You’ve done the necessary research. You’ve applied for the dream job. You've successfully completed the online assessment and phone screen, and just discovered you are moving on to the final round of your Amazon interview. It is now time to prepare. Fortunately, you are not alone in this journey. It’s pretty well-documented and publicized—thanks to bar raisers, former and current employees, and career coaches alike—that Amazon engages in behavioral-based interviewing through the STAR (situation, task, action, and result) method.
Our interviews are rooted in behavioral-based questions which ask about past situations or challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve handled them, using Amazon's Leadership Principles to guide the discussion. We avoid brain teasers as part of the interview process as it’s irrelevant and not indicative of your actual performance. We’re more concerned with the way you critically process and behave in certain situations, embody core competencies, and the experiences that have shaped you as a professional.
We aspire to make interviewing at Amazon as frustration-free as our shopping experience. Because of this, we’ve asked Cody Nelson, a senior manager of Talent Acquisition at Amazon who has conducted hundreds of interviews in almost a decade, for his best advice on how to ace your upcoming interview. Here are his tips.
Always answer the interview questions using the STAR method.
The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question. For our interviews we recommend candidates format their responses using the STAR method to answer behavioral-based interview questions, incorporating examples representative of Amazon’s Leadership Principles. Consider your successes and failures in relation to the Leadership Principles. Your examples should showcase your expertise and how you’ve taken risks, succeeded, failed, and grown.
We value straightforward and clear communication. We use the STAR method as a framework for clear answers. It’s not something to memorize but rather a tool to communicate your strengths and experiences.These new benefits, under Amazon’s FamilyFlex program, are aimed at helping employees and family members achieve personal and professional success.
Data points give the interviewer a better picture of the context, risks, and visibility of the example.
Amazon is a data-driven company. When you answer interview questions, ensure your answer is well-structured, and provide examples using metrics or data if applicable. Reference recent situations whenever possible.
For example, your interviewer might ask: “Provide an example of a time you exceeded customer expectations.”
Below is how you might respond to this question using the STAR method and applying applicable data.
Situation: In 2020, I was a customer success manager at my previous company. In this role, I was in charge of successfully delivering software implementation to a $2 billion company, with 5,000 employees that operated in 36 countries.
Task: The challenge and task ahead of that year was to successfully implement, onboard, and train roughly 500 users, in all 36 countries of this company to use our product. Success would be measured in a monthly satisfaction survey, as well as a joint report to their executive leadership board once a quarter.
Action: This was not my first implementation, but the first of this scale. Knowing that, I formulated a plan to take these three actions. First, I created a customer feedback mechanism on a weekly basis. This was above and beyond because this was collected quarterly in the past. I also had the survey translated to 10 different languages, covering all 36 countries. Second, I wanted to make sure our users knew the “why” behind this change. I took the action of creating monthly office hours and twelve continued education sessions on the product. In fact, these sessions are now used as a standard practice for all future implementations, which there have been three of at this size. And third, a byproduct of the customer feedback actually revealed insights to other opportunities in their organization. I delivered these insights to the executive board in a thorough report, and they were delighted to hear the strengths and opportunities of their organization.
Result: As a result, the implementation was successfully delivered with a customer feedback score of 9.5 out of 10. The highest our company had ever seen. This new insight report opened another avenue of business with this customer that helped lead to doubling our business revenue.
Use “I” versus “we” statements when answering the interviewer’s questions.
We want to hear what you specifically accomplished and how you were able to deliver results on behalf of your customers. Be ready to describe the specific steps you took and how you contributed. Let us know what you actually did.