Let's prepare for your phone interview
Next, dive into our Leadership Principles. We use our Leadership Principles every day, whether we're discussing ideas for new projects or finding the most effective solution to a problem. It’s just one of the things that makes Amazon peculiar. All candidates are evaluated based on our Leadership Principles. The best way to prepare for your interview is to think about how you’ve applied the Leadership Principles in your previous professional experience.
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
Leaders are owners. They think long-term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job".
Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere and are not limited by “not invented here". As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
Are right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.
Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They’re curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognise exceptional talent and willingly move them throughout the organisation. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards - many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high-quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk-taking.
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odour smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently and are sceptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obliged to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
Our interviews are based on behavioural questions which ask about past situations or challenges you’ve faced and how you handled them, using the Leadership Principles to guide the discussion. We don’t use brain-teasers (e.g., “How many windows are in Manhattan?”) during the interview process. We’ve researched this approach and have found that those types of questions are unreliable when it comes to predicting a candidate’s success at Amazon.
Here are some examples of behavioural questions:
- Tell me about a time when you were faced with a problem that had a number of possible solutions. What was the problem and how did you determine the course of action? What was the outcome of that choice?
- When have you ever taken a risk, made a mistake or failed? How did you respond and how did you learn from that experience?
- Describe a time when you took the lead on a project
- What did you do when you needed to motivate a group of individuals or encourage collaboration during a particular project?
- How have you leveraged data to develop a strategy?
Keep in mind, Amazon is a data-driven company. When you answer questions, you should focus on the question asked, ensure your answer is well-structured and provide examples using metrics or data if applicable. Refer to recent situations whenever possible.
Prep for technical interviews
- Interview preparation for tech roles (e.g. software development engineer, technical programme manager) can be found here
- Unsure if you've applied for a technical role? Reach out to your recruiting point of contact
- Some teams at Amazon incorporate role-specific exercises or online assessments into the interview process. You will be notified if you are required to take a test
- For your phone interview, find a quiet and comfortable place with no distractions
- Use a computer with a reliable connection and access to email
- If you're using a mobile phone, make sure you’re in a place with good signal
- Have a copy of your CV on hand
- Have paper and a pen readily available
- Come prepared with questions that you would like to explore in more detail (e.g. on initiatives/projects, the team culture, the scope of the role)
- If you need clarification on anything or have any additional follow-up questions, reach out to your recruiting point of contact
- If you have any special requirements, questions or concerns, please reach out to us as we are committed to making reasonable provisions for all individuals
- Virtual interviews: If you've been asked to do a virtual interview, you will probably need to download Amazon Chime, our video-conferencing tool (the step-by-step guide can be found here). If you're presenting, you will need to download Chime onto your desktop. The meeting ID# will be emailed to you by your recruitment point of contact. For optimal sound quality, use a headset with a microphone
Amazon supports pay equity. We will not consider a candidate’s current or historical compensation when determining whether to offer employment or in determining any aspect of the compensation offered to any candidate for any role located in the United States.
After the interview
We strive to get back to you within two business days after your phone interview. If you haven't heard from us by then, feel free to give us a nudge.