The technology giant Amazon hires thousands of new employees every month after funneling them into the Amazon interview process. So If you’re applying to Amazon, you know what it means: the opportunity is knocking.
The Amazon interview process is a series of interviews that take place before you are hired and from start to finish, there are 6 important steps until you celebrate your new role with friends.
To be honest, it’s not an easy task to pass all the steps within the recruiting process and that’s why you must prepare ahead of time so you’re ready to ace your Amazon interview.
If you’re serious about being an Amazonian, then keep reading because in this post you’ll find an overview of the steps involved in the interviewing process at Amazon.
We’ll go through a series of topics on how to prepare for your Amazon interview, and how to approach the interview itself.
Let’s get started.
1- Applying to Your Dream Job at Amazon
As usual, the hiring process starts with an online application (very rarely recruiters may also cold-message you from LinkedIn, but the process is otherwise the same). Amazon has thousands of job openings and if you can crack the interview process, you might just land a job with one of the best companies in the world.
Actually, applying to Amazon is quite easy. You write and submit your application. They review it, and if your application is found eligible, they will contact you.
Amazon has more than 50,000 job openings and here’s everything you need to know about applying for a job at Amazon:
- You can apply for jobs and find all job opportunities here
- You can filter jobs by teams, categories, and locations
- If you find an open job that catches your interest, simply click the “Apply Now” button. The online instructions will guide you in completing your application
- You can apply to multiple job listings but you’ll only save one resume on your job profile (this is a frequently asked question, and the answer is yes, you can apply to multiple positions that you deem fit without any drawbacks.)
- You’ll monitor the status of your application from the candidate portal
As you understand, the application is the easiest step in the Amazon interview process. However, it’s also one of the most difficult steps to prepare for.
2- The Resume Screening: How to Impress Interviewers
Even though the interview process starts after you get the call from Amazon, we added the “Application” and “Resume screening” sections to the process because the technical skills that you use in these steps really matter.
Typically, the recruiters usually spend less than 10 minutes reviewing each resume during the initial screening stage. So, you need to make sure that your resume stands out among the other candidates.
Recent research shows that almost half of hiring managers say they won’t even review a resume unless it contains a cover letter.
So spending more time on your resume and cover letter can help you and increase your chances to be selected for the phone interview.
Here are some resume writing tips for you to follow:
- Use bullets to highlight your most important achievements. This makes it easier for hiring managers to skim through your resume.
- Make sure your resume looks professional. Definitely avoid typos and grammatical errors & double/triple check as necessary, and avoid writing too many sentences per paragraph.
- Keep your resume short and sweet. Most employers only spend 5 minutes reading each application, so keep it simple and concise.
- Online proofreading tools won’t catch every error, so double-check your work. Also, proofread your resume aloud to ensure it sounds natural.
- Big companies like Amazon use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which eliminates junk applications. This means there is software reading your application first and if your resume doesn’t cover specific keywords, it can not reach the HR department. For example try to use keywords like ROI, market strategy, strategic development, etc as they fit the job you’re applying to.
3- Amazon Phone Interview: 3 Important Tips
The next step is to pass the phone interview, also known as a screening call. This is where you meet with one of Amazon’s recruiters first time.
So if you’re at the phone interview stage then congratulations, your Amazon interview process officially started.
During this 45-minute or 1-hour call, the interviewer will ask you a series of questions about your experience, education, and what it’s like working at Amazon and try to learn more about your background.
Here are three tips to help you succeed during your phone interview:
- Speak clearly. Make sure you speak slowly and distinctly. Don’t stutter or slur words. Try to sound enthusiastic and confident. This will give a positive impression and help you stand out among the many applicants who apply for each position.
- Research the company thoroughly before your call and talk about your skills and achievements related to the position you applied for. If you’re applying for a position that requires technical skills, be prepared to demonstrate those skills during the phone interview. If you’re applying for a nontechnical role, practice the company culture and work environment.
- Study what Amazon did and what are the future goals of the branch you applied to. For example, if you’re applying for a position at AWS then learn everything about Amazon Web Services (and competitors as necessary).
After all, phone interviews are for learning about your background and testing your knowledge of the company and its products. Your answers should demonstrate your understanding of the company, its culture, and its services.
After you complete the phone interview, wait patiently until you hear back from the hiring manager and prepare yourself for the remaining round of interviews. Amazon typically provides feedback about the phone screening in 1 week, but sometimes it may take as long as 15 days. If you do not hear back from the recruiter, it is OK to send an email asking for a status update after 2 weeks.
4- Amazon Video Interview
When you apply for a job at Amazon, the third stage of the process is an Amazon video interview. You need to be ready for this because this is where you shine with your skills and personality.
It is important to note that Amazon hires globally so most interviews are video interviews but in rare cases where you live very close to the building your prospective team resides, you might be called for an in-person first interview. Also, in some rare cases where connectivity is not the best in your area, the hiring manager may resort to the phone call option, but they’ll let you know.
Before the virtual interview day, you typically need to download and test Amazon’s video conferencing tool called Amazon Chime (which is also used for internal video & text-based communication) so you won’t run into any unfortunate surprises during the meeting.
Each step in the hiring process timeline has its own unique challenges. On the phone screen, you’ll be asked some personal questions. However, on the video screen, you’ll be answering different questions.
The Leadership Principles
The leadership principles of Amazon are very important to understand when you’re preparing for an interview. Amazon has 16 (updated from 14 to 16 in 2021) Leadership Principles (or LPs), and they use it as a metaphorical Bible in everything day do, from their decision-making to interview questions.
You need to study them and understand the core values of Amazon while answering the questions during the interview.
Here are some of the most important Amazon leadership principles:
- Customer obsession – “We obsess over our customers.”
- Invent and Simplify – “We don’t invent just to invent; we invent to solve problems. And we do it quickly.”
- Leaders are right a lot – “They have excellent judgment and good instincts. They seek out different viewpoints and challenge their own ideas.”
- Be bold and ambitious – “Be bold and ambitious. We believe in taking big risks and being willing to fail fast.”
- Learn and Be Curious – “Leaders have never finished learning and always strive to become better leaders. “They’re curious about new opportunities and act to explore them”.
- Put people first – “Put people first. Treat others as you want to be treated.”
- Take ownership – “Ownership means accountability. It also means doing things differently than anyone else does them.”
- Build something people love – “Build something people love. That’s how you get long-term success.”
- Embrace change – “Change is inevitable. Change is constant. But change can be embraced rather than feared.”
- Think bigger – “Think bigger. Bigger thoughts, bigger actions. Bigger results.”
Learning about Amazon leadership principles will help you answer the questions during the interview and make sure that you deliver the best performance possible.
So you’ll benefit from searching about them and understanding the core values.
Behavioral Interview Questions
You might feel that Amazon interview questions are difficult but if you prepare well enough, you’ll realize that they aren’t just about technical skills but also personal qualities.
After all, Amazon wants to hire employees who fit well within its culture. That’s why Amazon uses behavioral questions to assess whether applicants would be a good cultural fit.
Here are some of these behavioral questions:
- How would you handle a difficult situation?
- What kind of feedback would you like to receive?
- Describe a time when you had to overcome a problem or obstacle.
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.
- Describe a situation where you were able to demonstrate initiative.
- Give me an example of someone who inspired you.
- Tell me about a time you overcame adversity.
- Describe an incident where you demonstrated courage.
- Explain a situation where you had to deal with conflict.
- Tell me what you learned from a failure.
- Describe how you handled a disagreement. Why did you leave your last position?
- Tell me about an instance where you showed persistence.
If you want to learn more about the Amazon Behavioral Questions asked in interviews, you can also read our Amazon behavioral questions post.
Using STAR Method
The STAR method is a structured way of answering behavioral questions. You should use this method because it helps you think through the situation and come up with answers that are concise and clear.
This method works especially well when you need to explain complex situations. For example, if you are asked about a time when you faced a challenging situation, you could start by explaining the situation and then move on to describe your tasks, actions, and results of these actions.
This is the formula Amazon wants candidates to use when answering interview questions. If you practice using this method, you’ll find yourself coming up with great answers to behavioral questions.
STAR method stands for;
Situation: Describe the situation that you were in
Task: What goal were you working toward?
Action: Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail
Result: What happened and how did you solve the problem?
If you follow the path then you’ll be fine. Also, it’s important to note that there isn’t one right answer to every behavioral interview question. It depends on the context of the situation. So you have to tailor your responses according to the situation.
For example, if you’re asked about a time when faced a challenge, you may not know exactly what to say. Instead, you can talk about the situation and then give examples of things you’ve done in similar situations.
In addition, you don’t have to go into details about everything. Just focus on the main points.
For example, if you’re being interviewed for a customer service role, you can mention that you helped customers resolve their issues. Then you can add details such as the type of issue, the number of times you helped, and so on.
5- Amazon Loop Interview
Loop Interview is the most important stage of the Amazon interview rounds. At this final stage of the process, you’ll be interviewed 4 – 8 times by different interviewers and Amazonians in back-to-back interview sessions in 1 day. Your hiring manager (who you had your previous video interviews with) will also be one of the loop interviewers.
The number of people you’ll meet will depend on the level of the role, for relatively junior levels (L4-L5), you’ll have less back-to-back sessions, but for the levels higher up in the rankings (L6 – senior manager & L7 principal & L8 Director), you may have back-to-back interviews as much as 8 people.
The interviewers other than the hiring manager will be typically from the teams that you’ll work closely with, and one of them will be a Bar Raiser (unfortunately they won’t tell you who the bar raiser is).
During the loop interviews, you’ll meet each interviewer individually. Each interviewer will ask you some behavioral questions. Afterward, they’ll discuss your performance and offer feedback.
They will try to understand your leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and long-term value for Amazon. They will also look at your communication style, work ethic, and other qualities. You’ll get the opportunity to ask them questions too.
They’ll tell you about their experience interviewing at Amazon and provide tips and advice on how to prepare for future interviews.
Loop interviews also called onsite interviews and the answers you give to the Amazon onsite interview questions will be an important factor in getting the job.
After the loop interviews, the recruiter that made the initial phone screening will arrange an internal “debrief meeting” where the loop interviewers will get together to discuss your performance during the loop.
So even if your hiring manager is rooting for you, the hiring will be a group decision. That is why it is extremely important to try and ace all the individual interviews during the loop interview session.
6- The Offer
Once you complete the interview loops, you’ll eventually reach the last step, where either you get an offer (You’re almost there) or you don’t. (You need to try harder next time)
This is the final stage of the Amazon interview process. The hiring manager decides whether he/she wants you to join the team.
If everything goes smoothly, the hiring manager will call you to give you a formal job offer within two days to a week.
During this call, you and the hiring manager will discuss your salary, your role, hours worked, benefits, relocation costs, etc.
The hiring manager will decide whether she wants to hire you based on your performance during the interview process.
If you don’t get an offer, that’s OK you may need to try again. Or you may just need to improve your skillset. Either way, you’ll continue to go through the same steps until you get an offer.
In conclusion, applying for jobs at Amazon is a process that takes time and effort. While the company does offer several opportunities for job seekers, each position has its own unique set of requirements and interview processes.
So whether you’re hoping to land a role as a software engineer or a customer service representative, it’s important to know exactly what you need to do to stand out from the crowd.
Once you complete each step, you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job at Amazon.
In addition, if you like to discover how to apply to your dream job at Amazon then our Amazon Mock Interview will help you out.
This service was created by a professional who worked at Amazon and interviewed lots of different candidates so you’ll be sure that you are well prepared for the real interview.
If you like to learn more about the Amazon interview process, check out our top-selling Amazon interview services.
We hope you find value in this post, see you in the next informative article.