If you’re looking to land a job at Amazon, it’s important to understand the company’s interview process. One important part of that process is Amazon behavioral interview questions, which are designed to understand how you might react in future situations.
After all, these questions will help determine whether or not you are a good fit for the e-commerce/tech/services behemoth.
Before we dive into the top behavioral interview questions, we want to explain why they’re important.
At Amazon, all employees should be able to perform well under stress, so they use behavioral interviews to assess their candidates’ ability to deal with stress.
This means, if you’re not able to handle pressure during the interview, they assume that you won’t be successful at Amazon, and if you can successfully answer these questions, you’ll be able to handle any situation that comes your way.
As you know, the interview process will be tough but if you prepare well enough, you’ll have an easier time answering these questions.
You’ll find more detail in our Amazon interview preparation guide. But before you start preparing for your Amazon interview, first you need to see the commonly asked questions and possible answers.
That said, here are the top 33 behavioral interview questions asked by the world’s largest online retailer and some sample answers we think you’ll benefit from while practicing your interview.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
Top Amazon Behavioral Questions and Answers:
Amazon follows a specific pattern when conducting interviews and they utilize their unique leadership principles throughout the interview process.
So, it means that you must study Amazon leadership principles and practice them when answering the behavioral interview questions.
We’ll go through each behavioral question with leadership skills one by one. Keep in mind that we used the STAR method to generate these answers so you can easily apply them to your own interview.
Customer Obsession – Related Questions
Amazon is a customer-centric company so it’s understandable that they want to see your ability to empathize with customers.
They ask this type of question in order to assess your emotional intelligence.
The goal here is to understand how you would react to a customer who was upset about something.
Question 1: Tell us about a time when you were faced with an urgent customer issue. How did you react? What was your response?
Answer: I understand that customers are the lifeblood of any business and I always strive to go above and beyond to make sure they’re happy.
In this particular instance, a customer contacted us because they hadn’t received their order even though it had been marked as delivered.
I reached out to the customer service team, gathered all the information I could, and escalated the issue. Ultimately, we were able to refund the customer and ensure that they received their order.
Question 2: Describe a time when you had to work on something important but didn’t have enough information. How did you overcome this challenge?
Answer: It’s always difficult when you don’t have all the information you need to complete a task, but I’ve learned that it’s important to be resourceful and ask questions.
When I worked at my previous company, I had to work on a project that involved collecting data from another team. This team was backlogged and it was taking them longer than expected to get me the information I needed.
Rather than wait around, I reached out to other team members who might have had the information I needed. Through this process, I was able to collect the data I needed and complete the project on time.
Question 3: Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. How did you manage this situation?
Answer: I understand that not every customer is going to be easy to please, but I also know that it’s important to remain professional and try to find a resolution.
One time, I had a customer who was repeatedly calling and asking for refunds for items they had purchased. Each time they called, they became more and more agitated.
I did my best to calm them down and explain our refund policy. We ultimately resolved the issue by offering the client a refund for some items and providing other items that they might prefer instead. The customer was satisfied.
Ownership – Related Questions
Leaders must take ownership of their teams’ success or failure. They should never blame others for problems that arise within their organization.
So, Ownership is a key component of Amazon’s leadership principles. You can’t lead if you don’t own what you’re leading. You can expect these types of questions during an interview.
Question 4: Describe a time when you took responsibility for a problem that occurred within your team. How did you handle this situation?
Answer: In my last role, I was responsible for managing a team of engineers. One day, one of the engineers left the office without telling anyone.
It wasn’t until several hours later that I realized he’d gone missing. I immediately went looking for him. After finding him, I asked him why he’d done such a thing. He told me that he felt like his job wasn’t valued by his teammates.
It was clear that he was having trouble working with his colleagues. So, I offered him a new position elsewhere in the company. He accepted the offer and has since become a valued member of our team.
Question 5: What are three things you would do differently if you were given the opportunity to start over again?
Answer: If I had the chance to start over again, I would first focus on building a strong foundation. This would include things like developing clear policies and procedures, setting up efficient communication channels, and establishing trust within the team.
Second, I would focus on developing my people. This would involve things like providing training and development opportunities, offering mentorship and coaching, and creating a positive and supportive work environment.
Finally, I would focus on results. This would mean setting clear goals and objectives, measuring progress, and holding people accountable for their performance.
Invent and Simplify – Related Questions
Inventing and simplifying are two key components of Amazon’s leadership principles as well. Leaders need to constantly look for ways to improve processes and streamline operations.
If you want to succeed at Amazon, you’ll have to think outside the box and simplify complex tasks.
Question 6: Tell us about a time when you had a great idea that saved your team from wasting valuable resources. How did you implement it?
Answer: When I worked in my previous role, we used to send out hundreds of thousands of emails every week. It was taking too long and was causing unnecessary stress among employees.
We decided to create a tool that could automate email sending. Our goal was to make it so easy that even non-technical employees could use it.
We created a simple interface where users could enter the recipients, subject line, body text, and attachments. The system then automatically sent the message.
The result was a huge reduction in workload and stress. Employees now spend more time focusing on their jobs instead of worrying about how they will get them done.
Question 7: Tell us about a time when you had to simplify a complex process. How did you go about it?
Answer: In my last role, I was managing a team of customer representatives. We had a lot of processes and procedures in place, but they were becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage.
I decided to simplify the process by streamlining the number of steps and consolidating the information into one central location.
I also created a training program for new employees so that they could learn the process more easily. After implementing these changes, our team was able to work more efficiently and effectively.
Are Right, A Lot – Related Questions
Leaders tend to be right a lot. They have strong opinions and solid judgments. They’re curious about different viewpoints and look for ways to challenge their own assumptions.
Amazon is a company with a culture of continuous improvement. As such, leaders must be willing to challenge themselves and others to find better ways of doing business.
Question 8: Describe an experience where you made a mistake or failed to meet expectations. How did you handle it?
Answer: I once made the mistake of assuming that a new employee knew how to use our company’s software. I didn’t give him the proper training and he ended up doing things wrong.
I handled the situation by first apologizing to him for not giving him the right training. I then took the time to walk him through the software and showed him how to use it correctly. I made sure to keep a close eye on his progress to ensure that he was using it correctly.
I also made sure to document the process so that future employees would receive the same training.
Question 9: What do you think are some of the most important qualities required to lead people successfully?
Answer: Leaders need to be good listeners. They should pay attention to what other people say and take note of their concerns.
They should also be able to empathize with others and understand why they behave the way they do. After all, a leader needs to be able to motivate others and inspire them to achieve great results.
This allows them to understand why someone might act in a certain way. It also helps them identify potential problems before they become issues.
Learn and Be Curious – Related Questions
Leaders who want to succeed at Amazon need to develop a curiosity about the world around them. This includes learning about the products they sell and the customers they serve.
It also involves asking questions and seeking out opportunities to improve ourselves.
Curiosity can be an important part of leadership development. It includes learning new things and having new interests.
Question 10: Tell me about a time when you faced adversity and overcame it.
Answer: When I worked as a manager, I hired a new employee who wasn’t performing well. He was late every day and missed several days of work without notice.
His performance was poor and I was concerned about his ability to get along with coworkers. I spoke to him about this problem and asked if there was anything we could do to help him perform better.
He told me that he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). He said that he couldn’t focus on one task for a very long and needed frequent breaks.
I decided to try something new. Instead of telling him how to fix the problem, I gave him a list of tasks that he needed to complete each day.
I also explained that he needed to come into my office daily to discuss any problems he encountered.
The result was amazing. The employee started showing up on time and completed all of the assigned tasks.
In addition, he became more productive and began working harder than ever before.
Question 11: Describe a situation where you’ve improved the workplace by acquiring a new skill.
Answer: I was once working in a customer service position. I constantly heard complaints from customers about the long wait times.
I decided to take a course on time management. I learned how to better organize my work so that I could complete tasks more quickly.
I also learned how to delegate tasks to other members of my team.
As a result of these new skills, I was able to reduce the wait times for customers. This made them much happier and led to fewer complaints.
Hire and Develop the Best – Related Questions
Amazon leaders need to hire employees who are capable of doing the job. In addition, they must make sure that those employees are given the training they need to excel at their jobs.
Today, Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world. It has over 100 million active buyers and sellers.
To keep growing, Amazon needs to attract top talents right? To do this, not only hire the best candidates but also help them develop new skills.
Question 12: Tell me about a time you hired someone smarter than yourself. What did you learn from your experience?
Answer: I once hired a lady who was much smarter than me. She had a better understanding of the industry and was able to come up with new ideas that impressed me a lot.
She taught me some valuable lessons. While I was working with such a talent I was able to think outside the box.
She helped me see things differently and encouraged me to look for solutions that others may have overlooked.
I learned that it’s important to surround myself with people who are smarter than me. This allows me to learn from them and grow as a leader and helped the company.
Question 13: Describe an effective way to motivate your employees.
Answer: There are many ways to motivate employees. Some common methods include offering incentives, providing positive feedback, and offering opportunities for advancement.
Incentives can be a great way to motivate employees. They give people something to work towards and can provide a sense of satisfaction when they are achieved.
Positive feedback is also important. It lets employees know that their efforts are being noticed and appreciated.
Finally, offering opportunities for advancement can be a powerful motivator. It shows employees that there is potential for growth within the company and can give them something to strive for.
Insist on the Highest Standards – Related Questions
Amazon is known for its high standards. The company expects its employees to behave professionally and treat each other with respect.
Leaders are continually raising the bar and holding themselves accountable. They want their teams to meet or exceed expectations.
The higher the standards, the greater the motivation needed to achieve them. Leaders should set high goals and hold themselves accountable for meeting them.
Question 14: How would you describe your leadership style?
Answer: My leadership style is very hands-on. I like to get involved in every aspect of my team’s day-to-day activities, without micro-managing them.
This helps me understand what they are going through and how they feel about certain situations.
It also gives me an opportunity to show appreciation for their hard work.
I am always looking for ways to improve our processes and procedures. This includes making sure that we are using the most efficient systems possible.
Question 15: Tell me about a time when you helped the company with raising the bar.
Answer: In my previous role, we raised the bar by requiring all of our managers to complete a course on leading effectively.
We wanted to make sure that everyone knew how to lead and manage effectively.
Our goal was to ensure that our leaders were equipped with the knowledge necessary to guide their teams and drive performance improvement.
It helped the company and the staff become more productive which led to successful outcomes.
Think Big – Related Questions
When thinking big, it means taking risks and doing things that are out of the ordinary. If you don’t take risks, then you will never accomplish anything significant.
As a leader, you need to encourage risk-taking among your team members. You must think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Question 16: What are some examples of risks you have taken as a leader?
Answer: One example of a risk I took was hiring someone who had no experience in my industry.
I knew that this person could learn quickly because she had an interest in learning new skills.
After giving her sales training, and following her up in every step, she did eventually prove herself and became one of our best salespeople.
Question 17: Tell me about your most significant accomplishment and why it matters to you.
Answer: One of my most significant accomplishments was when I was able to increase sales by 20% in one year.
I did this by thinking outside the box and finding new ways to reach our target market.
I also motivated my team and provided them with the resources they needed to be successful.
This accomplishment mattered to me because it showed that I could make a positive impact on the company.
Bias for Action – Related Questions
A bias for action is all about taking decisive action. Leaders who have a bias for action are not afraid to make decisions. They trust their instincts and move forward even when they don’t have all the information.
At Amazon, leaders are not afraid to “fail fast.” They would rather try something and fail than wait around and not try at all.
They know that if they do fail, they can recover from it much faster than if they didn’t try at all.
Question 18: How does your bias for action affect your decision-making process?
Answer: My bias for action affects my decision-making process in a few ways. First, I am not afraid to make decisions.
I trust my instincts and move forward even when I don’t have all the information. Second, I am always looking for ways to improve our processes and procedures.
This includes making sure that we are using the most efficient systems possible.
Lastly, I am always looking for ways to serve our customers better.
Question 19: Give an example of when you’ve taken a calculated risk
Answer: When I worked as a manager, I started a risky ad campaign. The idea behind the campaign was to get people excited about a product that wasn’t yet available.
We wanted to see how many people would buy the product before it came out.
The results were surprising. We sold over $100,000 worth of products before the product actually shipped.
Frugality – Related Questions
Frugality is all about accomplishing more with less.. It’s about doing things efficiently and effectively without wasting time and money.
Leaders who are frugal are not wasteful. They use what they have wisely.
When they find a way to save money, they use the resources to improve other areas of the business.
Question 20: Tell us a time when you made a decision based solely on cost.
Answer: In my previous role, my company was spending too much money on advertising.
I decided to cut back 15% on the amount of money spent on ads and used the money on improving customer service.
The results were impressive, our sales increased % by 52 in the following month and this change also helped us to save on costs.
Question 21: What are some of the ways you’ve saved money in your previous roles?
Answer: In my previous roles, I have usually saved money by negotiating better deals with suppliers.
In one instance, I negotiated a deal where we got a 10% discount on a part that normally retailed for $222,000 (tip for Vendor Manager candidates: negotiation skills are really valued at Amazon!).
I have also saved money by streamlining processes and making sure that we are using the most efficient systems possible.
Lastly, I have used technology to automate tasks that would otherwise be done manually.
Earn Trust – Related Questions
Trust is the foundation of any good relationship. Leaders who earn trust are reliable and honest. They keep their promises and follow through on their commitments.
People trust leaders who are transparent and authentic. They build trust by being open and honest about their intentions.
Question 22: Tell us about a time when you had to gain someone’s trust in your team.
Answer: In my previous role, I was working with a team that was new to the company.
They didn’t know me and they weren’t sure if they could trust me. I worked hard to earn their trust by being transparent and honest with them.
To help them feel comfortable, I told them that I would do whatever it took to help them succeed.
Over time, they realized that I meant what I said and that I would support them no matter what.
Eventually, they started to trust me and we were able to work together effectively.
Question 23: How do you gain a customer’s confidence?
Answer: There are a few ways to gain a customer’s confidence. First, it is important to be transparent and honest with them.
To gain a customer’s confidence, I make myself accessible to them. If there is an issue or question, I am always willing to answer questions, address concerns and provide assistance.
This shows customers that I care about them and that I will go above and beyond to ensure their satisfaction.
Dive Deep – Related Questions
Leaders are always looking for ways to improve their performance. They’re constantly monitoring their own progress and that of others. They take pride in their ability to get things done.
And they don’t hesitate to challenge others if they feel there’s room for improvement.
Dive-deep questions are designed to get you thinking about a particular topic. They require you to go beyond the superficial and really think about what you know.
Question 24: What are some of the ways you’ve pushed yourself to improve?
Answer: In my previous roles, I have pushed myself to improve by setting goals and challenging myself to achieve them. I have set high standards for myself and strive to meet or exceed them.
I have also sought out feedback from my team members and superiors in order to identify areas where I can improve. I always look for feedback so that I can learn from my mistakes and continue to grow.
Lastly, I am constantly challenging myself to do better. I push myself out of my comfort zone.
Question 25: Describe a situation where you felt uncomfortable asking for help.
Answer: When I first joined my previous company, I was given a project that required a lot of research.
The task seemed overwhelming at first, but I knew that I needed to ask for help if I wanted to complete the project successfully.
I went to my supervisor and asked her for guidance. She helped me understand how to approach the problem and gave me tips on how to solve it.
She even offered to review my work and give me feedback. This made me feel more confident because she was giving me permission to seek help.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit – Related Questions
When someone disagrees with your opinion, it is important to listen carefully before making any assumptions.
If you want to influence people, you need to show respect for their opinions. You should never assume that just because someone disagrees with you, he or she doesn’t have good reasons for doing so.
Instead, try to find common ground. Try to understand why someone has a different point of view than yours.
Once you understand his or her perspective, you’ll be able to come up with solutions that both parties can agree upon.
Question 26: Tell us about a time when you disagreed with a colleague.
Answer: One day, I had a disagreement with one of my colleagues over a project we were working on.
We didn’t see eye-to-eye on the best way to proceed with our work. We argued back and forth until we finally agreed to disagree.
This taught me an important lesson: It’s okay to disagree with someone.
It’s not necessary to argue with each other all the time. Sometimes, it’s better to simply agree to disagree.
Question 27: How did you handle a conflict with a co-worker?
Answer: In my previous work environment, I worked closely with several coworkers who often disagreed with me.
However, I learned that it’s important to keep disagreements between colleagues civil. If you let conflicts escalate into arguments, then you will lose credibility as a leader.
So, I usually remain calm and respectful during disagreements and don’t take things personally.
It makes me more comfortable to stay objective and avoid getting emotionally involved.
Deliver Results – Related Questions
One of the most important aspects of being a manager is delivering results.
You must make sure that you are meeting deadlines and completing projects on time.
If you fail to deliver results, then you won’t be promoted. So, it’s essential that you focus on this aspect of management.
Question 28: What is the biggest challenge you face in managing employees?
Answer: The biggest challenge I face in managing employees is making sure that they are meeting deadlines and completing projects on time.
I have to constantly follow up with them and make sure that they are staying on track. If they fall behind, then I need to step in and help them catch up.
It helps the whole team achieve their goals and also helps me improve my management skills.
Question 29: Describe a situation where you needed to manage multiple priorities at once.
Answer: In my current role, I am responsible for overseeing the development of two separate products.
Each product requires its own set of features. However, these products share many similarities.
For example, both products require similar functionality but also have some unique features.
To ensure that I’m focusing on the right tasks, I divide my time among the two products.
I spend half of my time developing one product while the other half of my time is spent developing the second product.
Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer – Related Questions
Leaders strive to improve their workplaces by creating a safe, productive, high-performance, diverse, and just workplace.
As a leader or manager at Amazon, your goal should be to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.
Your company’s culture is defined by how you treat your employees. After all, when people feel appreciated, they become loyal and dedicated employees.
Question 30: How do you motivate your team members?
Answer: As a leader, I use three main strategies to motivate my team members.
First, I encourage my team members to think about what they want out of life.
This allows them to see themselves as valuable contributors to society.
Second, I provide opportunities for them to learn new skills.
Third, I give them recognition for their hard work.
Question 31: Describe how you effectively communicate with your team members.
Answer: I find that effective communication is very important. When communicating with my team members, I always try to be clear and concise.
I like to break down complex ideas into smaller concepts so that they can understand them better.
I also ask questions to clarify any points that may not be understood. This helps us move forward together.
Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility – Related Questions
At Amazon leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than how they found them.
Because of this, managers often give broad responsibility over large areas of our business.
Amazon’s journey started in a garage but today it’s building a global infrastructure spanning hundreds of thousands of servers, data centers, warehouses, and delivery vehicles.
They’ve grown from a small startup to a major player in e-commerce by following these leadership principles.
Question 32: Tell us about a time when you had to make a difficult decision. What was going through your mind during this process?
Answer: One of the most challenging decisions I faced was deciding whether or not to accept a promotion.
The job required me to relocate to another city. While it would be great to live closer to family, I knew that the opportunity could help me grow professionally.
In addition, I was concerned about leaving my current team behind.
However, after much thought, I decided to take the promotion because I believed that it would allow me to contribute even more to the success of the organization.
Question 33: Describe a situation when you overcame an obstacle to improving the overall performance of the company.
Answer: One of the biggest obstacles I overcame was when we had to rapidly scale our operations.
We had to do this in order to meet customer demands. In order to overcome this obstacle, I put together a team of engineers and we worked around the clock to get the job done.
Additionally, we implemented new processes and procedures to make sure that we could handle the increased workload.
Thanks to our hard work, we were able to successfully scale our operations and improve the overall performance of the company.
Alright, in this post we covered the top Amazon behavioral questions and answers to guide you for your next interview. We hope that you found this post helpful.
If you want to ace your next interview, you need to study Amazon interview questions. Also, getting professional help will make a huge difference.
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