The email arrived on a Monday morning.
“Congratulations,” it read, explaining that I would be moving forward with the next round of interviews.
I smiled. I was up for a job at Amazon as a senior editor on its Owned Content and Channels team. I had previously spoken on the phone with an Amazon recruiter and the hiring manager about the position, and this email was delightful confirmation that I had made it to the panel portion of the hiring process. This meant I would now be meeting with a series of interviewers (virtually, in my case, though the process differs from team to team) to share more details about my career and determine whether I was the right fit for the role.
My mind quickly started racing and a bevy of questions zoomed by as I wondered how I should prepare for this. Should I run through the specifics of my resume? What kind of questions should I be ready for? Or should I do a refresher on creating an Amazon Wish List? Was I even using my Echo device correctly? Am I pronouncing “Project Kuiper” right?
Thankfully, Amazon goes to great lengths to support interviewees by eliminating any ambiguity from the interview process and ensuring that applicants have access to thorough communication, helpful interview tools, and key tips to guide them along the way.
Here are three things that surprised me about Amazon’s job interview process—and how they helped ensure a smooth and enriching experience along the way.

1. A recruiting partner will be there to support you every step of the way

Amazon espouses a candidate-first approach to the interview process, which means a recruiter will serve as both an essential guide along your journey, and one of your biggest champions. Part of providing a positive experience for candidates means setting them up for success, and the recruiting partner is a key ally in making sure candidates have all the resources they need to shine.
My helpful recruiter provided an invaluable stream of communication, sending me links, videos, and advice to get me up to speed on Amazon’s interview process. Moreover, I was both surprised and pleased when he offered to meet with me again, virtually, right before my panel interviews so that he could help prepare me for them. This included walking me through the full interview-panel process, explaining how some interview questions might unfold, and—most importantly—strongly encouraging me to familiarize myself with Amazon’s Leadership Principles. These 16 tenets of Amazon’s culture and values gave me an essential lens through which I was able to frame my professional experience during my interviews. This chat proved to be a critical juncture during my application process—and one that I believe helped set me on the right path.

2. The STAR interview format is your best bet for success

As a data-driven company, Amazon engages in behavioral-based interviewing, utilizing the STAR (situation, task, action, and result) method to assess a candidate’s experience and how that experience helped deliver measurable results. I was loosely familiar with the acronym before my Amazon interview loop, but diving deep into this interview process provided a great opportunity to not only become reacquainted with the STAR method, but to fully understand how it could be one of my greatest tools for success. (You can read more about it here.)
Amazon, I would learn, avoids brain teasers as part of the interview process, since these aren’t especially indicative of someone’s actual performance. Instead, the company is more concerned with the way a candidate critically processes certain situations, leverages data for insights, and frames that data to highlight wins. Amazon values straightforward and clear communication, and the STAR method helps create a framework for those clear answers.

3. Amazon offers a ‘2 & 5 Promise,’ so you’re not left in the dark after your interview

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You apply for a job, you go through several rounds of interviews that seem to go well, you follow up with a thank-you email and wait to hear back, and then … crickets.
For a variety of reasons beyond most people’s control, it’s not uncommon to be left in the dark following an interview loop, sometimes with communication arriving months later—or not at all.
Amazon values candidates’ time, energy, and effort. That’s why the company offers a “2 & 5 Promise” to provide candidates with an update within two business days after a phone interview (or several phone interviews), and within five business days after a panel interview. It’s part of that candidate-first approach the company values, which recognizes that an optimal interview experience extends well beyond the last interview question that is asked.
Next, learn more about job interview tips from Amazon Bar Raisers, ways you can improve your resume, and FAQs on
(And in case you were curious, Kuiper is pronounced “ky-per.” Read the latest news about Project Kuiper, Amazon’s satellite broadband network.)