Interviewing at Amazon

Our application and interview process differs depending on the role, but here are some of the ways we get to know you.

Online Application

How do I apply?

Firstly, find the Placement or Graduate position you would like to apply for on our Gradcracker hub.  

When you click 'Apply online now', you will arrive at the Amazon Jobs site. Follow the directions on your screen. Either create a new profile or log back in if you're a returning candidate.

How do I upload or update my cover letter?

Being a peculiar company, we don't accept cover letters. Just ensure your CV is up-to-date and you're all set.

Should I send samples of my work (writing, code, designs, etc) with my CV?

If you're selected for an interview, we may request work samples. If we do, we'll let you know where you should send them. However, if public copies of your work are available for viewing online, including links on your CV is a good idea.

Why do I have to create a separate application profile instead of just using my amazon.com customer login?

We take our customers’ trust and security very seriously. To ensure our customers’ and candidates’ sensitive information is protected, our customer and candidate data is kept completely separate. This is why you need a separate profile to apply for jobs.


Phone Interview

Culture  

Culture  

Before we get into the details of your phone interview, take some time to learn about Amazon, get to know our business teams and “meet” a few Amazonians.

Leadership Principles  

Leadership Principles  

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.

Customer Obsession

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.

Ownership

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.

Think Big

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.

Frugality

Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.

Earn Trust

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.

Dive Deep

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.

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.

Deliver Results

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.

Behavioural interviewing  

Behavioural interviewing

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.

The formalities  

The formalities  

  • 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. 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.

After the interview  

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.


In-person Interview

Culture, Leadership Principles and Behavioural interviewing is the same as the phone interview information above.

STAR answer format  

STAR answer format  

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioural interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action and result of what you're describing. Here’s what it looks like:

SITUATION

Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand the complexities of the situation. This example can be from a previous job, school project, volunteer activity or any relevant event.

TASK

What goal were you working towards?

ACTION

Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on you. What specific steps did you take? What was your particular contribution? Be careful that you don’t describe what the team or group did when talking about a project. Let us know what you actually did. Use the word “I,” not “we,” when describing actions.

RESULT

Describe the outcome of your actions and don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Provide examples using metrics or data if applicable.

Consider your own successes and failures in relation to the leadership principles. Have specific examples that showcase your expertise and demonstrate how you’ve taken risks, succeeded, failed and grown over the course of your career. Bear in mind that some of Amazon’s most successful programmes have risen from the ashes of failed projects. Failure is a necessary part of innovation. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right.

Tips for great answers  

Tips for great answers  

  • Practise using the STAR method to answer the behavioural interview questions listed above and incorporate the Amazon Leadership Principles.
  • Ensure each answer has a beginning, middle and end. Describe the situation or problem, the actions you took and the outcome.
  • Prepare short descriptions of a handful of different situations and be ready to answer follow-up questions in greater detail. Select examples that highlight your unique skills.
  • Give specific examples that showcase your experience and demonstrate that you’ve taken risks, succeeded, failed and grown over the course of your career.
  • Specifics are key: avoid generalisations. Give a detailed account of one situation for each question you answer and use data or metrics to support your example.
  • Be forthcoming and straightforward. Don't embellish or omit parts of the story.

Interview day  

Interview day 

  • Check in: arrive 15 minutes early to check in for your interview. Have your government-issued photo ID ready (e.g. driving licence, passport).
  • Location: detailed instructions will be sent to you via email. Some of our offices are dog-friendly. Let us know if you have any special requirements or allergies.
  • Dress code: comfortable and casual. While safety clothing - such as closed-toed shoes - is required for some positions in our fulfilment centres, most of our office staff wear everyday clothing. We're interested in what you have to say, not what you’re wearing.
  • What to expect: interviews will be a mixture of questions and discussions concerning your previous experience and the challenges you've encountered. Come armed with detailed examples – concise, structured answers are ideal.
  • Interviewers: depending on the role, you will meet with anywhere from two to seven Amazonians. They will likely be a mix of managers, team members, key stakeholders from related teams and a “Bar Raiser” (usually an objective interviewer from another team). All interviewers will assess potential for growth beyond the position you’re being interviewed for and focus on evaluating how well your background and skills meet core competencies, along with how they relate to Amazon’s Leadership Principles. We recommend approaching each of your interviews the same way rather than trying to tailor answers to the interviewer’s role. Interviewers will often be taking notes on their laptops. It’s important that they have precise notes of their time with you to share with other interviewers.
  • CV: interviewers will have a copy, but feel free to bring one as well.
  • Duration: each interview usually lasts from 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Lunch: We will provide lunch if your interview is scheduled during the lunch hour. Let recruitment or your lunch buddy know if you have any dietary preferences
  • Amazon Non-Disclosure Agreement: All candidates must sign our standard Non-Disclosure Agreement. If you're unable to print and sign prior to your arrival, we'll have a copy available for you.
  • Technical roles: If you're being interviewed for a technical role, be prepared to use a whiteboard.
  • Virtual interviews: If you've been asked to do a virtual interview, you will probably need to download Amazon Chime, our video-conferencing tool. 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.

Before and after the interview  

Before and after the interview  

  • 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.
  • Confirm or book arrangements if your interview requires travel. Your recruiting point of contact will either set up your travel arrangements, or put you in touch with our travel agency to help you coordinate travel details and hotel stay.
  • An expense report should be submitted after your visit. Your recruitment point of contact will provide details on where and how to submit your report. Fill in your form clearly and ensure scanned receipts are legible - this will help prevent reimbursement delays.
  • If you have any special requirements, questions or concerns, please contact us: we are committed to making reasonable provisions for all individuals.
  • After your interview, be on the lookout for a quick post-interview survey via email. It is important for us to know how we did so we can continually improve our interview process. We really value your input.
  • Expect to hear back from recruitment within five business days following your interview. If you don't, feel free to give us a nudge.
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