When entering the interviewing process with a company, it's easy to think of a recruiter as just a person you have to speak with in order for your resume to be seen by the hiring manager (the person with whom you really want to engage). Many candidates don't realize that the recruiter must make the first judgment call on a candidate, evaluating their fit with Amazon’s culture and Leadership Principles, and deciding if that candidate is someone we'd want to be part of our company.

This assessment is equally (if not more) important than skills evaluation. A candidate who is adaptable, intelligent, and interested in learning, can be taught much of what they need to know to be successful at Amazon. Each time a recruiter decides whether to present a candidate to our leaders, they are deciding whether they, as recruiters, are willing to attach their own professional reputation to a candidate. They must know the difference between someone who has a very specific set of skills and someone who will be successful at Amazon long term. Recruiters take that responsibility seriously.

When preparing for a conversation with a recruiter, start by looking at the recruiter's LinkedIn profile. They are hired for their ability to understand human dynamics, to detect critical business skills and personality traits that may mean a cultural fit for our team (like a passion for building). Provide concrete examples of past work grooming teams in the past for promotion. Illustrate customer obsession, and how past work supports that. Show data driven and entrepreneurial DNA. Answer questions asked as if responding to the hiring manager.