One of the most frequently asked questions about Amazon to our consultants at Interviewjoy is “what are the most important interview questions I need to know for Amazon job interviews?”. Needless to say, the tech and e-commerce behemoth is attracting a lot of talent across the globe and many candidates are looking to find out how they should efficiently prepare for their much-anticipated interviews with Amazon.
A quick search on Google will give you a lot of results like “top 50 Amazon interview questions”, “top 20 amazon interview questions” which, in our opinion, miss the point. Instead of listing all the questions you might be asked, we followed a research-based approach and surveyed our consultants and previous customers of interviewjoy.com who bought amazon interview guides from our website and got job offers (based on 752 responses to the survey).
Here is a breakdown of what we found to be the most frequently asked interview questions (so the most important ones you should know) for your amazon job interviews:
The Most important Amazon interview Question You Should Know: Tell me about a time…
(92.8% of respondents confirmed they got this question during their interviews.)
Amazon is famous for its 16 Leadership Principles questions that they use to ask interview questions to the candidates. Most of those questions will be behavioral questions, and, depending on your background, you are expected to answer them in STAR format based on your specific relevant experience to the role you’re interviewing for.
We will not go into the details of answering in the STAR format here, but here is a simple and quick breakdown to get an idea:
- S: Situation (The sales of our product showed a 20% mom -month over month- decrease)
- T: Task (My task was to analyze the external/internal factors causing the decline)
- A: Action (I did X, Y and Z to get to the bottom of this and found out the reason, arranged resources/teams to fix this, came up with a plan that will alleviate the issue and reported my findings to the management to get their buy-in)
- R: Result (With my actions, sales figures entered a recovery path and sales increased 15% mom)
Tell me about a time… questions are the most common behavioral questions so it is no surprise that they get the number 1 spot. These questions range from “tell me about a time you realized the project will not be completed on time and walk us through your actions after that” to “tell me about a time you helped a colleague to overcome an obstacle”. While these types of questions seem a bit complex to answer perfectly, here are a few pointers that will help you to get into the right direction:
1. It is always about your previous experience and what you can bring to the company: Remember that the recruiter is asking these questions to get more information about you and your potential contribution to the team/company. So even if the question is “tell me about a time you helped a colleague”, make sure that your answer shows your skills and competencies related to the job you’re interviewing for. So instead of answering along the lines of “one of my colleagues had a hard time showing up to the company o time and I helped him”, make it more relevant to the role you’re applying, e.g. “after seeing one of my co-workers have hard time meeting sales figures in his product category, I coached him and shoed the processes and tools I use to increase my efficiency. One of the most useful tips I gave him was…”.
2. Be ready for the follow-up questions: Especially during the slow-down after the global pandemic, recruiters are even more selective with their hiring spots. This means they’ll be digging deeper than they normally would and you should be ready for follow-up questions about your answers. When you are preparing your answers to practice questions. Imagine you are the recruiter and think about what follow-up questions you might get and prepare your answers for the as well.
3. Don’t forget your metrics: Amazon, especially, is a “numbers” company. As a company, every decision they make is based on research based on metrics (and it is the reason why they are so successful), and a candidate that fails to provide sufficient data during their answers will have a hard time to convince the recruiter that he/she is the one that deserves the spot. So when you are preparing your answer, think about metrics you can use and refrain from using adjectives as much as you can (e.g. instead of saying “my actions resulted in a significant increase in sales”, use “my actions resulted in 10% increase in monthly sales“).
The Second Most important Amazon interview Question You Should Know: Why Amazon?
(45.9% of respondents confirmed they got this question during their interviews.)
“Why Amazon” interview question is one of those questions that baffle the candidates most. Based on the feedback from hiring managers that we work with, the answers would range from over-enthusiastic ones like “because Amazon is my dream company” to over-confident answers like “because Amazon needs me”.
In fact, with the “Why Amazon” question, like with all of the questions, the recruiter is not trying to primarily gauge your enthusiasm but he/she is actually trying to understand if you will be a valuable contribution to the company. Remember, Amazon is a dream company for many people to work for, and telling this to the recruiter is just repeating what he/she heard from other candidates.
Instead of starting with something that means “I really like Amazon”, we suggest you to start with “I want to work at Amazon because I think we are a great match. Let me tell you why.”
A great way to start your answer to the “Why Amazon” question: “I want to work at Amazon because I think we are a great match. Let me tell you why.”
Then, in order to answer the “Why Amazon” question appropriately, we suggest taking the following approach:
– Use this question as an opportunity to show that your previous work experience is highly transferable to Amazon, so your learning curve will be smooth.
– Show that you’re very knowledgeable about the product/service you’re interviewing for so moving to Amazon is the natural progression.
– Let the recruiter know that you are aware of the peculiar Amazon culture and you think that you’ll be a good fit (quoting some Leadership Principles would also help).
The Third Most Important Amazon interview Question You Should Know: Do you have any questions for me?
(35.6% of respondents confirmed they got this question during their interviews.)
kind reminder: please do not ask about your salary at this stage – the recruiter won’t be able to tell you that 🙂
Often overlooked as a redundant closing question, the powers of cleverly answering the “Do you have anything to ask for me?” question is (well, almost) limitless. Many candidates miss their opportunity by replying with “no questions from me, thank you for your time” to this question, and here is why:
This is a perfect opportunity;
– to recover from your not-so-great previous answers,
– to show your genuine interest in the role/company,
– to show that you’re thinking outside the box (Amazon loves these candidates).
Here are a few examples to use this question to your benefit:
Did my answers mostly satisfied your expectations or do you want me to clarify or go deeper with anything?This, in our opinion, is the most versatile answer to the “Do you have any questions for me?” question.
“Did my answers mostly satisfied your expectations or do you want me to clarify or go deeper with anything?”
“What are you most frustrated with in your daily routine?”
“How does a good day feels like here?”
“What is the one thing that you wish your manager would improve upon?”
There you go! So these 3 questions are statistically the 3 most important questions you should know for Amazon interviews. Hope it was useful! Make sure to check out Amazon interview support services on Interviewjoy website, where our consultants helped thousands of people to get offers from Amazon.
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Good luck with your interviews!