes this in to account when making decisions.

Example Amazon’s ‘Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility’ Interview Questions?

  1. Tell me about a time when you’ve taken in to account the wider impact of your actions (environmental, ethical etc.)?
  2. Provide us an example where you’ve decided to change your decision based on the wider impact ( environmental, community ethical etc.)?
  3. Provide us an example of where you put corporate social responsibility at the heart of your decision making, why did you make the decision, and what impact did it have?

How to answer Amazon’s ‘Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility’ Interview Questions?

The key to these questions to is to ensure that you have a good understanding of the ethical, community, social and environmental impact of the example that you’re providing. Being able to demonstrate the nuances require to adapt a business decision to ensure that it doesn’t leave a negative social footprint is critical. Here you can go two ways, either you decided to go down a more ethical route or you put governance in place to ensure that actions are ethically compliant. Also it’s important to demonstrate the long term benefits of those actions.

Bonus Amazon Interview Tips

Are interviews at Amazon hard?

To the untrained eye, Yes! Amazon have a very particular way of interviewing, almost all of it is behavioural and competency based. In addition to that, there are some tough criteria that you have to meet, firstly you cannot use the same example in the loop interview, that means you have to remember more than the average amount of questions. Lastly the Loop interview is long with up to 5 people interviewing you, not forgetting the ‘bar raiser’ whose function is to give you a hard time at the interview.

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