How to answer Amazon behavioral interview questions correctly
One of the key ways that Amazon interviews differ from other FAANGs (like Google), is how they approach behavioral questions.
Namely, they are modeled after the 14Leadership Principles pioneered by Jeff Bezos, that Amazon holds dear. These principles, and the questions associated with them, are designed to dive deep into your professional background and how you handle workplace situations. Amazon views this as an area that's just as important as how you deal with technical questions so make sure you're ready with some good answers.
👉 Practice Amazon behavioral interview questions here.
Interview Process Structure
There are 5 total parts in the Amazon interview loop (more on that here) and behavioral interview questions are part of every single one.
No matter what you do to prep- spend the lion share of your effort preparing for this section.
During the behavioral interview, you will often be asked questions that start with "Tell me about a time when..." or "When was the last time that...". Amazon has designed the process to focus on you giving real examples of a time that you've experienced something at work.
To ace this section, you need to work on your stories. Be sure to have specific examples of:
- Difficult situations you've faced, such as conflicts at work
- Crossfunctional work and customer empathy/customer obsession
- Times when you went above and beyond to deliver results
- Unconventional or creative solutions
Do theLeadership Principlesmatter?
Yes, more than you think. Depending on your role and level of seniority, you will be asked different Leadership Principles - they're all behavioral questions but knowing the principles and being able to use the correct example for each one will make or break your interview.
Take a moment to review all 14 of them:
- Customer Obsession
- Invent & Simplify
- Are Right, A lot
- Learn and Be Cautious
- Hire and Develop the Best
- Insist on the Highest Standards
- Think Big
- Bias for Action
- Earn Trust
- Dive Deep
- Have Backbone; Disagree & Commit
- Deliver Results
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Have you heard about "the bar raiser"?
They will ask you behavioral questions too - but dive much deeper into your answers.
A bar raiser is an Amazon employee trained to be an interview expert. They serve as an objective mediator for hiring decisions outside their department to ensure a fair decision-making process. Their job is to determine whether or not you would “raise the bar” on performance or simply perpetuate the status quo -- a concept borrowed from Microsoft’s hiring methods.
You may not know who the bar raiser is, however, one important clue is they will emphasize behavioral questions regarding Amazon’s leadership principles. They are also typically the last person you interview with onsite.
The bar raiser will pay special attention to the following:
- What questions is the candidate asking?
- Do they see the bigger picture of their role or the product they’ll be working on?
- Do they care about how their role impacts the company?
- Do they show empathy for the user?
Secrets to Answering Right
Many recruiters will recommend you use the STAR method to tackle the Amazon leadership principles based questions. This is what Amazon hiring managers (and even Jeff Bezos!) expect and one of the top interview tips given for the onsite interview. This method is just a framework to help you stay organized, but I view it as overly- complex:
Describe the situation/task you faced and the context of the story. This should answer the Where/When/Why. (Where did this occur; When did it happen; Why is it important).
Describe the actions that you took. Answering the What/How/Who. (What did you personally do; How did you do it; Who else was involved).
Describe the results you achieved. Answering how you measure this success. It is important to note that specific results ($, #, %, time) are better received answers.
I do not recommend you use the STAR method.
I recommend a different framework called CAR:
Context is about describing a situation and setting the scene for a relevant example from your past. The key here is to choose your example well – one that clearly demonstrates the quality or skill the employer is asking about.
Action is about explaining what action you took. Be really specific rather than making vague statements and outline your steps and rationale.
Result is about detailing the outcome of your action. Offer specific facts relating to the result. For instance, quote figures and statistics, or feedback from your manager, that back up your assertion.
Interview Question Examples
Click here to learn about the Amazon Interview Prep Course (it includes sample answers to all 14 LPs)
First, start by reading your job description carefully. You can usually predict which of Amazon's leadership principles will be most applicable to your role. And, of course, get ready to answer the baseline question "Why amazon?"
Past that, here are some Amazon interview questions you can start prepping for:
- Tell me about a time when you were faced with a problem that had a number of possible solutions.
- When did you take a risk, make a mistake, or fail? How did you respond, and how did you grow from that experience?
- Describe a time you took the lead on a project.
- What did you do when you needed to motivate a group of individuals or promote collaboration on a particular project?
- How have you leveraged data to develop a strategy?
- Tell me a challenge you had where the best way forward was not clear-cut. How did you decide what to do?
- Amazon is a peculiar company. What is peculiar about you?
- Would you oppose a supervisor who made a decision that goes against corporate policy and is a potential safety issue for one of your employees?
- Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
- Tell me about a time when you coached someone.
What if I don't have good answers?
You can use a personal situation to answer a question, not every story has to be work-related. But try to limit these, since Amazon likes to dive deep into your work experience to get more context on how you make decisions. You should have an example wither way - it's not a good idea to skip a question in this interview.
Ideally, tailor your examples to a specific leadership principle that the team member can relate to.
You can find more questions and information about theAmazonprocess here. Once you go through the interview, get ready to discuss your offer with yourrecruiter.
What other questions might I get?
For a software engineering role, be prepared to answer technical questions about algorithms, data structures and coding. Have a notebook, pen and laptop ready as you may be required to code on the fly.
For a product manager role, expect to work on a case and answer strategy questions.
This specialization applies to other roles too. Operations roles usually involve a deeper discussion of your resume. Designers should expect to go through your portfolio.
Depending on the role, you may be asked to provide or discuss examples of past work. If possible, hyperlink these samples in your resume (if you code, make sure your GitHub portfolio is ready for prime time).
You can find more questions and information about theAmazonprocess here. Once you go through the interview, get ready to discuss your offer with yourrecruiter.
The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation of any security by Candor, its employees and affiliates, or any third-party. Any expressions of opinion or assumptions are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results and the opinions presented herein should not be viewed as an indicator of future performance. Investing in securities involves risk. Loss of principal is possible.
Third-party data has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however, its accuracy, completeness, or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Candor does not receive compensation to promote or discuss any particular Company; however, Candor, its employees and affiliates, and/or its clients may hold positions in securities of the Companies discussed.
The Top Amazon Interview Questions You Need to Know
Your Cheatsheet for the Amazon Interview
Interview coming up? Here are the top Amazon interview questions categorized by Amazon Leadership Principle that you need to be prepared to answer.
These questions are all behavioral interview questions, i.e., “tell me about a time when…” The Amazon interview process is mostly behavioral, with some technical screening depending on your role. In any case, Amazon expects you to spend a good chunk of time preparing for these. We’ve made it easier by providing some of the top interview questions and variations fo questions you can expect to be asked.
You don’t have to have different answers for all of these interview questions, of course. That would be pretty tough! Rather, here’s the best way to prepare:
- Prepare a handful of stories based on the Leadership Principles using the STAR method. These stories can be used, re-used and reframed for each type of question that’s asked.
- Write out these questions and your answers in a google or excel doc (download here).
- Practice these stories with your interview coach who can give you direct feedback and help you refine them! (Get matched with an ex-Amazon interviewer)
Regardless of your current job and desired position (individual contributor or management, tech or non-tech), the leadership principles are going to play a critical part in your preparation for the Amazon interview. If you struggle answering any of these questions, this should be your area of focus until you’ve come up with solid answers!
ARE RIGHT, A LOT
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t have enough data to make the right decision. What did you do? What path did you take? Did the decision turn out to be the correct one?
- Tell me about a strategic decision you had to make without clear data or benchmarks. How did you make your final decision? What alternatives did you consider? What were the tradeoffs of each? How did you mitigate risk?
- Tell me about a time when you made a difficult decision with input from many different sources (customers, stakeholders, partner teams, etc.). What was the situation and how did you arrive at your decision? Did the decision turn out to be the correct one? Why or why not?
Bias for Action
- Give me an example of a calculated risk that you have taken where speed was critical. What was the situation and how did you handle it? What steps did you take to mitigate the risk? What was the outcome? Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
- Tell me about a time when you worked against tight deadlines and didn’t have time to consider all options before making a decision. How much time did you have? What approach did you take? What did you learn from the situation?
- Describe a situation where you made an important business decision without consulting your manager. What was the situation and how did it turn out? Would you have done anything differently?
- Describe a difficult interaction you had with a customer. How did you deal with it? What was the outcome? How would you handle it differently?
- Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. Why did you do it? How did the customer respond? What was the outcome?
- Give me an example of when you were able to anticipate a customer need with a solution/product they didn’t know they needed/wanted yet. How did you know they needed this? How did they respond?
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to deliver an important project under a tight deadline. What sacrifices did you have to make to meet the deadline? How did they impact the final deliverable? What was the final outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you had significant, unanticipated obstacles to overcome in achieving a key goal. What was the obstacle? Were you eventually successful? Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
- Tell me about a time when you not only met a goal but considerably exceeded expectations. How were you able to do it? What challenges did you have to overcome?
- Tell me about a time when you were trying to understand a complex problem on your team and you had to dig into the details to figure it out. Who did you talk with or where did you have to look to find the most valuable information? How did you use that information to help solve the problem?
- Tell me about a situation that required you to dig deep to get to the root cause. How did you know you were focusing on the right things? What was the outcome? Would you have done anything differently?
- Tell me about a problem you had to solve that required in-depth thought and analysis. How did you know you were focusing on the right things? What was the outcome? Would you have done anything differently?
- Tell me about a time when you had to communicate a change in direction that you anticipated people would have concerns with. What did you do to understand the concerns and mitigate them? Were there any changes you made along the way after hearing these concerns? How did you handle questions and/or resistance? Were you able to get people comfortable with the change?
- Give me an example of a tough or critical piece of feedback you received. What was it and what did you do about it?
- Describe a time when you needed to influence a peer who had a differing opinion about a shared goal. What did you do? What was the outcome?
- Give me an example of how you have helped save costs or eliminate waste within your role or organization. What was the situation? What was the impact?
- Describe a time when you had to get a project or initiative completed with limited resources. How did you approach the situation? What was the impact? Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t have enough resources to do something you felt was important but found a creative way to get it done anyway. What was the situation? What other options did you consider? How did you decide on a path forward? What was the outcome?
Have a Backbone; Disagree and Commit
- Tell me about a time when you strongly disagreed with your manager or peer on something you considered very important to the business. What was it and how did you handle it? Knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently?
- Describe a time when you took an unpopular stance in a meeting with peers and your leader. What was it? Why did you feel strongly about it? What did you do? What was the outcome?
- Often, we must make decisions as a group. Give me an example of a time you committed to a group decision even though you disagreed. What factors led you to commit to the decision? Would you make the same decision now?
Hire and Develop the Best
- Tell me about a time when you helped one of your team members develop their career. How did you help that team member? What was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you invested in an employee’s development. What did you invest in and why? What was the outcome? Can you share an example where investing in an employee’s development didn’t work out?
- Give me an example of a time you provided feedback to develop the strengths of someone on your team. Were you able to positively impact their performance?
Insist on the Highest Standards
- Describe a time when you refused to compromise your standards around quality/customer service, etc. Who was your customer? What was the result?
- Tell me about a time when you were unsatisfied with the status quo. What did you do to change it? What was the impact? Would you do anything differently in the future?
- Tell me about a time when you worked to improve the quality of a product / service / solution that was already getting good customer feedback. Why did you think it needed improvement? How did customers react?
Invent and Simplify
- Give me an example of a complex problem you solved with a simple solution. What made the problem complex? How do you know your solution addressed the problem?
- Describe the most innovative thing you’ve done and why you thought it was innovative. Ask for one or two more examples to see if it’s a pattern of innovative thinking. What was the problem it was solving? What was innovative about it?
- Tell me about a time when you were able to make something simpler for customers. What drove you to implement this change? What was the impact?
Learn and Be Curious
- Tell me about a time when you realized you needed a deeper level of subject matter expertise to do your job well. Whatdid you do about it? What was the outcome? Is there anything you would have done differently?
- Describe a time when you took on work outside of your comfort area. How did you identify what you needed to learn to be successful? How did you go about building expertise to meet your goal? Did you meet your goal?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t know what to do next or how to solve a challenging problem. How do you learn what you don’t know? What were the options you considered? How did you decide the best path forward? What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you took on something significant outside your area of responsibility. Why was it important? What was the outcome?
- Describe a time when you didn’t think you were going to meet a commitment you promised. How did you identify the risk and communicate it to stakeholders? Is there anything you would do differently?
- Give me an example of an initiative you undertook because you saw that it could benefit the whole company or your customers, but wasn’t within any group’s individual responsibility so nothing was being done.
- Tell me about time when you were working on an initiative or goal and saw an opportunity to do something much bigger or better than the initial focus. Did you take that opportunity? Why or why not? What was the outcome?
- Give me an example of how you have changed the direction or view of a specific function/department and helped them embrace a new way of thinking. Why was a change needed? What was the outcome?
- Give me an example of a time you proposed a novel approach to a problem. What was the problem and why did it require a novel approach? Was your approach successful?
Bonus: More Real Questions from Amazon Interviews
- Tell the story of the last time you had to apologize to someone.
- A customer tries to convince you that a crow is white. (crows are black). What do you tell him?
- How would you improve Amazon’s website?
- You have 30 people working under you with working indirectly. Each employee can do 150 units/hour. Each work day has two 15 min breaks and one 30 min lunch. In a 5 day work week, how many total units can you complete?
- What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced in your life? How did you handle it?
- How would you tell a customer what Wi-Fi is?
- Should we sell private label cleaning products?
- Which Amazon leadership principle do you resonate most with?
- How do you calculate lifetime customer value?
- What would be the sample class design for a tic tac toe game? (question for developers)
- What makes you uncomfortable?
- Talk about a time when you had to fire someone or make a very unpopular decision.
- Design a card game.
- What is your favorite service?
- What is the difference between customer service and customer obsession?
Get Matched with an Amazon coach today.
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Amazon Leadership Principles: Questions and Interview Tips
It isn't surprising that getting a job at one of the big tech companies like Amazon, Google, or Facebook can present quite a challenge. The interviews for these companies have become almost as famous as the companies themselves.
One of the most significant differences between interviewing at Amazon and other FAANG companies lies in their approach to behavioral interview questions. Namely, Amazon has created the following 14 Amazon Leadership Principles.
These principles and the associated questions are designed to investigate your professional background and your ability to handle workplace situations. At Levels.fyi, we know how these may be difficult to improvise on the spot, so it is wise to prepare for them ahead of time. Read on for some of Amazon Leadership Principles questions, sample answers to them, and interview tips.
What are the Amazon Leadership Principles?
The Amazon Leadership Principles describe 14 fundamental values that govern the conduct of the company and its employees. The company states that these values are implemented in day-to-day operations and believes in hiring people who behave by these principles.
These qualities are often tested during the hiring process. They are crucial to know if you are preparing for an interview with Amazon and want to become an excellent candidate.
"We obviously hire based on the principles. We give both positive and negative feedback, which references the principles. We are encouraged to be aware of our own successes and failures in relation to the leadership principles," says Dave Anderson, Head of Technology at Bezos Academy and a former Director/GM at Amazon.
The good news is that you don't have to memorize all 14 Amazon Leadership Principles to get ready for an interview. Instead, Amazon tests applicants on the qualities that are most relevant to the position.
Here are the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles and some essential details to remember:
- Customer Obsession - Successful leaders always start with the customer and work their way backward. They work hard to earn and maintain customer trust, and even though they pay attention to competitors, customers are always the priority.
- Ownership - Leaders think long-term and prioritize long-term value over short-term success. They are owners, and they act on behalf of the company, not just themselves or their own team.
- Invent and Simplify - Leaders always seek ways to simplify and always require invention and innovation from their teams. Their thinking has no limits, and they always search for new ideas from everywhere. And, as they try new things, they expect to be sometimes misunderstood.
- Are Right, a Lot - Leaders are right most of the time. They possess good instincts and strong judgment, which enables them to seek diverse perspectives.
- Learn and Be Curious - Leaders always seek ways to improve themselves and never stop learning. They are curious about new opportunities and aren't afraid to explore the unknown.
- Hire and Develop the Best - Every hire and promotion decision made by leaders raises the performance level. Leaders recognize talent and are willing to support them in their development. They invest their time into coaching and mentoring others.
- Insist on the Highest Standards - Leaders are continually raising the bar of their standards and motivate their teams to deliver high-quality services, products, and processes. Leaders make sure that problems are fixed and defects never get sent down the line.
- Think Big - Leaders think differently and envisage a bold direction that inspires outstanding results. They also expertly partake in calculated risk-taking. They think outside of the box to serve customers and achieve a significant impact.
- Bias for Action - In business, speed matters. Many actions and decisions are reversible and do not require extensive study. They have a bias for action with long-term gains in mind.
- Frugality - Leaders find ways to accomplish more with less and maximize profit. They take constraints and turn them into self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, and invention.
- Earn Trust - Leaders speak candidly, listen attentively, and treat others respectfully. They aren't afraid to be self-critical in front of others and benchmark themselves only against the best.
- Dive Deep - Leaders focus on the details, work at all levels, and audit frequently.
- Have Backbone; Disagree, and Commit - Leaders aren't afraid to speak up and challenge decisions in a respectful way whenever they disagree. They do not compromise, even in a challenging environment. And once the team finalizes a decision, these leaders fully commit to it.
- Deliver Results - Leaders need to focus on the critical things in their work and deliver quality results promptly. No matter what, they overcome obstacles and never settle.
Examples of Amazon Leadership Principles Questions
Here are some examples of Leadership Principles questions you can expect:
#1 Questions on "Customer Obsession":
- Who was your most difficult customer?
- Tell me about a time when you didn't meet customer expectations. What happened, and how did you deal with the situation?
- How do you go about prioritizing customer needs when you are dealing with a large number of customers?
#2 Questions on "Ownership":
- Tell me about a time when you took on a task that was beyond your job responsibilities.
- Tell me about a time when you had to work on a task with unclear responsibilities.
- Tell me about a time when you showed an initiative to work on a challenging project.
#3 Questions on "Invent and Simplify":
- Describe a time when you found a simple solution to a complex problem.
- Tell me about a time when you invented something.
- Tell me about a time when you tried to simplify a process but failed. What would you have done differently?
#4 Questions on "Are Right, a Lot":
- Tell me about a time when you effectively used your judgment to solve a problem.
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with insufficient information or incomplete data.
- Tell me about a time when you were wrong.
#5 Questions on "Learn and Be Curious":
- Tell me about an important lesson you learned over the past year.
- Tell me about a situation or experience you went through that changed your way of thinking.
- Tell me about a time when you made a smarter decision with the help of your curiosity.
#6 Questions on "Hire and Develop the Best":
- Tell me about a time when you mentored someone.
- Tell me about a time when you made a bad hire. When did you figure it out, and what did you do?
- What qualities do you look for in potential candidates when making hiring decisions?
#7 Questions on "Insist on the Highest Standards":
- Tell me about a time when you were dissatisfied with the quality of a project at work. What did you do to improve it?
- Tell me about a time when you motivated others to go above and beyond.
- Describe a situation when you couldn't meet your standards and expectations on a task.
#8 Questions on "Think Big":
- Tell me about your most significant professional achievement.
- Tell me about a time when you had to make a bold and challenging decision.
- Tell me about a time when your vision led to a great impact.
#9 Questions on "Bias for Action":
- Provide an example of when you took a calculated risk.
- Describe a situation when you took the initiative to correct a problem or a mistake rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
- Tell me about a time when you required some information from somebody else, but they weren't responsive. What did you do?
#10 Questions on "Frugality":
- Describe a time when you had to rely on yourself to complete a task.
- Tell me about a time when you had to be frugal.
- Tell me about a time when you had to rely on yourself to complete a project.
#11 Questions on "Earn Trust":
- Describe a time when you had to speak up in a difficult or uncomfortable environment.
- What would you do to gain the trust of your team?
- Tell me about a time when you had to tell a harsh truth to someone.
#12 Questions on "Dive Deep":
- Tell me about the most complicated problem you've had to deal with.
- Give me an example of when you utilized in-depth data to develop a solution.
- Tell me about something that you have learned in your role.
#13 Questions on "Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit":
- Describe a time when you disagreed with the approach of a team member. What did you do?
- Give me an example of something you believe in that nobody else does.
- Tell me about an unpopular decision of yours.
#14 Questions on "Deliver Results":
- Describe the most challenging situation in your life and how you handled it.
- Give an example of a time when you had to handle a variety of assignments. What was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when your team gave up on something, but you pushed them to deliver results.
Structuring Your Answers to Behavioral Interview Questions
Interview preparation tips
When preparing for your Amazon interview, take the time to study the Amazon Leadership Principles questions, and develop two stories that demonstrate each of them. No, you don't need to think about answers to 28 questions. Some of these stories may tackle different leadership principles at once.
Your stories need to demonstrate the leadership principles and boundless curiosity to improve yourself on the job.
However, even if you have a good story to tell, your interviewer won't appreciate unstructured meandering anecdotes. They want your ideas and answers to the Amazon Leadership Principles questions to** be concise and precise** while still showing a depth of understanding and superior knowledge of your expertise.
There are two methods of answering behavioral interview questions in a succinct yet complete way: STAR and CAR.
Whatever method you choose, make sure that you contextualize the results of your actions within a closed-loop thinking framework. In other words, you should elaborate upon the effects of your actions on other processes and the overall system within which your team operates. Whether you're an engineer or a marketer, you need to emphasize your leadership skills and bold vision in the face of adversity.
STAR stands for "Situation - Task - Action - Results".
For example, in behavioral interview questions like this, you could easily employ the STAR method for a complete answer:
"Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision, which included short-term sacrifices for longer-term goals."
Situation. Begin by briefly talking about the context and situation:
"I was once managing a website, and it suddenly started showing slow performance due to a mistake on our side that went unnoticed for a long time. As a project manager, I took full responsibility and worked with the engineering team to resolve the issue promptly."
Task - Elaborate on the necessary tasks involved in the resolution of a situation:
"This mistake has shown me how important it is to monitor non-functional requirements in addition to the development of new features, on which I was spending most of my time."
Action - Describe all the steps you took to complete the above tasks:
"After fixing the issue, I made sure that such mistake doesn't happen again: I have implemented a good application management tool and set up to receive email alerts when website behavior exceeds set SLAs or thresholds. I spent the time to learn the tool myself to analyze previous issues further."
Results - Talk about the consequences or outcome of the situation and your actions:
"With these actions, we were able to have consistent page load times under 3 seconds. I also shared my experience with other project managers in the team through a brown bag presentation to prevent the situation from happening again."
The CAR technique of answering Amazon Leadership Principles interview questions is very similar to STAR.
CAR stands for "Context - Action - Result".
Let's take a look at this Amazon Leadership Principles question:
"Tell me about a time when you had to deliver results in the face of challenges."
Following the CAR method, you would answer the following way:
Context - Set the scene and describe the situation of a relevant example from your past experiences:
"In my previous employment, the sales division has been experiencing decreasing sales. I was invited to help reverse the situation. The biggest challenge I faced was to manage the team effectively so that they can not only meet but exceed their sales targets."
Action - Explain in detail what action you took, your steps, and the rationale behind it:
"Over a period of six months, I have implemented several initiatives, such as setting measurable sales targets for each individual, holding weekly sales meetings, and implementing a sales training program."
Result - Talk about the outcome of your action in detail:
"In the first quarter, we increased sales by 60% and exceeded sales targets by 25%. We continued to increase our sales throughout the next year."
Negotiate Better Job Offer Conditions with Levels.fyi
The Amazon Leadership Principles are an excellent way for the company to screen candidates that would fit the company culture.
If you are getting ready for an interview with Amazon, take your time to reflect on your past life experiences and prepare a handful of stories that are broad enough to fit a variety of potential questions.
But, of course, you need to be genuine in your responses and make sure to show your real personality to ace your behavioral interview questions on Amazon Leadership Principles.
If you require additional guidance negotiating a great job offer, check out the salary negotiation services provided by a team of experienced recruiters at Levels.fyi.
Get updates on salary trends, career tips, and more.
It is important to gain insight into AMAZON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS beforehand. In that way, it puts you ahead of other applicants. But it also helps you channel your focus on specific responses that the interviewer is expecting from you. Firstly it is important to explain the term ‘dive deep.’ To dive deep is to analyze a specific topic in great detail. So when preparing for an interview, it is important to consider that the questions asked to require more extensive and profound responses.
Guide when Answering Dive Deep AMAZON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
To stand out as an applicant, you need to be able to have extensive knowledge of yourself and the specific post you’re applying for, mostly be able to act upon that knowledge. Essentially in an interview, you want to answer the ‘Dive Deep’ questions so that you can sufficiently answer questions about yourself and how you will act in those specific scenarios.
A good ‘Dive Deep’ should preferably include details. However, the stories should not be centered on details only, but depth, ideas, and solutions. These three components allow you to follow through with entailed answers where you break down data. It is noteworthy that the principle of dive deep is in explaining things in detail and demonstrating precisely how you use those details to illustrate your knowledge or contribution to a specific project.
If, for instance, you’re explaining a specific idea, it is important to add details about how you came to that idea and how you followed through with it. If you’re a talker, pay particular attention to not deviating from your initial ‘dive deep’ story. On the other hand, if you’re someone who rarely goes deep into details, then these questions are likely to be less difficult for you because the data is described shortly but accurately.
How to answer questions regarding the ‘dive deep’ principle?
[Roles and Responsibilities]
Question:Explain briefly your role in your previous job and state what your responsibilities were.
The answer was given by a Java developer.
I was a part of the IT team in a small company specifically assigned for building programs. Because it was a small company, it required moderate speed and stability. I then switched to java programming. The team was relatively small and included a senior java engineer I reported to and a project manager. One of my responsibilities typically involved;
- Designing, implementing, and maintaining Java applications that are often low-latency.
- Conducting software analysis programming and testing.
- Writing well-designed, efficient, and testable code.
Question:Walk me through a time when you had to get through one of the hardest challenges at your work?
Answer by an Engineer.
The product manager had given us the wrong requirements, then one of the java developers messed up the metrics gathering. When the launch happened, the marketing team didn’t realize that the product was not functioning, and so they went ahead and advertised a broken product. On our side, the engineering team didn’t give the marketing team the necessary tools. So they had no choice but to rely on manual mail mergers. My team and I could have built better tools, but we are currently building them.
Question: What aspects do you think should take over on the retail website should?
Answer from a research scientist.
The simplest answer to that is to maximize profit. Essentially using algorithms to maximize profit. Besides, the focus on customer experience ramifications is that customers profit at the end of the day.
Question:If given the chance to work at Amazon, how would you consider yourself?
Answer: I would consider Amazon to be an organized company. I would consider myself a leader for any specific department that I will be working for. And because I will be leading that specific department, I’m therefore fully responsible for everything that goes on.
[Know Your department]
Question:As an Amazon technology manager, what will your role be?
Answer from a technology manager: As an Amazon technology manager, I’m responsible for all decisions related to digital products.
[Be innovative, but make it simple].
Question: If you realize that the project review meeting wasn’t useful, how would you fix it?
Answer from a software engineer: If I realize that the status we covered was already in our system, then I would cancel the whole thing. This is because removing a code when solving problems is always a better option than adding codes. The principle here is simplicity, which allows faster and cheaper innovations.
[Learn and Be Open]
Question:When a junior graphic designer disagrees with your design, how would you deal with it?
Answer as a graphic designer: In as much as I’m a senior graphic designer, I’m also a leader who is open to being wrong. Right and wrong are not based on who’s senior or junior. So as a leader, I need to realize that every opinion and perspective needs to be valued. Also, being open to others’ perspectives creates a chance to re-evaluate different viewpoints.
[Hire the Best]
Question:As a bar raiser, you’re heavily involved in the hiring process and helping people reach their highest performing level. How do you manage the performers differently and separately?
Answer as a Bar Raiser: In as much as everyone deserves equal attention. In a high-performing management culture, top performers require more attention and monitoring. This is to ensure that they get the necessary platform they need to perform at their best. Investing in exceptional performers is critical to nurture leaders.
Question:How sure are you that what you will be delivering is exactly what the customer ordered?
Answer as a driver: There are different channels, and as a driver and part of the delivery team, my job is to ensure the safety of the packages and ensure that they get to the correct address once the product team accepts the feature, which means that it is good for delivery.
[Know the Overall Amazon Principles]
Question:Looking at the nature that Amazon does business, briefly summarize what you know regarding Amazon’s core principles.
Answer as an Operations Manager:
- Amazon devices are usually cheap compared to their value.
- Amazon retail is known for prioritizing low prices and aims for efficiency. This principle ensures the highest value for the most affordable costs.
- AWS always drops prices to ensure a higher competitive advantage.
[Focus on Results]
Question:How do you know if your customer registration works?
Answer as a Customer registration personnel: I know if it is registered people when there are no errors. I must deliver registration forms and pipelines for new customers. So if new customers can register, then I know it is successful.
Examples of ‘dive deep’ questions:
- Briefly explain a scenario where you had to use data to make a decision.
- How would you go about deciding the success of a registration form?
- Tell me about a time when you made a serious error at work, and how did you fix it?
- Can you tell me about a specific strategy you used to identify a need for development in your department?
- If you were a leader at the Amazon Marketing home department, what new things would you look into?
- Briefly explain a scenario where a senior gave you vague instructions, and you had to find your way through it. How did you process the whole situation?
- Tell me one of the lessons you learned, which was not a part of your duties/responsibilities?
- I was hoping you could walk me through one of the processes you went through to achieve a successful process.
- Tell me a scenario where you realized missing information in your department and how you filled it in.
- Have you ever had to leverage data to come up with a strategy? If so, please explain?
- Tell me about a time where there was a problem in your department, and you had to solve it with other colleagues. Explain to me what the team dynamics were in terms of problem-solving.
- Tell me about a time where you had to give insights and analysis beyond the given data.
Essentially as an Amazon potential candidate, it is vital to consider the questions pointed above. This is because Amazon’s leadership principles are centered on any interviews at any level. Understanding the nature of questions and the core principles helps you give interviewers a clear idea of who you are and what kind of leader you will be. The Amazon leadership principles are also a foundation that guides how leaders act and make decisions. The leadership principles are core to how Amazon operates internally. It is important to know them because you can be sure that you will be asked questions that assess whether you can act and think like a leader.
Also read What does the Amazon Job Application Pending Start Date mean?
Questions interview dive deep amazon
The twelfth Amazon Leadership Principle is “Dive Deep.” If you’re preparing for an interview at Amazon, you should ask yourself what Amazon means by dive deep and how this leadership principle applies to your role at the company.
If you don’t know about the Amazon leadership principles, consider first reading this article about interviewing at Amazon.
How Amazon explains the “Dive Deep” leadership principle
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
What does the “Dive Deep” Amazon leadership principle mean?
I think of this principle as being on a continuum with the “Bias for Action” leadership principle. When you’re doing something, you first need to figure out what you’re doing (research and think) and then you need to do it (act). I find it helpful to think about these two principles as a continuum because job seekers tend to get stuck on one end of it. It’s not uncommon for candidates to be great at performing research but slow to act, or on the other end of the continuum, other candidates will jump into action too quickly without making a plan.
In order to be good at something, you need to be good at both making a plan and acting on it. So in an interview, you want to be able to answer the “Dive Deep” questions and also the “Bias for Action” questions well, so that you paint a picture of yourself as someone who can make a plan and act on it (I cover how to answer the “Bias to Action” questions in another article). A good “Bias” story will have a research phase and a good “Dive Deep” story will end in action.
A good “Dive Deep” should preferably include data borne of research. Telling “Dive Deep” stories like this might be easy for you if you’re a details person, as many people who have technical jobs are. It may not be easy for you if you’re a generalist or a big picture person. I personally tend to dislike talking about details, because I prefer talking about ideas or strategy. If I were going into an interview, I would need to add details about how I followed through on ideas. If you’re a big picture person, pay particular attention to your “Dive Deep” stories. On the other hand, if you’re someone who routinely digs into details, these questions are unlikely to be difficult for you because you’re always looking at data.
Ex-Amazon employee and blogger Dave Anderson summarizes the principle this way:
“Trust yet verify” is a favorite phrase at Amazon. We care deeply that leaders keep a careful eye on what they own, and know ways to audit their space. If something doesn’t make sense, our leaders need to have the ability (and interest) to dive in and figure out what’s going on. I love when I ask questions of people, and they can go four or five levels deep, and keep getting more excited because the details are actually interesting to them.”
Note the emphasis here on not just digging into the details, but getting excited about those details when you talk about them. If you re asked to speak to this principle in your interview, it’s not enough to list details – you need to use those details to demonstrate your enthusiasm for owning or contributing to a project.
Interview Questions Related to the “Dive Deep” Leadership Principle
If your interviewer asks about this leadership principle, she or he might ask one of the following questions:
Give me an example of when you used data to make a decision/solve a problem.
Tell me a time you gave insights beyond the data.
Have you ever leveraged data to develop strategy?
Tell me about a time you were trying to understand a problem on your team and you had to go down several layers to figure it out. Who did you talk with and what info proved most valuable? How did you use that info to help solve the problem?
Tell me about a problem you had to solve that required in-depth thought and analysis. How did you know you were focusing on the right things?
Walk me through a big problem in your organization that you helped to solve. How did you become aware of it? What info did you gather, what was missing, and how did you fill the gaps? Did you do a post mortem analysis and what did you learn?
Can you tell me about a specific metric you’ve used to identify a need for change in your department? Did you create the metric or was it readily available? How did this and other info influence the change?
How many stories do I need to prepare for each leadership principle?
Most people say that you should have two examples for each principle. That’s a good benchmark, but what if you get asked four Dive Deep questions? Will you have enough stories to answer them all? In the onsite interview the interviewers will divide the principles up and each take two or three, so in one interview you may have more than two questions about a principle. What will you do if that happens? I suggest that you practice using some questions you’ve developed for other principles to answer the Dive Deep questions. I think it’s a better idea to think of having a group of answers you can tailor for the different principles depending on what you get asked that thinking of preparing two for each principle.
How to Answer Questions Related to the “Dive Deep” Leadership Principle
Question: Tell me about a time you performed an analysis that that resulted in process improvements.
Answer given by a Systems Engineer
“The process for monthly mobile phone bill generation was slow. The bill generation process for one hundred and thirty thousand subscribers took twelve hours. I was asked to analyze whether there were opportunities to optimize the process.
Unfortunately, we had minimal documentation available on the process. I held a session with the application support engineers to understand how we could trace this process. After that, during the next bill cycle, we traced all database calls for twelve hours. Then I consolidated over a thousand trace files in chronological order and ran an Oracle profiler called tkprof.
My analysis revealed that the process spent lots of database time in performing single block reads and multiblock reads. The total time spent in doing I/Os was six hours. Approximately half of disk I/Os were taking more time than normal. After a similar analysis in preproduction, I saw that, even with 25% more subscribers, the bill run finished in the same time as production. The difference was that the preproduction environment had a newer CPU and a newer storage system. Part of the performance improvement in preprod was also the result of less traffic going into the preproduction environment. I/O took a lot less time in preprod.
After this analysis, I presented the findings in a twenty-six page report and a brief presentation. My recommendations were as follows:
· Move bill run data to a dedicated database
· Cache smaller tables in memory
· Move bill run data to faster disks
As a result of my recommendations, we started the hardware modernization project, and as expected, newer CPUs and storage helped a lot. We were able to improve the performance of bill runs by approximately 35%. We brought down the bill run time from 18 to 12 hours. A big improvement, but I know I could make more progress.”
There are a lot of details in this answer from a Systems Engineer, but note how seamlessly he weaves in technical details to his story about a business process improvement. Even more importantly, note how he turns research into action. He “dives deep” but uses the information to make concrete recommendations, showing a “Bias for Action.” People tend to forget the “R” section of these answers – the results. Yes, the point is that you are great at doing research, but you still have to connect it to some action or your research was pointless. You don’t actually have to do the action yourself, but you can’t do the research and do nothing with it.
Question: Walk me through a big problem in your organization that you helped to solve. How did you become aware of it? What info did you gather, what was missing, and how did you fill the gaps?
Answer given by a Data Scientist
“There are different kinds of spam; it relates to the season. For example, there is a different kind during Christmas, the Super Bowl, the Oscars, etc. Spammers use campaigns to insert some kind of scam in text messages.
During the political campaigns last year, I was working on an assignment to detect spam in politics-related text messages. There is nothing wrong with doing campaign by text message, although it can be annoying, but the intention was to detect malicious messages within the body of these messages.
I started to analyze the data by isolating messages related to politics and then, once I had a good sample of these messages, I used data science and machine learning techniques to identify different patterns that could be not related to certain campaigns. I started by defining a base of target words which I will look for in the body of the message, and then I clustered together the most common words surrounding this base sample. It took me a very deep dive in the data to find common words that are used in a masked way, for example, one word separated by periods, numbers substituting for some words, etc. I could only do this by analyzing a lot of data.
At the end of the research, I tuned my code to automatically perform the analysis and deliver reports or alerts whenever this kind of spam was detected. To improve my detection analysis, I continued adjusting and fine-tuning my code as new results and/or patterns were discovered.”
This Data Scientist uses machine learning techniques to surface patterns to filter spam that would otherwise be difficult to catch. Note how diving deep into the data seems to come natural to her, as she tells her story. To an interviewer at Amazon, you need to show that you’re not afraid to get into the details when the situation calls for it. I find when working with clients whose jobs revolve around data they don’t really have a problem finding stories to talk about they just have a problem giving proper context for their story, structuring the stories clearly, and remembering to connect the data to some kind of result or action.
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When she woke up, she got up and went to work, she wore panties only during menstruation, so when she walked and rubbed her wet legs, a pleasant languor. Came over her and she lost consciousness, silently squatted down and gritted her teeth again experienced all the sensations. Now, more and more often, she crawled under the Donkey and inserted a penis into her cave, they refused sour cream after.
A week, and two weeks later, the Donkey himself began to perform frictions as soon as Ira was attached under him and carefully inserted a penis into her vagina, he, as if on command, began frictions and after Ira finished three times he finished himself.