Women, find out exactly what to expect and how to prepare for a job interview with Amazon

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Women, want to know whats it like to interview at Amazon?

Women, want to know what's it like to interview at Amazon?

 November 12, 2019

Discover Amazon's peculiar ways of interviewing potential candidates.

Find out exactly what to expect and, importantly, how to prepare.

Amazon aims to make interviewing as frustration-free as their brilliant shopping experience that we all know and love!

Because of this, Amazon has several guides available on amazon.jobs to help candidates understand the application process, prepare for phone and in-person interviews, and learn about Amazon’s culture.

Here are some key aspects to understand befire you go for a job interview at Amazon.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Amazon wants to make sure job candidates feel prepared so this is why they’ve compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions when applying for roles at Amazon. These topics include things like: how to submit a CV or check the status of a submitted application, whether or not they accept cover letters, and more.

Amazon's work culture

Amazon’s culture is deeply rooted in their Leadership Principles. The best way a candidate can prepare for an interview is to consider how they’ve applied the Leadership Principles during their previous professional experience. Overall, Amazon encourages candidates to learn about their culture, their business teams, and how they strive to be Earth’s most customer-centric company.

Having a phone interview with Amazon

Before Amazon invites candidates to interview in-person, they typically ask them to connect with a recruiter or hiring team member. These interviews often use behavioral-based questions, which ask about past situations or challenges a candidate has faced and how they’ve handled them, using Leadership Principles to guide the discussion. Amazon avoids brain teasers (e.g., “How many windows are in Manhattan?”), because their research has shown that they are unreliable when it comes to predicting a candidate’s success at Amazon.

Getting to the in-person interview stage

For Amazon's in-person interviews, they recommend candidates format responses using the STAR method (situation, task, action, result) to answer behavioral-based interview questions, incorporating examples for the Amazon Leadership Principles. Additionally, Amazon provides tips for good answers, common technical topics, how soon after an interview a candidate will hear back from them, and more.

Technical interviews

Invention is in Amazon's DNA and technology is the fundamental tool they wield to evolve and improve every aspect of the experience that they provide to their customers. This is why Amazon has created a guide to help candidates understand the most common technical topics they may be asked when interviewing at Amazon.

Learning from failures

Some of Amazon’s most successful programmes have risen from the ashes of failed projects, which is why they encourage all candidates to have specific examples of times when they have taken risks, failed or made mistakes, and grown or succeeded as a result. Failure is a necessary part of innovation. It’s not optional. Amazon understands that and believes in failing early and iterating until they get it right.

There'll be a 'Bar Raiser' in your interview

Depending on the role, candidates will meet with anywhere from two to seven Amazonians. This will likely be a mix of managers, team members, key stakeholders from related teams, and a “Bar Raiser” (an objective third party, usually from another team). All interviewers assess potential for growth beyond the position a candidate is interviewing for. They’ll focus on evaluating how well a candidate’s background and skills meet core competencies for the role, along with how they relate to Amazon’s Leadership Principles.

Understand Amazon's writing culture

For some roles, Amazon may ask a candidate to complete a writing sample. Why? At Amazon, they don’t do PowerPoint or any other slide oriented presentations. Instead they write narratively-structured memos and silently read one at the beginning of each meeting in a kind of “study hall.” These papers generally range from one to six pages and articulate the project goal(s), approach to addressing it, outcome, and next steps. Given this unique aspect of Amazon's culture, and the impact these papers have on what decisions they make as a company, being able to articulate your thoughts in written format is a necessary skill at Amazon.

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